Fleas and ticks are just two of the most common, toughest, and hardiest ecto-parasites ever to infect and infest man’s best friend. Sadly, many of the disease-carrying microorganisms hosted by these pests are also transmitted to humans such that we also suffer if our dogs have these pests on their bodies. There are medications that you can give to your pooch or even apply onto their backs. However, too often, these are not enough. Additionally, the potentially harmful side effects of topically applied and orally ingested anti-flea and anti-tick formulations can be serious concerns. As such, if you’re looking for a safer and easier solution that can also give your pet round-the-clock protection, you might want to consider giving it one of the 8 best flea collars for dogs.
A flea and tick collar may not totally eradicate the ectroparasitic menace, but it sure can help protect your pet and minimize the many discomforts and health conditions these bring. And, in case you’re wondering what the best flea collars for your pooch are, we’ve got you covered.
The 8 Top-Rated Flea Collars For Dogs
- Contains flumethrin and imidacloprid
- Kills and repels fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and lice up to 8 months
- Most recommended brand by veterinarians and pet experts
- Fully waterproof, non-greasy, and odorless formulation
Many consider Elanco’s Seresto Flea and Tick Collar to be the ideal solution when it comes to repelling and killing fleas and ticks on contact. Its revolutionary formulation allows its active ingredients, flumethrin and imidacloprid, to be released into your pet’s system at a steady and constant rate. The collar is ingeniously designed to replenish itself with flumethrin in cases where the substance has already been depleted from the band’s core. This gives it an amazing 8-month protection that no other product can seem to replicate or even come close to duplicating.
The Seresto flea collar is also unique in that it not only controls adult ticks and fleas it is also effective against flea eggs and larvae as well as lice. It is water-resistant and thus, can be worn even while bathing or occasional swimming. It’s odorless and non-greasy, too, and comes highly recommended by veterinarians.
- Patented Micro Injections Chemical
- 100% Natural
- Infused With Essential Oils
Flea collars play a very important role to protect both your dog and furniture from unpleasant stinging especially during the warmer season. For reliable protection, look no further than the Arava Flea & Tick Prevention Collar – For Dog & Puppies. This flea collar is considered one of the best on the market due to its effectiveness, lack of hazardous chemical pesticides, and natural ingredients. Its adoption of herbal and natural ingredients reduces potential contraindications, thereby making the Arava Flea & Tick Prevention Collar – For Dogs & Puppies one of the best options for both pets and owners.
- Contains tetrachlorvinphos and s-methoprene
- Provides 7 months of protection against fleas and ticks
- Costs significantly less than leading brand
- Comes in fresh scent and water resistant formulation
There is an ongoing debate whether the HARTZ UltraGuard flea and tick collar should be considered as safe for use for the simple fact that its active ingredient, tetrachlorvinphos, has been identified as particularly toxic to the nervous system of dogs and other pets if ingested. Despite this controversy, many still believe the UltraGuard to be an excellent alternative to the Seresto flea collar as it provides 7 months of ample protection. For the protection it affords, you’d be surprised to learn that it’s also one of the most inexpensive longer-acting products in the market.
- Adjustable & Durable
- Water Resistant
- 7 Month Protection
- Fast Acting Treatment
Not only is the Adams Flea And Tick Collar For Dogs easy to use, but its adjustability also makes it the perfect option for any and all dogs. What’s more, it’s fast acting assurance guarantees an immediate result, ensuring ease and comfort for your four-legged friend. What could be its strongest selling point is that this efficient product provides seven months of protection to prevent extra costs of replacing your dog’s flea collar every other week. Considering Adams Pet Care products have been on the market for over 30 years, it’s not surprising that their products are some of the best for pets.
- Advanced German formula
- Kills fleas 24-48 hours after application
- Works against fleas and ticks
Fleas are a very annoying problem that plague dogs and sadly, they can quickly be transferred to humans also due to the constant itching of your pet. To prevent the spread multiplication of these small parasites, the Rolf Club Bio Flea & Tick Collar for Dogs is here to help. With its advanced German formula, this non-toxic flea repellent works on the prevention of fleas and ticks for six months. What’s more, it has the ability to kill fleas 24-48 hours after application. To help this product work efficiently, it is important that it is worn on an ongoing basis. Additionally, before purchasing, your pet’s neck circumference must be measured accurately.
