The last thing you want is for your Shih Tzu to have fleas, so like a good pet parent you provide them with flea medication. One of the most popular is Frontline Plus. It works well but there are a few things you need to know about it before using it and one of the most important is how long after applying Frontline can you bathe your Shih Tzu?
How Long After Applying Frontline Can I Bathe My Shih Tzu?
Whether you are using Frontline Plus or some other topical flea medicine you need to wait at least 48 hours before you give your Shih Tzu a bath.
It can take a bit of time for the medication to get trapped in your dog’s sebaceous glands which are in their coat.
This is what you want to happen.
Honestly, it makes more sense to give them a bath first and then apply Frontline.
If you do, you will want to use a shampoo that is soap-free.
This will keep the shampoo from stripping out the natural oils that are in your Shih Tzu’s coat.
Make sure that you let your Shih Tzu’s hair dry completely before applying Frontline.
If you are worried that the shampoo you have used to bath your dog has removed too much of their natural oils, you can always wait a couple of days after the bath to apply the medication.
This will give your dog’s coat time to release more of their natural oils that the flea and tick medicine needs to work properly.
Otherwise, it will just stay on the back of the neck where you applied it and pool there instead of being absorbed by the oil.
What Happens If Your Shih Tzu Gets Wet?
A few raindrops or a splash in a puddle won’t have an effect on the Frontline and won’t wash it off.
Your Shih Tzu would need to get completely soaked for there to be an issue.
And it is important to keep in mind, it is only the first 2 days after application that this is a real issue.
After those first two days, you can let your Shih Tzu walk in the rain, go swimming, or even give them a bath.
The Frontline will still work if you do so, but it can become less effective as the month wears on.
So, 48 hours is the golden rule.
Getting wet before the 48 hours will wash off the medicine.
Getting wet after 48 hours won’t wash off the medicine.
How Long Does Frontline for Dogs Take to Work?
It can take up to 24 hours before the medication will start killing adult fleas and flea eggs.
You should start to see your dog scratch less after a day.
Frontline should kill fleas for up to a month.
However, during tick season, which is from May through August, it is suggested that you reapply the medication every 3 weeks instead of every 4 weeks.
Can You Use Frontline on Puppies?
You can, but the type of Frontline you use will determine when you can start to use it on your Shih Tzu puppy.
If you are using Frontline Plus, then once your puppy is 8 weeks old, you can begin treating them with the medication.
If, on the other hand, you are using Frontline Spray, then you can start treating a puppy at 2 days old.
How Can You Tell If Your Pet Has Fleas?
There are a couple of ways to determine if your Shih Tzu has fleas beyond them scratching all the time.
Part their hair and look closely at their skin.
If you see a small reddish-brown spot moving along their skin, that’s a flea.
Fleas don’t like the light, so it will move away from where you parted the hair to someplace darker.
If you look on your Shih Tzu’s belly it might be easier to see the fleas because there is less hair.
Another way is to look for flea dirt.
If you pet your dog and little flecks of black stuff come out, this is flea dirt.
I know that with my Shih Tzu, Sammy that’s the only way you can tell if she has fleas.
She has dark, black hair, so it is practically impossible to see the fleas themselves.
She also doesn’t have a flea allergy, so she doesn’t scratch when she has fleas.
But the one time I had a real issue with fleas, she did have this black dander.
That was a clear sign she was suffering from fleas.
The best way to keep this from happening is to not let them get fleas in the first place by using Frontline or some other flea medication year-round.
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What to Do If Your Dog Has Fleas?
If you realize your dog does have fleas, then you will need to start them on medication right away.
Start by giving them a bath with flea shampoo and then wait until the next day to start the medication.
Using a flea comb before the bath can help as well.
In the meantime, you will need to wash all of your dog’s bedding and use a flea spray on your carpets, around the baseboards, and anywhere else your dogs may go.
You should also wash your bedding if you let your Shih Tzu on the bed with you.
Furniture will need to be sprayed as well.
Once your dog has fleas and they are in your house, they can be very difficult to get rid of.
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To Sum it All Up:
Fleas are the worst. They can infest your poor Shih Tzu and your home in a blink of an eye. Using a product like Frontline can help keep that from happening. Just be sure to remember the 48-hour rule. If you bathe your dog first, wait 48 hours to apply the medication, and if you put the medication on first, wait 48 hours to give your Shih Tzu a bath.
This article is informational only and does not substitute for veterinary advice. Always check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your Shih Tzu. This article should not be considered in any way as veterinarian advice.