Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. It is generally recommended to not bath or allow your dog to swim for 24-48 hours before or after applying a topical flea and tick preventative such as Frontline or Advantix.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

We generally recommend for most topical products is that you wait 24 to 48 hours before bathing your pet.
After your cat is completely dry, squeeze the spot-on treatment onto your cat`s skin between his shoulder blades. If you use the treatment before giving your kitty a bath, wait at least 24 hours before sudsing up your cat. This treatment kills fleas, flea eggs and larvae and prevents a flea reinfestation for 30 days.
The Wait Appropriate Time Method

For most topical flea treatments, including spot treatments, baths, powders, sprays and dips, wait at least 48 hours before regular bathing to allow the treatment to start working and absorb into skin.

Wait 24 hours before bathing your pet. After applying your pet`s topical flea medication, wait at least 24 hours before bathing your pet. This window of time allows the medication to work its way through your pet`s skin. Bathing your pet too soon could reduce the effectiveness of the flea preventative.
Apply to a completely dry animal and do not bathe for 48 hours after application. Advantage is water-resistant when combined with a soap-free shampoo.
Spot-on flea and tick products may take up to 24 hours to dry. It is very important to separate dogs from cats in the household for 24 hours after applying permethrin-based spot-on medicine to dogs. If you apply a cat-safe flea and tick spot-on product to your cat, be sure to do it at the nape of the neck.
Can I bathe my cat after applying Advantage® II? Yes. Advantage® II is waterproof after 24 hours. However, we suggest bathing your cat before applying Advantage® II.
In order for your pet`s spot-on flea treatment to take effect, you need to wait before bathing your pet or allowing them to submerge themselves in water. The treatment should be fully absorbed within 48 hours, after which time it`s perfectly fine for you to bathe your pet without affecting the treatment.
There`s no right or wrong time of day to treat your pet. But, you shouldn`t wash or bathe your dog for at least 48 hours before or after applying. Doing so strips away the natural oils on your pet`s skin and decreases the effectiveness of the product. So, avoid contact with treated areas until dry.
Most flea and tick products for puppies are not safe to use until they`ve reached at least seven or eight weeks of age (see chart below). Your veterinarian will be able to recommend a flea and tick preventative for puppies to safely use, and advise you on when it`s safe to begin administering it to your puppy.
You can handle, stroke and cuddle your pet as usual as soon as the application site is dry. In the meantime, treated animals should not be handled and children should not be allowed to play or sleep with them.
Topical preventions have been shown to clear fleas on cats within 12-48 hours, and oral preventions often work within the first 2-4 hours. Never use a flea or tick medication labeled for dogs. They are not interchangeable, and a product made for dogs can make cats extremely sick, and in rare cases it may be fatal.
Incorrectly applying topical flea prevention is the most common cause for why it`s not working. Topical medication should be applied directly to the skin, not to your pet`s fur. You must part their hair so you can apply it to the skin.
However, we suggest bathing your cat before applying Advantage® II. Just make sure your cat is thoroughly towel-dried before application. If you choose to bathe your cat in between treatments, we recommend use of a general grooming shampoo for pets.
If you are concerned about fleas and ticks then Frontline Plus for Dogs is the product, but if you are looking for protection against only fleas Advantage would work best. It all depends on the situation. So, do what suits your furry pal.
Most dogs do not have any adverse reactions to having a flea treatment and they can resume normal daily activities immediately following the treatment. They cannot play in water nor have a bath for at least a week after topical flea treatments are given.
Fleas generally cannot live in human hair. While most species prefer to live on the furs of animals, they can use humans as temporary vectors. In such cases, fleas can infest and bite humans. You may get infected if there is a serious case of flea infestation in your environment.
How long before and after bathing my pet should I apply FRONTLINE PLUS or FRONTLINE SPRAY? Ensure your pet is totally dry before applying FRONTLINE PLUS or FRONTLINE SPRAY products. Do not bath or shampoo your dog for at least 48 hours after application of FRONTLINE PLUS or FRONTLINE SPRAY.
Clean, clean, clean

This is why, if your pets have fleas you must treat and clean your house as well. Collect all bedding, throws, rugs and clothing and wash them in soapy water – washing liquid will do. The soapy water is known to kill the eggs, larvae, pupae and adults. Vacuum everything.