- Contains fipronil, pyriproxifen, and ivermectin
- 2-in-1 flea treatment and dewormer formulation
- 4-month long protection against 14 different parasites
- Protects against fleas, ticks, lice, ear mites, roundworms, and hookworms
- Odorless and waterproof design
It is very uncommon to see a flea collar that provides additional benefits especially in terms of protecting your dog against parasitic worms. It is even rarer to find a dog flea collar that is especially formulated with 3 of the leading insecticides and anti-parasitic agents on the planet. As such, when Neoterica introduced the Inspector Flea and Worm Collar for Dogs one can expect that it will create quite a buzz in the dog world.
The Inspector is formulated with fipronil, ivermectin, and pyriproxifen to protect your dog against 14 different species of parasites including the fearsome heartworm and the causative agent of demodectic mange. While it only offers 4 months of protection against fleas, 3 months for ticks, and 2 months for worms, the mere fact that the Inspector can combat some of the more common parasitic infections known to affect dogs is commendable enough. It may not be as popular as leading brands, but its unique formulation – flea repellent and dewormer – is what gives it a definite advantage over other brands.
- Lasts for 30 days
- Contains fipronil and (S)-methoprene
- Works within 24 hours
- Kills fleas, larvae, eggs and chewing lice
Providing 30 days of protection from fleas and chewing lice, PetArmor Plus for Dogs Flea and Tick Prevention is a reliable and easy-to-use remedy for these dog parasites. The active ingredients are fipronil and (S)-methoprene which are the same as those used in Front Line treatments. It starts to work within 24 hours and breaks the flea lifecycle by killing flea eggs and larvae as well as adult fleas. This particular formulation is suitable for dogs weighing 5 and 22 pounds. It comes as a liquid and is applied between the shoulder blades.
- Suitable for pups over three months of age
- Adjusts to fit all breeds
- Natural ingredients
- No toxic chemicals
The Sobaken flea collar for dogs can be used on any pooch over three months of age and can be used on any breed – it adjusts to fit your dog. It is active against fleas, flea larvae, and chewing lice but will also repel ticks and mange.
The active natural ingredients (spearmint oil, clove oil, and citronella) are powerful yet hypoallergenic and completely safe. It carries on working even after getting wet and remains effective for eight months.
Best Flea Collar For Dogs: Buying Guide
Picking the right pest control solution for your pooch can be intimidating especially to those who are relatively new to dog ownership. Even seasoned owners can be faced with the issue of growing parasitic resistance to medications, such that even the most powerful preparation would seem incapable of fully addressing the issue of parasite infestation after some time. Picking the right flea and tick collar for your mutt can help you enhance your pest control efforts to safeguard the health of your pet.
What to Consider When Buying a Flea Collar for Your Dog
Different flea collars have different uses which should undoubtedly influence your choice. Some are more intended for attacking the adult forms of fleas and ticks, while others are best used on the younger, immature insects. As such, you need to decide which collar would be more suitable.
It might be surprising to hear, but there are literally hundreds of fleas and ticks species. As such, a collar that attacks the specific kind you’d find in your area will be more effective for your dog. Beyond that, it’s best not to purchase a flea collar that might too mild or too strong. Getting the ‘just right’ collar is the most effective solution which leads to better results.
It is also necessary to opt for a collar that is the right fit; if it’s too big, your dog could wiggle out of it, defeating the purpose altogether. On the other hand, if it’s too tight, the distress could keep your dog up all night. Consequently, your dog’s late-night cries of discomfort would no doubt affect your night’s rest.
The internet is full of dog flea collar products – many of which have never been tested. Thus, before selecting our final products, our team extensively researched the various flea collar reviews online. We also set ourselves the task of distinguishing honest reviews, tests, and useful information on flea collars.
Why Use Dog Flea Collars And How Effective Are They?
Dog flea collars can be helpful as a preventive measure in the fight against fleas and ticks, especially for pets who spend most of their time outdoors. They are not the best form of protection alone, but they can be of benefit if used in conjunction with a control product. They are also highly effective for the purpose of preventing an infestation in the home furniture. However, if you’re looking to deal with curing an already existing infestation, it is best to talk to your veterinarian first on which actions to take.
Check out our ultimate guide on the Best Flea Carpet Spray & Powders.
