I apply a flea / tick / mosquito preventative (SimpleGuard) to the back of my dog on the first of every month. I have to assume bathing my dog will affect the effectiveness of any applied preventative. I have also been informed that applying preventative should not be done soon after a bath.

This leads me to 2 related scheduling questions:

  1. How soon after application can I bathe the dog without reducing the effectiveness of the preventative?
  2. How long after a bath should I wait before applying the preventative?
  • 3
    It absorbs through the skin, so it takes a couple of days after application. I have heard it is better to have some natural oils on the skin prior to application, so better not to apply straight after a bath
    – user6796
    Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 6:12
  • hmm I had no idea you were supposed to wait a few days after bathing... we always just give them a bath then use the treatment.
    – user9
    Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 16:54
  • The waiting did refer to the oils, but I was also looking for justification.
    – JoshDM
    Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 16:55
  • 1
    This is about a different product, so I don't feel it's answer worthy without more research, but I found this: "If FRONTLINE Plus is to be applied after a bath, make sure your pet is completely dry before application."
    – Coronus
    Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 19:31

2 Answers 2


As instructed from the Simple Guard 3 web page, the product can be applied as soon as the dog has dried after a bath. You do not need to wait 48 hours before or after to apply the product.

Q: Can I bathe my dog before or after I apply SimpleGuard 3?

A: Yes, your pet just needs to be completely dry before applying SimpleGuard 3 and the product needs to dry completely before bathing. You do not need to wait 48 hours before or after application. The shampoo you choose is very important, too. Do not use detergent dish soap or detergent shampoos; this will remove the SimpleGuard 3 from your pet’s skin and hair, resulting in loss of protection for your pet. Remember, if your pet is receiving therapeutic shampoos and rinses from your veterinarian for other skin diseases, they may affect the duration of action of SimpleGuard.

I think this is very brand-specific. According to the packing on the REVOLUTION product, as well as their website, you should wait 2 hours after a bath to apply the product.

REVOLUTION is quick-drying, nongreasy and waterfast, with no unpleasant odor, so you can cuddle and play with your dog as soon as the product dries. Bathing your dog 2 hours after application does not reduce the effectiveness of REVOLUTION.

I have used other products in the past that had a 3-day wait period on either side of a bath before it could be applied. It's best to read the labeling specific to your product; if that still leaves you with question, contact your vet.


My vet and some breeders too have said:

... that it is best to wait two days (or longer) after a bath before applying the Simple Guard 3 and to wait a minimum of two days after applying the med before bathing.

The reasons... a slightly dirty coat has oils in it that results in better absorption so a "squeaky clean" dog doesn't get the full benefit...wait two days or so.

After meds are applied it takes a couple of days to get the full absorption. So again...wait 2 or more days before you bath your pooch.

This is generally true for most similar products.

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