Dawn Dish Soap For Fleas On Dogs & Cats

Will any dish soap kill fleas? Does dawn dishwashing soap treat fleas on pets such as dogs and cats? Let’s find out.

Every once in a while, our beloved pets pick up fleas when they roam or play around. These pests feed on their blood and cause a significant amount of discomfort.

What kind of dish soap kills fleas?

Killing Pet Fleas With Dawn Dish Soap

You don’t want to see your pets restless over a treatable problem. As such, there’s a need to look for quick fixes.

Quick fixes in this sense refer to the use of common household cleaning products to treat flea problems. One popular product found in a lot of households is Dawn dishwashing soap.

From the name alone, it’s clear what this liquid soap product is used for.

So, does this give any relief from flea problems?

Does Dawn Kills Fleas?

Do fleas stand a chance against Dawn dishwashing soap? No, they don’t!

In other words, this dishwashing product is known to kill fleas. This is good news for persons seeking to apply such treatments to their dogs and pets.

However, there’s a problem…

While Dawn dishwashing soap kills fleas, it’s not an effective solution for pet treatment. Whenever you find fleas on pets, there are only a few at any given time on such pets.

This means more fleas are scattered around than those found on your dogs or cats.

As such, after applying or treating your pets with this dishwashing soap, a whole legion of fleas will wait in ambush to hop onto your pet for their fill of blood.

This is counterproductive and offers no lasting solution to your pet’s flea issues.

How Dawn Dishwashing Soap Kills Fleas

Before we go any further, you’ll need to know how fleas are killed by this readily available dishwashing soap.

In the absence of Dawn dishwashing soap, plain water will hardly do fleas any harm as their exoskeletons are well adapted to keep them from drowning.

However, when a solution of water and this liquid soap is made, they easily drown. Plus, the soap covering their body surface prevents them from breathing. This results in drowning and suffocation.

If this situation unfolds, why not apply some Dawn dishwashing soap solution on dogs and cats?

Making Dawn Dish Soap Insecticide

You can easily mix or make your Dawn Dish Soap insecticide in many ways.

A Dawn Dish Soap-only insecticide can be made as well as mixing it with other natural products such as vinegar among others for better results. What you choose to use depends on what works for your situation.

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There are several steps to follow when treating your pet’s flea issues.

Different approaches are used depending on what pets you’re treating. For a dog, adding some vinegar to your Dawn Dish Soap insecticide will do a lot of good.

So, how do you go about it?

Using Dawn Dish Soap For Fleas On Pets

Whether you’re using dawn dishwashing soap for flea control or whatever pests, you should know that it isn’t a reliable way to get the job done.

Killing fleas through the use of Dawn dishwashing soap is only a temporary solution that isn’t reliable.

Dawn wasn’t designed for flea extermination. As its name suggests, this product is solely made to serve as a dish cleaner and nothing else.

  • Only Adult Fleas May Get Killed

While Dawn dishwashing soap will do little to solve your flea problems, only adult fleas are really affected. This makes the use of Dawn dishwashing soap even less reliable.

To understand this point, you’ll need to consider the life stages of fleas.

Female adults lay eggs that hatch into the larval stage.

Flea larvae eventually molt to pupa from where they turn or become adults. At each of these stages of development, the use of a dishwashing product such as Dawn will have little impact on them.

When adults die off, they get replaced in just a matter of days. You’ll need to adopt a more comprehensive approach to treatment. Such a comprehensive approach should be such that eliminates fleas and their eggs.

Also, these pests at all stages of development should be eliminated.

Killing Fleas on Dogs with Dawn Dish Soap

When treating your pets, you want to make a lather and work it through their fur. First off, you’ll need some Dawn Dish Soap, vinegar, and warm water as well as a comb.

After making your Dawn Dish Soap lather, gradually work it through your dog’s fur.

The comb will come in handy as helps brush the dish soap later into the pet’s skin and fur. This process shouldn’t be hastened. Spend between 5 to 10 minutes working the lather into your pet’s skin.

This should be sufficient time to kill fleas.

After this process, rinse your pet with warm water and repeat the process if you still find some fleas moving around.

