What Soap Can I Use to Wash My Dog?

Dawn is a dish soap that contains sodium lauryl sulfate. Below, I discuss the question of what soap can I use to wash my dog.

Dawn also has degreasing properties, which help to remove any flea dirt or oils from your pet’s fur and skin.

Step By Step: What Soap Can I Use to Wash My Dog

Step 1: Fill a Basin with Lukewarm 21 °C (70 °F) Water

Dawn soap, compared to other dish soaps, has useful surfactants. It is also safe for pets as it causes minimal skin irritation – just like with flea shampoos.

Next, fill a suitable basic with Lukewarm 21 °C (70 °F) water. The lukewarm water provides adequate heat comfort during the bathing process – and it won’t shock them.

  • Your pet will enjoy the bath if you give them some warm water treatment. Also, you need your dog to be as comfortable as possible during the bathing process, and thus warm water will be suitable.
  • Your pet will enjoy the bath if you give them some warm water treatment. You need your dog to be as comfortable as possible during the bathing process, and thus warm water will be suitable.
  • After adding warm water to a basin, clean your dog’s coat thoroughly to remove all the dirt and debris from the pet.

Depending on your cat or dog’s size, fill the basic to allow the water to rise to the pet’s stomach level.

Mesure, the ground-clearance of your pet (ground to belly height) – e.g., for a 0.30 m (1 foot) ground to belly height, put water up a height of 0.30 m (1 foot) in the basin.

But, for bathing smaller animals like the ferret, avoid using a bathtub – you’ll need to fill a larger bucket with lukewarm water. For the felines, you can spray dawn dish soap for fleas on kittens and adult cats.

Step 2: Soak the Pet in your Basin Water

Now, soak the cat or dog pet in the water basic so that its fur will be completely wetted and soaked – including with the thick hair as it’ll require extra water to soak thoroughly.

Please don’t get the water into the pet’s ears or eyes as it may irritate them. Dawn soap won’t be your wonder flea-killer of your dogs, but it will remove some of the fleas and their eggs – just like with borax flea-killer. 

After adding warm water to a basin, clean your dog’s coat thoroughly to remove all the dirt and debris from the pet.

Step 3: Apply the Dawn Dish Soap on the Pet’s Fur

Rub the dish soap on the wet pet’s coat to ensure that it is wholly lathered. You can use a hair comb or brush to scrub the dish soap on the dog’s fur.

But the amount of soap you will apply depends on how massively the flea infestation has attacked and the size of your cat or dog.

Begin the application with about 14 – 19 mL (3 – 4 teaspoons), but you may increase the dish soap’s quantity as needed.

  • Start by applying the dawn soap solution on the pet’s neck and continue up to its tail. Don’t get the solution into the pet’s ears and eyes.
  • Scrub the pet’s fur gently and scrub deeply to reach the skin – which is the flea’s hiding place. Ease the scrubbing if you notice that the pet is crying or uncomfortable.
  • For scrubbing thick pet coats, you’ll require to use a pet brush – as this will help get the dawn solution deep into the fur.


  • Fleas will begin running from the pet’s head once that section is dawn-wetted, and thus it is advisable to wet plus lather its neck first. Thus, there will be a barrier to preventing fleas from moving to the pet’s ears and face.
  • Continue scrubbing – Ensure that you scrub the dog’s skin until there are no more fleas seen in the bathtub water – unclog the hair finally. Check critical under the belly and on the head to avoid leaving some on your head.

Step 4: Flea Comb Using the Detergent Water

You’ll need to buy flea combs to undertake the flea control on your pet – dog or cat. Next, you’ll dip your suitable in dish soap water before combing the cat.

This process will remove the fleas from the pets’ fur and deposit them in the detergent basin. The fleas will thus sink in the detergent water and drown.

Brush the Cat – Further, the dawn detergent water will break the flea’s waxy layer and cause the bug’s suffocation and death.

Brush your cat with the detergent water until you can see no more fleas coming out of your pet and dropping in the water basin.

Step 5: Rinse Dawn Soap (after 5 minutes) from the Pet’s Fur

After 5 minutes of brushing and combing your pet’s fur, you will observe some fleas that will be noticeably dead. Let the dawn soap work its magic for roughly 5 minutes before starting the rinsing process.

You can now rinse the soap from the pet’s coats, which will also remove the dead and drowning fleas. Use your handheld showerhead or a bowl of water to Irish off the soap.

Start rinsing from the pet’s upper body and finish around the tail. Repeated rinsing (combined with a flea comb) will ensure that other remaining soap and fleas are cleaned from the pet’s fur.

  • If needed, increase the amount of water applied or sprayed on a specific area to rinse all the dawn soap thoroughly.
  • Take care while rinsing around the pet’s eyes – but if there is eye-soap contact, rinse using cool water plus dry with some clean towel.