How Do Flea Collars Work?
The collar type of canine ectoparasite control and management solutions work in two different ways, although it is no longer uncommon to see products that exert a combination of both processes. The following are the 2 fundamental processes that describe how flea and tick collar work.
Dog flea collars repel fleas and ticks as well as other susceptible parasites by emitting gaseous substances in the air. These gases are toxic to the parasites such that these no longer want to go anywhere near the source of the gas. Parasites that eventually venture into or within the immediate vicinity of the collar are killed by these noxious fumes.
Unfortunately, the problem is that the collar’s effectiveness is limited by the degree to which the gas fumes are released. This simply means that the collar will only be effective within the area where it is placed, which is your dog’s neck. This also means that your pooch’s back, hind legs, and lower torso are still vulnerable to pest infestation.
The good news is that this is pretty much a thing of the past since newer brands of flea and tick collars are more advanced.
Modern canine ectoparasite repellents already contain substances that are continuously and steadily released from the collar. What’s more, these products allow for the more efficient distribution of their active ingredients such that these are eventually spread throughout the body of your pooch by adhering to the natural oils present in your mutt’s hair, skin, and coat. These chemicals or substances then adhere to these structures to provide your mutt with continuous protection.
There is another form of repellent action found in many modern canine pest collars. These are called high-frequency neckbands. Many owners use this type of pest repellant as it is considered a lot safer, not only for their pets but also for everyone else in the household. The gadget works by emitting ultra-sonic frequencies that only pests can hear. This irritates them and deters them from going anywhere near the collar or the dog, for that matter. It doesn’t release any fumes or even chemicals into your pet so they’re safer.
As already mentioned above, ectoparasites that are not managed by the repellent action of the collar eventually end up on your pooch’s skin to bite and siphon off the blood. This is where the pesticidal action of modern-day canine neckbands comes in. When it comes to effective flea control, you may have to rely on certain chemicals to kill these pests.
There are two types of pesticides used in dog flea collars. Each of these has its own strengths and weaknesses.
One type introduces the active ingredients of the pesticide right into your mutt’s fatty tissues. The downside of such a product is that the flea will have to bite your pooch first before it gets the pesticide and dies.
The other type works pretty much like its repellent cousin whereby the active ingredient is distributed through your pooch’s natural oils. Because the active ingredient is found on the surface of these structures, pests don’t need to bite your dog before they are killed. These products kill pests on contact.
You may also like our guide on the Best Essential Oils for Fleas.
Potential Contraindications With Dog Flea Collars
With every treatment, there will always be potential contraindications, minor or significant, that could render the treatment inadvisable. With Dog flea collars, some of the potential contraindications vary and may include skin irritation, fur shedding, and skin and eye irritation for pet owners and kids. It is important to note that the contraindications vary with each collar and are not a problem for the majority of dog collars.
Are Flea Collars Toxic to Dogs and Puppies?
Flea collars contain substances that are toxic to pests. It is thus, quite understandable of pet owners, especially newbies, will express concerns about the safety of these products. Let us try to understand the bases for these concerns.
Whether these products emit toxic fumes into the surrounding air or spread their active ingredients through the natural oils of pets’ hairs, coat, and skin, these invariably stay on these structures a lot longer. Unlike conventional oral and injectable medications that are absorbed into the bloodstream, many of the medicated collars stay on superficial structures. When dogs lick on these body parts, and they really do, there is a tendency that they might lick these very same active ingredients. This can lead to some issues.
While the majority of the active ingredients used in these products are non-toxic or, at least, less toxic to dogs, these can be particularly harmful to other pets in the household. For example, products that contain essential oils such as limonene, lavender, eucalyptus, geranium, and pennyroyal, among others are known as highly toxic to other pets, especially cats. If you have a multi-pet household, there’s a chance that other pets, most especially cats, may get in contact with these substances. Don’t worry though as it is not going to kill your other pets. At most, they will get skin irritation or some form of an allergic reaction.
Since some dog flea collars actually spread the active ingredient through its natural oils, it is inadvertent that the ingredient can be rubbed onto surfaces like rugs, throw pillows, furniture, and even clothing. For most of us, this is not really a problem. However, if you have someone in the family who is particularly vulnerable to such substances or is known to have allergies to such ingredients, then hypersensitivity reactions can ensue including skin redness and itching, skin discoloration, and even the triggering of asthma.
