Review of Hartz UltraGuard Rid Flea and Tick Shampoo

The Hartz Mountain company was founded by Max Stern in America in the 1920s. Starting with canaries, the company’s products expanded to cater to a variety of animals including aquatic animals, cats, parakeets, pigs and dogs, among many others. The company has grown into a very respectable provider of a variety of pet care products, with their 1960s flea and tick collar still being the best selling product of its kind till today. Presently, the company sells over 1,500 products and continues to develop innovative and affordable solutions for the well-being of pets around the world.

Key Specifications of UltraGuard Rid Flea and Tick Shampoo

Key features of the shampoo are given below:

  • Shampoo to be used only on dogs older than 6 months.
  • Ingredients include:
  • Active ingredient 0.27% Phenothrin; 99.73% being other ingredients: A lot of controversies surround the use of Phenothrin in dog shampoos. Pyrethrins are insecticides derived from Chrysanthemums. Note that even though they are a product of a natural plant, they are still toxins which can be toxic to humans and animal life in high doses. However, at low dosage, it is only harmful to insects. Pyrethroids are synthetic forms of Pyrethrins and are much more toxic, while Phenothrin is another synthetic chemical derived from Pyrethroids. Now these chemicals are added in small amounts to combat fleas and ticks, some of which may even carry diseases. However, Pyrethroids have been known to cause various side effects in animals. The chemical is extremely toxic to fish and has been known to cause the deaths of many cats. However, no such reports have been made about dogs (that are older than six months and on whom the shampoo has been used strictly according to the instructions given). When the instructions are not followed, the shampoo can Hartz UltraGuard Rid Flea &Tick Shampoo with Oatmealbecome toxic to dogs. It is advised that the owner consult a veterinarian before using such a shampoo.
  • Oatmeal: Presumably, the only natural ingredient in the shampoo. Even with proper use of the shampoo, Phenothrin may lead to a dry and itchy skin, which is where Oatmeal comes in. Oatmeal is a very well-known ingredient that moisturizes dry, itchy and allergic skin, which may be a result of the chemical or from flea bites. It is used to balance out this particular side effect of Phenothrin. In addition to this, oatmeal also prevents bacterial and fungal infection (including yeast infection).
  • Directions given on the label should and must be strictly followed for the safety of your dog and yourself.
  • Vanilla fragrance
  • Cleans your dog and kills fleas (including the eggs) and ticks, including the Deer tick which is known to carry Lyme disease.

Available sizes: 18 fl. oz. 

Customer Reviews of UltraGuard Rid Flea and Tick Shampoo

After analyzing several reviews of this product and customer feedback on various e-commerce websites, blogs and forums, we have come to the conclusion that opinions on this product have been mixed. While a large amount of customers would readily recommend this shampoo, a noticeable (though not equal) number of owners were not happy with it. Here are what customers liked and disliked about the product:

What Customers liked about the Product

  • Customers noted that the shampoo effectively eliminated the fleas and ticks that had infested their dogs. Many mentioned that the fleas fell right off during the very first wash. Coupled with other required steps to combat and prevent flea infestations, their dogs were ultimately free of any and all insects and the accompanying itchy skin.
  • A good number of users of the product praised its gentleness on their dogs’ skin. They were happy that the shampoo worked well with sensitive skin (perhaps due to the oatmeal).
  • Not only did customers praise the product’s effectiveness, they were also happy with the added bonus of a soft and lustrous coat.
  • The rich vanilla fragrance (which was not overbearing) appealed to most users of the shampoo.

What Customers didn’t like about the Product

  • Quite a few numbers of customers complained about the ineffectivenesRead detailed customer reviews on Amazon>s of the shampoo. They said that even though they followed the instructions given, the shampoo did nothing to remove all the fleas from their dog’s coat.
  • Some customers found the product too runny or watery which led them to use too much shampoo on their dogs.
  • There were a few customers who complained that the shampoo dried and irritated their dogs’ skin, making them scratch and lick themselves, even after following the instructions and rinsing off the shampoo. A much lower number of customers wrote that their dogs grew sick or suffered from seizures after using the shampoo.

Read detailed customer reviews on Amazon>

Our Recommendation

This shampoo is not toxic to dogs as long as you follow the instructions given on the label (this point cannot be repeated enough). As long as you follow this, your dog will not face any serious problems. Cases of vomiting, muscle tremors and seizures are observed often due the owner accidently using too much shampoo on their dog. Do not apply it on puppies less than 6 months of age and on cats. Do not opt for this shampoo if there are cats in your house (they may come in contact with the shampoo somehow). And make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after using it.

While we feel it is okay to use this shampoo, it is still better to opt for safer, non-Pyrethrin flea and tick shampoos of a reputed brand.