Step 6: Empty the Basin and Dry off the Pet

Now, drain the dawn-water basin if you don’t notice any live fleas crawling on your pet’s fur.

Next, gently dry off the pet’s fur using a clean towel until it is thoroughly dry. The towel is safer for your pets, but you may alternative a hairdryer in a low-heat setting.

Run the flea comb through the fur (once fully dried) to be sure that there are no fleas that were missed in the bathing process. See Also: Can you salt to kill fleas? 

Step 7: Repeat the Dawn Bathing Until no Fleas Appear.

If you notice more flea on the pet, repeat the dawn-bathing process. This is because some fleas may have escaped from the first washing and thus were not exposed to the dawn soap.

Further, check the pet’s face and head – as this is the most probable area where the fleas will move. While cleaning the head area, use some additional dawn in the water as you do the second washing.

  • You may require to undertake 1 to 2 additional dawn-washing rounds for pets with a massive flea infestation.
  • Skip a few days before repeating the bathing process – if you notice more fleas. Get some flea collar and flea medication onto your pet to finish off the bugs.

Finally, to fully exterminate the fleas from the pets and your house, conduct some thorough vacuuming of the upholstery and flooring at a minimum once daily – this will remove both adult fleas and flea eggs.

Part 2 – Spraying Water-Fearing Pets like Cats & Rabbits

Step 1: Fill lukewarm Water 21 °C (70 °F) into the Spray bottle

Put some lukewarm Water at 21 °C (70 °F) into your chosen spray bottle. The warm water prevents the pet from any scalding or shock by water.

But you won’t require a thermometer; let the water warm to around room temperature – allowing comfortable pet dawn-spraying.

  • I recommend the spraying method for the animals that fear water-bathing such as rabbits and cats.
  • But you can also use a flea comb as an alternative to the spray bottle. Just dip the flea comb into the dawn-water mixture and pass it through the pet’s fur – but it’ll be less effective than spraying.

Step 2: Spray-to-Wet the Pet’s Fur (while Holding it Down)

Hold down the cat gently (you can use a towel) and spray on its fur until it is completely wet and soaked. Check to be gentle enough when holding down the pet, contrary to which, you’ll cause it additional stress.

Like with dogs, don’t let the dawn water get into their ears or eyes – this will irritate them.

For cats and rabbits that hate water bathing, put dish soap (1 oz.) in the garden sprayer and fill it up with water – spray thoroughly on the pets, the yard, leaf piles, and pet bedding.

Step 3: Thoroughly Rub Dawn soap into the Pet’s Fur

Then rub your dish soap mixture into the cat’s or rabbit’s fur to get an extensive lather. Begin by using roughly 14 – 19 mL (3 – 4 teaspoons) of the dish soap – but add the quantity whenever required.

The application of your dawn soap around the pet’s neck and move the process towards its tail. Ensure the soap mixture gets deep into the pet’s fur’s root and hits the pet’s skin.

  • Fleas will lay their eggs and live around the pet’s skin, and thus it’ll help to get the dawn soap deep enough to the skin of your cat or rabbit and hence kill most of these fleas.
  • Therefore, for pets with thicker fur, you’ll require to increase the amount of dawn soap you use with the spray bottle – this guarantees that the soap mixture will get to the pet’s skin.

Step 4: Allow 5 minutes Before Spraying Water to Wash Soap

Allow the dawn soap to kill the fleas for 5 minutes before getting back with your bottle (but now with water) to rinse the pet off the soap. Start rinsing from the pet’s top body and continue toward its tail.

You can improve the flea-control outcomes by using some flea comb (while rinsing off the soap) to remove ant remaining fleas on your pet. Use more water on areas on the pet’s fur and body that have excess lather or soap.

Step 5: Finally, Rinse the Pet With a Clean Towel

Finally, it is now time to drop the pet into some clean towel and gently rinse the water from its fur and body.

Take caution (to prevent injury or scratching) as the pet – mainly the cat – might be tense from the spraying process, and hence it might run away.

Can I Give My Dog A Flea Bath 2 Days in A Row?


  • Frequent use of dawn dish soap (2 days in a row) will dry the pet’s fur + skin – causing skin irritation expressly for dogs having bacterial infections. Also, avoid bathing your dog with dawn within 24 hours after using any topical flea treatment. 
  • But Is dawn dish soap safe for dogs? Well, Yes, dawn dish soap has a pH 7 (neutral) – which is safe to use on your dog and cat’s skin – this will also be safe for human skin. 

However, don’t use dawn baths regularly as it’ll dry the dog’s or cat’s fur and skin, leading to skin irritation and infections (like bacterial infections). 

To clear a massive flea infestation in your house and very fast, use one of the foggers for fleas. The total release foggers release some pesticide-laden fog when you press the trigger on the aerosol can.

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