Organophosphates such as those that contain tetrachlorvinphos are considered neurotoxic to pets as well as to susceptible individuals. These products have been classified by the EPA as potentially carcinogenic.
Pyrethroids, a class of pesticides that are proven effective in the control of fleas and ticks and are the major components of some leading brands like the Seresto flea collar, are very toxic to feline pets. There are also incidences of people getting hypersensitivity reactions because of these products, with some pointing to possible endocrine disruptor activity. Caution should always be exercised when using these products.
Generally, however, these products are considered safe for dogs as these are inherently designed to kill parasites living in and off them. Dog flea collars have also been around for a long time and it remains one of the most effective ways to manage and control ectoparasitic infestations and infection.
However, it is generally not a good idea to have a puppy wear it since puppies don’t have a fully mature immune system yet. There are products that are designed for small canine breeds but these are specially designed for adult canines, not puppies. You might want to talk with your veterinarian about it, though.
If you want a really safe product, you might want to consider ultrasonic frequency neck bands as these utilize high-pitched, ultra-high frequency sounds to disorient fleas and ticks. The only downside is that it doesn’t kill them. Nevertheless, if you’re going to use it in combination with other pest control products, it should keep these pests away from your pet without you worrying whether it is safe for your dog, your puppies, your other pets, or even you and the rest of your family. Do understand, however, that these products won’t kill ectoparasites. These are more of a deterrent.
Can I Put a Flea Collar on a Dog After Using Frontline?
Some flea collars can be safely combined with other flea treatments like Frontline. However, it advised combining the flea collar with only one other flea treatment instead of mixing; regardless of how serious the flea infestation might be – unless advised otherwise by your vet.
How Long Does it Take for Flea Collars to Start Working?
The best flea collars for dogs only take a few hours to start working, although it is advisable to wait six hours before expecting to see results. However, with the average flea collars, you can expect to see results within 24 hours.
Can Flea Collars Be Worn by All Dogs?
Dog flea collars are a safe and effective way to control pests on your pets. However, not all dogs can benefit from these products for a variety of reasons. In general, flea and tick collars are contraindicated in the following canines.
- Young puppies
Pups that are less than 8 weeks old have an immature immune system which means they don’t have the necessary ability to fight the toxins present in such products. They may already have body defenses but these may not be enough to protect them from the harsh chemicals present in these products that are designed to work on adult pooches. Also, their liver which is one of the keys to successfully render toxins harmless in the body may not yet reach its full functionality as many of the liver tissues are still developing. To be on the safe side, you may want to have a chat with your veterinarian about the suitability of using such devices on your puppy.
- Senior dogs
If pups have an immature immune system, older or senior dogs have a more or less dysfunctional immune system. This is closely associated with the aging process which effectively diminishes the efficiency and effectiveness of the different organs to process the toxic chemicals. In particular, the liver and the kidneys may already exhibit reduced functioning that the addition of chemicals, although these are topical in nature, may further tax these organs and lead to their faster deterioration.
- Pregnant mutts
While there are no clearly defined studies to show that these products can have an adverse effect on the unborn pup, veterinarians and animal experts recommend withholding the introduction of any substance into a pregnant dam. The effects on the unborn puppies are unknown, although some products that contain endocrine disruptors can potentially affect the pup’s metabolism.
- Nursing pooches
Experts also don’t recommend using a dog flea and tick collar on lactating or nursing dams. There is no proof that the toxins or harsh chemicals will cross the blood and into the milk. There is no proof either that it won’t. As such, it would be better to err on the side of safety.
Can I Leave My Dog’s Flea Collar On When Swimming?
Many dog flea and tick collars are designed to be water-resistant. However, this should not be confused with waterproof. A water-resistant object can withstand occasional splashes of water or even occasional immersion such as during bathing.
But if your pet happens to love the water that it can literally spend the rest of the day, every day, in a pond, lake, or even your swimming pool, it is essential that you remove its pest control neckband. Otherwise, you risk losing the potency of the active ingredients embedded in the device. These are still effective in repelling and killing fleas and ticks. Sadly, you won’t get to enjoy the long-term benefits of these products because getting these wet or submerged in water for extended periods greatly decreases their lifespan.
