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The Best Dog Lice Shampoo: Complete Guide + 5 Products Reviews

Veterinarians.org Team

By

Medically reviewed by

Ivana Crnec, DVM

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Best Dog Lice Shampoos Summary

Are Dog Lice Shampoos Safe?

Are Dog Lice Shampoos Safe

Yes, the dog lice shampoo is safe when used responsibly and following the instructions on the package. However, it is crucial to consult a vet before you start any course of treatment.

Most lice shampoos are also efficient against other pests such as dog fleas, ticks, or even mites. In addition to being insecticidal, the dog lice shampoo often has cleansing, moisturizing, deodorizing, and conditioning features. It can also help counter dandruff, itchy skin, and hair loss.

How do Anti-Lice Shampoos Work for Dogs?

The dog lice shampoo contains insecticides that provide species-specific pest control. Most lice shampoos contain pyrethrins or organophosphates that help eliminate lice.

Lice complete their life cycle right on your dog’s body. A female louse lays eggs called nits within your dog’s coat. Once hatched, these eggs give birth to nymphs that look similar to adult lice. The nymphs turn into adults and repeat the process once again. The entire journey from egg to adult takes around 2-4 weeks.

There are two types of lice – chewing and sucking lice. Chewing lice feed on dead skin cells, dander, and hair. Sucking lice feed on blood. The notorious head lice are more than a nuisance – in fact, lice can be dangerous as they often carry tapeworms.

The Best Dog Lice Shampoos Reviewed

There are dozens of dog lice shampoo products on Amazon and Chewy. To help owners save hours of online research, we have selected and reviewed the best lice shampoos for dogs.

Veterinary Formula Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs and Cats

Veterinary Formula Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs

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Summary: This shampoo contains active ingredients that help to eliminate stubborn pests like lice, fleas, and ticks on contact. It contains pyrethrum, which is a natural insecticide derived from flowers. The shampoo is pH-balanced, free from sulfates and parabens, and safe for dogs, cats, and ferrets over 12 weeks of age.

Shampoo Uses: Lice, flea, and tick infestations

Key Ingredients: Pyrethrins, piperonyl butoxide, N-octyl bicycloheptene

Scent: Unscented 

Pros

  • Controls lice, fleas, and ticks
  • Soothing and hydrating formula
  • pH balanced and fast-acting
  • Available at an affordable price
  • Vet-recommended and made in the USA

Cons

Review: This shampoo works right from the first wash and helps soothe the dog’s skin, and reduces dandruff, flaking, hot spots, and itchy skin. Pet owners are pleased with its efficacy and price.

Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Advanced Strength Dog Shampoo

Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Advanced Strength Dog Shampoo

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Summary: This specially formulated shampoo has the ability to destroy external pests (lice, ticks, fleas, flea eggs, and flea larvae) when it comes in contact with them. It works great for dogs and puppies that are older than 12 weeks of age. It also provides relief from dry skin and itchiness.

Shampoo Uses: Pest infestations and dry skin relief

Key Ingredients: Peppermint, thyme, and rosemary essential oils

Scent: Rosemary & peppermint

Pros

  • Kills lice, ticks, and fleas on contact
  • With 100% safe essential oils
  • No artificial colors and fragrances
  • Vet-formulated and pH balanced
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • The fragrance might not suit all dogs

Review: This shampoo contains natural oils like rosemary and peppermint that help repel pests from your dog’s skin. Dog owners say the shampoo works wonders. However, some complained about the scent being too strong.

SENTRY Oatmeal Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs

SENTRY Oatmeal Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs

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Summary: This oatmeal-based shampoo features two insecticide ingredients that are excellent for managing flea, tick, and lice infestations on skin-sensitive dogs. The shampoo is soothing on the dog’s skin and comes in a 63.5 fl oz bottle, thus being an affordable option.

Shampoo Uses: Pest control and skin soothing

Key Ingredients: Permethrin, piperonyl butoxide, oatmeal

Scent: Hawaiian ginger scent

Pros

  • Made with natural ingredients
  • Kills pests for up to 10 days
  • Rich and conditioning, oatmeal formula
  • Comes in a convenient pump bottle
  • Available at a budget-friendly price

Cons

  • Cannot be used for puppies younger than 12 weeks

Review: This shampoo is a favorite among pet parents. They love its fast action and easy lathering. They are also happy with the affordable bottle size.

Advantage Flea and Tick Treatment Shampoo for Dogs and Puppies

Advantage Flea and Tick Treatment Shampoo for Dogs and Puppies

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Summary: Made by Bayer – a world-recognized pet brand, this shampoo works great for puppies older than 12 weeks of age. With three active ingredients, the shampoo kills pests on contact and does not have any fragrance. This reduces the chance of an allergic reaction, and it can soothe skin irritation caused by flea bites. The shampoo is easy to use and available in three bottle sizes.

Shampoo Uses: Pest infestations

Key Ingredients: Pyrethrins, piperonyl butoxide, N-octyl bicycloheptene

Scent: Fragrance-free

Pros

  • With three active ingredients
  • Kills fleas, ticks, and lice on contact
  • A skin-soothing formula that lathers easily
  • Reduces irritation caused by lice and flea bites
  • Comes in three different bottle sizes

Cons

  • Does not have a fragrance

Review: This puppy shampoo is very efficient but gentle on the dog’s skin. Customers trust the reputable brand and would recommend the shampoo to other pet parents.