Killing Fleas on Cats with Dawn Dish Soap

It’s common knowledge that cats find water very uncomfortable to be around. So, you’ll have to devise a strategy to still exterminate fleas using Dawn Dish Soap.

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Get a container and make a solution of this soap and some vinegar. You’ll need a flea comb with which to brush through your cat’s fur.

By soaking the flea comb into the Dawn Dish Soap solution, brush through your cat’s fur until the comb captures some fleas.

This comb should be dipped into the solution to drown fleas clinging to it before repeating the same procedure.

Extra Caution is needed Before Using Dawn Dish on Pets

Fleas are mostly synonymous with pets.

In other words, your pets are their primary target. People with pets have a higher chance of experiencing flea issues. Among the many control strategies, you’ll need to ensure that the main target(s) (your pets) are treated.

In some cases, Dawn Dish Soap can be used on pets without incidence.

In other cases, you’ll need to consult with a vet for professional advice. Such precautions are necessary as a safety measure to prevent allergies and other forms of negative reactions.

Remember, your pet is already having significant discomfort from flea bites. As such, further exposing it to treatments or products it’s allergic to will only worsen the problem.

With the advice from a veterinarian, you’ll get the best possible advice on how to proceed.

Skin Irritation is a Possibility

Consider a situation where your dog or cat is irritated by flea presence and activity on their skin.

Already, such skin is under a lot of stress. Using a product that isn’t designed to soothe irritated skin will only succeed in causing further irritations.

Here, it’s evident that Dawn dishwashing soap use on irritated skin only serves to worsen the condition of your pet. Plus, it only kills a handful of these pests which are immediately replaced when the dog or cat steps out to your yard.

Treat Pet Bedding

Without treating pet bedding, all efforts geared towards flea extermination on pets won’t be reliable.

If necessary, wash bedding material in hot soapy water and have them dried. You can also vacuum the area to pick up any eggs laid by these pests.

This should be started before treating your pets.

Go For Specially Designed Formulations

Dawn dishwashing soap does little to resolve your flea problems.

As such, instead of continuing its usage, it’s best to go for a formulation that’s specially designed to treat flea problems. The recommendations of a veterinarian would help in no small measure.

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There are tons of products available. Do not pick from any of them arbitrarily.

Remember, you don’t want to cause harm to your pets. If you must use any without the guidance of an expert, only go for those clearly labeled for feline and canine usage.

Reduce the Local Flea Population

There’s little that can be done when your surroundings aren’t treated with fleas. However good your treatment methods are on dogs and cats, these dogs will still pick up fleas the moment they step into your yard.

As such, you may have to call for help to contain the problem.

A flea management service can help with that. When they come around, they assess the problem and apply effective treatment methods. Performing such treatments helps contain the problem.

Vacuum Regularly

You have the responsibility of vacuuming your surroundings regularly.

This helps remove adult fleas, their eggs as well as exoskeletons left behind. You’ll have to vacuum more frequently when your dogs and cats are allowed indoors.

It’s important to target pet bedding for such vacuuming sessions. Of course, the contents or dirt removed will have to be disposed of as far off as possible. This prevents the likelihood of worsening infestations.

Oral Medications Will Be of Help

Oral medications are administered by veterinarians and fight flea problems from the inside.

They come in the form of chewable or pills. Having ingested it, fleas that bite your pet are poisoned by the blood as such medications are contained in the blood system.

Before long, your pet will be free from any flea issues.

What Other Ways Can Fleas Be Killed?

Since we’re discussing a home remedy for fleas, it will be proper to include other home remedies that could give you the much-needed relief you see. However, these haven’t been proven to be of much help to pets.

One of them includes the planting of flea repellent plants, the use of rosemary oil, lemon spray, diatomaceous earth, and baking soda.


There you go! So far, we’ve affirmed the flea-eliminating potential of Dawn dishwashing soap. However, we’ve also seen that it isn’t a reliable way to treat your pet’s flea problems.

While it’s clear that Dawn Dish Soap will kill fleas, it doesn’t do so efficiently. Nevertheless, it will still give you great results when the flea problem is still in its earliest stage.

The other methods mentioned will be of great help.