The most common way for fleas to enter your household is on the family dog or another pet that comes inside from being outdoors. Cats can also get fleas from neighbor pets and local wildlife, such as birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, racoons, possums, squirrels, and skunks.
One of the first solutions to get rid of fleas is to bathe your pet. Just lukewarm water, or water and a mild soap, can help get fleas off your pet`s fur and skin. The dish soap can help to drown adult fleas.
95% are in the environment as flea eggs, larvae and pupae.

Seeing fleas after treatment isn`t really about how long it takes for flea treatment to work or for fleas to die. It`s about the number of life stages in the pet`s environment that develop into new fleas and jump on a pet.

No, fleas don`t jump off after treatment. Instead, they rise to the top of your pet, die, and fall off the skin. However, you may feel that the treatment is not working because new fleas will keep appearing on your dog`s fur.
You may need to give your dog a flea bath as often as every one to two weeks, as the effective ingredients won`t last as long as a topical or oral medication.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My cat is excessively scrstching herself., to the point she has sores. She is strictly an indoor cat. Did have flees been treated for 2 months
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Skin problems can have a variety of causes, sometimes more than one. It is important to have the problem checked by your vet to determine if there is a medical cause for your pet’s skin issues and treat accordingly.

In pets of all ages, fleas, food allergies and exposure to chemical irritants such as cleaners and soaps can be a cause. Any one of these may not be enough to trigger the breakouts, depending on how sensitive your pet is, but a combination can be enough to start the itch-scratch cycle. Finding out the cause and eliminating it is the best course of action. With flea allergies, if your pet is sensitive enough, a single bite can cause them to break out scratch enough to tear their skin.

Check for fleas with a flea comb. Look for fleas and/or tiny black granules, like coarse black pepper. This is flea feces, consisting of digested, dried blood. You may find tiny white particles, like salt, which are the flea eggs. Applying a good topical monthly flea treatment and aggressively treating your house and yard will help break the flea life cycle.

If you use plastic bowls, this is a possible cause for hair loss, though this tends to be on the chin, where their skin touches the bowl while they eat. If you suspect this to be the culprit, try changing the bowls to glass, metal or ceramic.

Food allergies are often caused by sensitivity to a protein in the food. Hill’s Science Diet offers some non-prescription options for sensitive skin as well as prescription hypoallergenic foods for more severe cases. Royal Canin carries limited protein diets that may also offer some relief. Your vet can recommend a specific diet that will help.

If there is no relief or not enough, consider getting your pet checked by a veterinary dermatologist and having allergy testing done.

Q. Which flea and tick drops are the best and why?
ANSWER : A. Your question is a good one, and unfortunately the answers are going to differ based on who you ask. Many vets are seeing resistance to Frontline, which has been the go-to product for many of us for many years. It contains the active ingredient Fipronil, which is very safe and typically extremely effective. I use it on my dogs and never see fleas or ticks. However other vets will tell you in their areas, for whatever reason, they are seeing fleas and ticks on dogs and cats on which this product was used.

Another reason opinions differ is that some people like to give an oral product, and some like to put a topical product directly on the skin. That’s a matter of personal preference mostly. Bravecto, as mentioned below, is one of those products. Most people find it safe and effective. It uses a different process that Frontline to kill fleas and ticks.

In general the products you buy over-the-counter are likely going to be less expensive and less effective than what you get from a vet. I think the reason is that the more expensive products contain newer insecticides, and likely less resistance to these products has built up in the flea and tick population but also they are maybe less “proven”, so it’s important for a vet to be involved in the use of the product in order to ensure that there won’t be a negative reaction to using it.

If I lived in an area where there was Lyme disease (in the US that’s the northeast and upper midwest) I’d most definitely add a tick collar to my standard oral or topical flea and tick prevention. AND I’d search both of my dogs everyday for ticks. It’s because nothing you buy will be 100% effective, and Lyme disease can be a very serious problem.

If you want to talk further and talk more specifically about where you live and what products you’re considering, I’d be happy to do a consult with you. Nobody here is paid to recommend products, but we do develop preferences based on what we use on our own pets and in our practices.

Q. My dog has fleas and ticks. I’ve kept her area clean and bathed her. If I took her to the grooming salon, would they be able to help her issue?
ANSWER : A. To be honest with you, the groomer will do just about the same thing you have done for her at home, which is bathe your pet to rid all the fleas and flea eggs off of her that are currently on her.
However, the problem comes with re-infestation. Everytime your pet goes outside to potty and comes back inside, she has a potential to carry fleas in with her, even if she is only out there for a few minutes a day. In fact 40% of indoor pets has fleas, so we know that they can be extremely opportunistic.
The best and only way to protect your pet from fleas and ticks is by using a flea/tick preventative. Here are my top picks!:
1) Nexgard
2) Seresto collar
3) Advantix topical

These products are going to get the job done. Also you have to treat your home with a flea fogger (can be purchased at Home depot or Lowes) and wash all your pets bedding to help rid the flea eggs in the environment. This is key to overall flea ridding and flea control.

