Dogs: Does Head and Shoulders Kill Fleas? (And How)

Head and Shoulders is a beloved brand of shampoo that’s used by millions around the world. It’s earned its reputation and popularity by launching quality products that are known to keep hair from developing dandruff.

However, many people wonder if it would be okay to use their everyday Head and Shoulders shampoo on their dog? There are many debates regarding using human products on animals, so it’s normal that there are a lot of conflicting opinions regarding this question. So, does Head and Shoulders kill fleas?

Head and Shoulders will kill fleas on your dog, but you have to leave it on for at least five minutes before rinsing. Most shampoos designed for human hair shouldn’t be used for dogs, but groomers say that many dandruff shampoos are safe and can help with getting rid of fleas.

However, there are many products that you shouldn’t use on your dog (or your cat). Just because they’re safe for us doesn’t mean that they’re safe for them, and you should keep them away from your pet. Today, we’ll be taking a look at Head and Shoulders specifically, whether it kills fleas and how safe is it to use it on your pet.

Let’s get started!

Will Head and Shoulders Kill Fleas?

Dealing with dermatological issues with your dog can be a living nightmare! Itchy skin, flaking skin, fleas – these are all problems that shouldn’t be ignored by any owner and it’d be irresponsible and dangerous if you did. It will make your dog very uncomfortable, possibly even painful, and it will destroy their coat.

It’s actually quite common for this to happen to us – pets aren’t the only ones who face skin problems, we have dandruff, as well. However, fleas are a completely different story.

Leaving your pet’s skin untreated can lead to infection.

This can easily spread to other body parts and become really dangerous for your dog.

Although it’s recommended that you talk to your vet before making any decisions, dog groomers say that Head and Shoulders can be used on pets to control flaky dandruff and it’s also able to kill fleas. However, you need to leave it on for at least five minutes before you rinse it off.

Head and Shoulders is a shampoo that’s capable of paralyzing the little pests. After covering the dog with the shampoo completely, leave it on for five minutes, this will completely paralyze the fleas and you’ll be able to wash them off with ease. Even if there are some fleas left behind, their exoskeleton will be severely weakened, causing them to die quickly.

Is It Safe to Use Head and Shoulders on Pets?

Usually, it’s always recommended that you buy products that are specifically suited for pets. Buying human products and using them on pets can be harmful, as there are many substances that they’re not used to, just like there are many substances that we can’t get used to. However, Head and Shoulders is an exception.

This is because the primary ingredient is zinc pyrithione, also known as ZPT. This is a water-soluble ingredient that helps to treat dandruff and its underlying cause. The reason it’s okay to be used on dogs is that it has the same effect on dogs as it does on humans – so it’s completely safe to use it on dogs (as long as it doesn’t get into their eyes).

The reason it’s safe to use on your pets is that there’s only one percent of ZPT in the formula of any Head and Shoulders, so the low concentration makes it easy enough for the dog to handle.

Dog skin is much more sensitive than human skin.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should use it on your dog on a regular basis. Believe it or not, many animals have more sensitive skin than us. Dog skin has 3 to 5 layers of skin, while humans have more than 15 layers of skin. Also, your dog’s pH balance is much higher than a human’s.

Dog shampoos are specifically formulated to regulate their pH balance, which is between 6.5 to 7.5. Our shampoos have a pH balance of about 5.5, which can cause trouble with dogs. Sure, the difference isn’t that large, but it’s still there, which would make regular use difficult on your dog.

Your go-to product for your dog should never be Head and Shoulders, though, as it’s only okay to use it every once in a while. The reason you may want to use Head and Shoulders is because of its concentration of ZPT.

Most vets are going to suggest looking for a shampoo with ZPT to treat many ailments that may be troubling your dog. A lot of these dog shampoos with ZPT are crazy expensive, and Head and Shoulders is going to be a cheaper alternative to that, one that gets the job done just like any dog product would.

To use Head and Shoulders on your dog safely, you should follow a few simple steps.

  1. Make sure that your dog is brushed and that their coat is ready to be washed
  2. Prepare the bathing area and make sure that it’s safe for the dog
  3. Wash your pet with warm water and make sure that it’s soaking.
    Don’t wash the face, as most dogs aren’t really happy with getting their faces wet. Don’t let the shampoo get to your dog’s mouth or eyes.
  4. Cover your dog with the shampoo and rub it in.
    Make sure that the whole body (aside from the head) is covered. Leave it on for five minutes before rinsing it off.
  5. After that, let the dog dry off.
  6. Brush your dog again to get rid off of all remaining (paralyzed and clinched) fleas.

After that you’re done.

Check the skin of your pet once a week and repeat the procedure if necessary. After two repitions all fleas should be gone!

(If the pest returns regularly you should expand your search for fleas beyond your pet’s coat because there will be probably some flea nests in the dogs surroundings)

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