Richard’s Organics Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs

Richard’s Organics Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs

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Summary: This dog shampoo is made with 100% natural ingredients that kill and repel pests. The shampoo also helps soothe the dog’s skin. Plus, it is pH-balanced, safe, efficient, and affordable. It is made in the USA by a reputable brand.

Shampoo Uses: Pest control

Key Ingredients: Peppermint oil, eugenol oil, clove oil, cedar oil, cinnamon oil, rosemary oil

Scent: Essential oils

Pros

  • Features five natural essential oils
  • Kills fleas, ticks, and lice and repels mosquitoes
  • Free of parabens, sulfates, and soaps
  • Makes excellent lather and smells great
  • Recommended by vets and groomers

Cons

  • The essential oil scent can be strong

Review: Customers are happy with the fast-acting formula of this pet shampoo. They say it works from the first wash and would recommend the product.

What is the Best Dog Lice Shampoo?

Veterinary Formula Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs and Cats is the best dog lice shampoo. This is because it provides an all-rounded cleaning performance in comparison to other similar products. In addition to clearing out lice, it also soothes, nourishes, rehydrates, and deep-cleans your dog’s skin.

When looking for the right shampoo for managing lice infestations, there are several factors dog owners must consider. Here are the things to look for in a lice shampoo:

  • Active Ingredients. The dog lice shampoo must feature strong yet pet-safe active ingredients with insecticidal features. Depending on the active ingredients, the shampoo can be efficient against other parasites and repel pests for a certain timeframe.
  • Skin-Soothing Properties. Ideally, in addition to the active ingredients, the shampoo will be enriched with skin-soothing and nourishing ingredients like aloe, coconut oil, shea butter, tea tree, etc. These ingredients moisturize, condition, and deodorize.
  • No Harsh Chemicals. The dog lice shampoo must be non-toxic and free from ingredients that are potentially hazardous (more information below).
  • Brand. Finally, check the shampoo brand – a reliable brand should be USA-based, and open about its ingredients and manufacturing practices. Ideally, the brand will feature reviews from previous customers on its official website.
Best Seller
Veterinary Formula Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs
10/10Our Score
  • Give your pet relief from symptoms including droppings/flea dirt in dog’s coat, allergic dermatitis, excessive scratching, licking or biting at skin, hair loss, tapeworms and pale gums.
  •  Veterinary Formula Clinical Care premium medicated products are created with veterinary-grade ingredients, available at an affordable price. 
  • With up to 3x more active ingredients, this flea and tick shampoo is formulated with pyrethrum – a natural insecticide – to kill and control fleas and ticks on-contact, soothe irritated skin while cleansing & exfoliating.

What Ingredients Should Not be in a Dog Lice Shampoo?

The dog lice shampoo should be free from harsh chemicals and artificial ingredients. Let’s take a close look at the ingredients that should not be in a dog lice shampoo:

  • Artificial Colors. Artificial dyes are extracted from petroleum and linked with different health issues like allergies, organ failure, birth defects, and certain types of cancer.
  • Artificial Fragrances. Artificial fragrances are synthesized from different ingredients and can cause reproductive issues, developmental toxicity, and cancer.
  • Sulfates. Sulfates help create lather and work as cleaning agents. However, they are harsh and can worsen the dog’s skin symptoms or cause severe dermatitis.
  • Parabens. Parabens are preservatives used to extend the longevity of the shampoo. The issue is they get absorbed and accumulate in the dog’s body, causing hormonal disorders.
  • Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is another preservative. It can trigger the dog’s immune system causing skin itchiness, burning, blistering, and scaling.
  • Phthalates. Phthalates usually hide under the term fragrances and are added to improve the shampoo’s scent. Phthalates are associated with hormonal disorders.

How Often Should You Bathe a Dog With Anti-lice Shampoo?

How Often Should You Bathe a Dog With Anti-lice Shampoo

It is recommended to bathe your dog once every 2 to 4 weeks with the lice pet shampoo. However, it is best to consult a vet before you move ahead with the lice treatment.

In addition to shampoos, you must consult with the vet about repellants – adequate tick and flea treatments (topicals, chews, collars). Lice, flea, and tick prevention are necessary year-round.

How Fast Does a Dog Lice Shampoo Work?

A dog shampoo meant for lice usually works right from the first wash. The right shampoo will kill lice and lice eggs hidden in your dog’s coat.

However, it provides only temporary relief, especially if there are lice eggs in the environment. In the best-case scenario, you should pair the shampoo with a lice and flea comb for more effective cleaning action.

It should be noted that during lice treatment, it is crucial to clean your dog’s leashes, kennel, toys, and any other objects that could hide these pests.

How Long does Dog Lice Shampoo Last?

Depending on the use, a dog lice shampoo can be expected to last around 4-6 weeks. However, it is best to consult a vet to figure out a treatment place to counter lice and other pests before they complete their life cycle.