Q. Need help, we have done flea bath ,sprayed the house and used charts ultra guard pro and still have fleas .how can we get rid of them
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Q. Our cat developed a flea allergy in the form of red sores above the eyes Our vet gave him an antibiotic shot and a flea collar but they remain.
ANSWER : A. I’m so sorry to hear! Flea allergies are tough to deal with! Unfortunately when a pet has an allergy to fleas, the problem lies in the flea bite. The actual allergy lies in the flea saliva, so what we really need to prevent is the flea biting our pet! I would recommend a product that can kill the flea before they even have a chance to bite your pet! A couple of really great products on the market right now are Frontline Plus and Revolution. Both are liquid topical products that you place on the skin of your pet once a month. They work by using the skins oils to spread themselves around the body and rest in the hair follicles. Each has a slightly different mechanism of use, but they both work to kill the flea before it actually has a chance to do harm to your cat. Flea collars simply are not as effective. I would also recommend treating your home environment, such as the area where the cat sleeps and the carpets inside your home. Flea eggs and larva can live for a very long time in these environments and unless we treat all of these areas, the problem will remain. I hope this was helpful! Good luck and I hope your kitty feels better!

Q. Do natural flea control products work?
ANSWER : A. Although many natural flea control products don’t have to go through EPA-mandated tests, because they aren’t classified as pesticides, this doesn’t mean they don’t work.

There are several natural flea control products that are safe for your home and your pets: repellants, sprays, squeeze-ons, shampoos, flea tags and powder. Also garlic and B-vitamins seem to make blood less attractive to fleas, so many guardians supplement with garlic and brewers yeast during flea season. However, sensitive animals can develop an allergy to brewer’s yeast, so I suggest you monitor your pet to guard against worsening itchiness.

Many people use the natural approach to flea control effectively and, although it is not always as easy as using chemicals, it’s generally safer for your pet and your family. Regarding chemicals, the US Environmental Protection Agency recently completed an in-depth investigation due to the hundreds of reports of illness and death in pets and serious adverse effects were reported for every product EPA assessed. EPA is in the process of increasing restrictions on their use. You can read more information about this report here: http://www2.epa.gov/pets/epa-evaluation-pet-spot-products-analysis-and-plans-reducing-harmful-effects

Besides, most chemicals, including bombs and sprays, kill only adult fleas or adults and larvae. That leaves thousands of tough little eggs and cocoons just waiting for the proper conditions, when they’ll renew their assault once more.

That said, you must keep in mind that a product labeled as “natural” or “organic” could still be not suitable, or even harmful, for your pet. Therefore, I recommend consulting with your veterinarian or trying to find a holistic veterinarian who can offer you guidance about natural flea control products.

Q. Frontline is not working on my dog, what should I use?
ANSWER : A. Frontline works best if it is given either three days before or three days after bathing your pet as it is absorbed through the skin. Frontline works on pets, but you will need to continually give treatment for up to three months before the environment and your pet are fully flea-free. Your pet can continue to get fleas from the environment as the eggs hatch and attempt to jump on your pet. Making sure to clean the area your pet is in, such as washing bedding and vacuuming carpeting (especially areas with cracks such as along the wall) can also accelerate flea removal. If your pet still has fleas and you want immediate relief, your vet can provide you with an oral medication such as capstar to kill fleas depending on when the last Frontline dose was given.

Pets can continue to itch for a while even after the fleas themselves are treated. Flea bites can cause an allergy, called flea allergy dermatitis, which can cause itching, scratching and redness on the skin. While many owners think this means fleas are still there, it could just be the skin healing from bites. An allergy medication and preventing your pet from scratching can provide relief during the healing process.

Read Full Q/A … : FAQ

Q. How do I FINALLY rid all 4 of my cats of tapeworms after 2 years of dealing with it? Fleas seem to be controlled. I know they are the vector.
ANSWER : A. If your cats keep getting tapeworms, then they are picking up fleas from somewhere. Fleas will hitch a ride on your pant leg from outside.

Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

You can also use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the life cycle.