More importantly, these devices should never be worn by your pet on waterways as these can be toxic to aquatic animals as well as other animals that thrive or get in contact with the water. You may need to brush up on your knowledge about the toxicities associated with the active ingredients found in your particular product of choice.
The trick is, if it’s waterproof, you can let your pet wear it on swimming. If the product is only water-resistant, then perhaps occasional swimming or bathing is okay.
You may also like our article on Dog Pools.
When Should I Change the Collar?
The frequency of changing the dog flea and tick collar depends on the recommendations of the manufacturer and other factors that might affect its lifespan. In the preceding section, you learned that using the neckband while your pet is swimming on a daily basis greatly decreases the lifespan of the product. Even though a product has been designed to exert its action for a good 8 months, with these instances, the product’s lifespan can be reduced to 5 or 6 months. This means you have to replace it a lot earlier than the recommended 8 months. Technically, you will need to read the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations especially the things that might affect its potency.
There are plenty of options when it comes to treating or managing tick and flea infestation, including considering the best flea treatment for dogs. Besides that, one of the best ways to prevent any infestations is by frequently grooming your dog to check for ticks or fleas (we recommend you checking out our Best Dog Grooming Clippers guide if you’re interested in that.)
However, as the popular dictum says, it often makes better sense to prevent the occurrence of such conditions rather than wait for it to fully develop and to be treated with costlier therapies. And when it comes to preventing tick- and flea-borne infections especially in our beloved pets, a dog flea collar can be your best friend.
These products work by either repelling pests or killing them on contact or upon biting, or a combination of both. These are generally safe although they should not be used on very young puppies, senior dogs, and lactating and pregnant dams. To maintain the effectiveness and potency of these products, you should never allow your pet to go in the water wearing any of these as these are not waterproof, although water-resistant products can be worn for occasional bathing and swimming. Reading the manufacturer’s recommendations can do a lot to obtain the full benefits of these products including when you should change them. And with the 8 best flea collars for dogs we have put here, you’re now empowered to protect your dog from these pesky pests.
Our Top Pick
More and more pet owners are using Seresto Flea Collars to help protect their pets from fleas and ticks as well as other organisms that bring harm and disease to dogs and cats. It is one of the most trusted and most effective ways of preventing, controlling, and managing flea, tick, and even lice infestation, especially in dogs. We were able to establish the Seresto’s dominance in the anti-flea and anti-tick market in this review Many Seresto collar reviews also have the same findings.
Formulated and produced by Bayer, which has a long history of producing high-quality veterinary products, Seresto Flea and Tick Collar is primarily revered for its exceptional parasite repellent action as well as an equally effective pesticidal mechanism. It is this duality of its function – repelling and killing fleas, ticks, and lice – that makes Seresto Collars a favorite by thousands of customers who were more than willing to share their experiences about the product. Numerous Seresto collar reviews also highlight the product’s unique formulation that allows its active ingredients to be slowly yet consistently released over a very long period of time – over 8 months to be exact – helping ensure adequate protection in the same period.
Two of the fundamental reasons why Seresto is effective are its unique insecticide formulation and extra-long duration of action. Seresto contains Flumethrin and Imidacloprid which effectively repels and kills fleas and ticks without causing harm to the host. Fleas and ticks are killed within 24 and 48 hours, respectively, while reinfesting fleas and ticks are killed within 2 and 6 hours, respectively.
Customers also find the ability of Seresto to kill fleas and other pests on contact to be exceptional. It no longer waits for the pest to bite into your pet’s skin before the active ingredients get to work. Other brands still wait for fleas and ticks to bite before these are eventually killed.
The flea- and tick- killing effectiveness of other brands is also significantly reduced with frequent bathing of the pet. While Seresto may also suffer from a reduction in its insecticidal properties with frequent washings, the duration of effectiveness is still substantially lengthy at 5 months for fleas and 7 months for ticks.
Seresto Collars are non-greasy, easy-to-apply, and are available for dogs and cats. The Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Cats come in a single formulation that is applicable to all sizes of cats. On the other hand, the Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs come in two formulations. One is designed specifically for larger breeds of dogs that weigh more than 18 pounds. The other one is intended primarily for pooches that weigh less than 18 pounds.
- R. Morgan Griffin, Natural Insect Control: Flea and Tick Treatments for Pets, WebMD