Fleas are some of the most persistent and truly irritating ectoparasites known to bring disease to man’s best friend. And while there are numerous medications that have been formulated over the years, these pesky creatures have somehow learned to adapt. Additionally, the ever-increasing number of side effects brought about by the prolonged use of these products underscores the growing need for an effective yet safe treatment to administer. That is why we’re sharing with you the 10 best flea treatments for dogs in the hope that you’ll be more empowered to care for your pooches and protect them against these critters.
- 1. It is important to control fleas and ticks in a dog for their health and welfare
- 2. Flea treatment is available for your dog and home, some products treat both
- 3. Dog flea treatment is available as chews, sprays, wipes, collars, and topical treatments
- 4. Natural products use ingredients such as clove and citronella but may not be as effective
- 5. Some products require a vet's prescription for you to purchase them
A Quick Overview of Our Favorites
The 15 Best Flea Prevention Products for Dogs
1 Best topical flea & tick medications: Bayer K9 Advantix II Flea Treatment for Dogs
- Contains imidacloprid, permethrin, and pyriproxyfen
- Parasitostatic mechanism of action within the first 5 minutes
- Starts killing fleas, ticks, and lice within the first 12 hours
- Convenient once-a-month topical application
- Fully waterproof formulation
Bayer Animal Health has been producing a lot of high-quality veterinary products for a long time and its K9 Advantix II simply carries on this tradition of excellence. The Advantix II’s main advantage is in its fast parasitostatic action, helping stop fleas from biting within 5 minutes of application. While it takes 12 hours for Advantix II to start exerting its killing effect, this is still relatively faster than the average 24 hours of other brands, making it a favorite flea and tick treatment for dogs among serious dog owners.
Unfortunately, K9 Advantix II has not shown any improvements in the duration of its action, mimicking the industry standard of 30 days. It would really be amazing to see advance this further to 60 or even 90 days. Regardless, with easy application and excellent waterproofing, it sure can help protect your dog whether it is a 7-week old pup or a lumbering senior.
- Effective against many types of parasites and pests
- Odor free so dog’s don’t mind it
- Dries quickly
- Action is not affected by rain or sunlight
- Can irritate sensitive skin of some dogs
- Costs more than similar products
2 Best Flea and Tick Spray: Vet’s Best Flea + Tick Home Spray
- Suitable for home surfaces and dogs
- Only for adults and pups aged over 12 weeks
- Contains only natural ingredients
- Kills adult fleas and eggs
A very useful product that treats your dog and your home at the same time. If you are concerned about residual fleas lurking in your carpet or on your sofa and leaping back onto your dog, this would be the product for you. It contains a blend of natural ingredients which are kind on your dog and your home but harsh on fleas! The formula comprises peppermint oil, Eugenol (clove extract) and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate which are all natural and plant-based ingredients.
It will help to control adult fleas as well as flea eggs and, as an added bonus, it is highly effective at repelling both ticks and mosquitoes. There are no chemical pyrethrins or permethrins which cause some dog owners concern. It is safe to use as a fine mist on all surfaces in your home including furniture, bedding and carpets. It is non-staining but it may be wise to patch test a small area first. You can also apply it directly on dogs and pups aged over 12 weeks of age but avoid the eyes and face because it will cause irritation. It cannot be used on pregnant or nursing dogs.
- You only need one flea treatment product to treat your dog and home
- Can be used to kill ticks and all stages of the flea life cycle
- Does not stain
- Safe to use around children
- Not as effective as chemical products
- A strong odor of clove oil
3 Best Tablet: Trifexis Chewable Tablet for Dogs
- A combined treatment for fleas and worms
- Beef-flavored tablet
- Starts working in hours
- Effective for a month
This is a multi-ingredient treatment that combines compounds that will treat flea infestations as well as dealing with worm infestations. It will prevent heartworm disease in dogs as well as treating and controlling adult hookworm. The formulation is also effective against roundworm and whipworm which are common in dogs. As their owner, you get total peace of mind that your four-legged pal is fully protected from pesky parasites. It comes in a tasty, beef-flavored tablet that your pooch takes once a month. It’s a hassle-free way of providing protection.
It can be given to dogs and pups over 8 weeks old and who weigh more than five pounds. The tablets are available in different strengths to suit dogs with different body weights so you must choose the right dose for your pooch. The active ingredients are Spinosad and Milbemycin Oxime which are able to kill fleas on dogs in 30 minutes and have killed all the fleas on a dog’s body within 4 hours. It continues to be effective for a month.
- Controls both fleas any many species of worm
- Easy to give to your dog with no mess
- Cannot be used on pups under 8 weeks old
- Usually only available from a vet
4 Best Collar: Seresto Flea & Tick Collar for Dogs
- Active ingredients flea treatment are Flumethrin 4.5%, Imidacloprid 10.0%.
- Kills fleas within 24 hours
- Tick collar that starts working in 48 hours
- Kills adult fleas, existing fleas, chewing lice and sarcotopic mange
For owners of large dogs weighing over 18 pounds and who prefer a long lasting flea treatment with no fuss, we recommend the Seresto Flea and tick collar. It is easier to apply than both oral medications and topical flea treatments and shampoos. All you have to do is pop on the collar on your dog’s neck and it does the rest!
The Seresto Flea collar is odorless, non-greasy and resists water and sun exposure. Flea control will start within two hours of the collar being being put on and the dog does not have to receive flea bites for it to work. One collar lasts for up to eight months.
- Seresto flea collars are less messy than other types of treatment
- Fits securely around dog’s neck
- Lasts for 8 months
- Also effective against ticks and mange
- Takes quite a while to start working
- Only suitable for adult large dogs
- Can cause irritation to some dogs
5 Best Shampoo: Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Shampoo
- Flea and tick shampoo for dogs over 12 weeks of age
- Active ingredient is natural pyrethrins
- Cleanses and exfoliates irritated skin
- Contains lanolin to sooth irritated skin
If you would prefer to use flea and tick shampoos to kill parasites on your dog, the best flea treatment choice for you is the Veterinary Formula Clinical Care shampoo. It contains pyrethrins which are a powerful but natural chemical that is highly effective at tick and flea control.
This is particularly recommended if your dog has developed a skin issue because of a flea infestation and is scratching a lot. It will gently cleanse and exfoliate the skin and leave your dog’s coat looking and feeling great. It even has a fresh, clean scent.
- Useful for treating flea allergy dermatitis
- Leaves your dog’s coating looking and smelling great
- Contains lanolin and aloe to soothe the skin
- Can kill existing fleas and help to prevent future infestations
- Not suitable for pups under 12 weeks
- Lather needs to be in contact for skin for 10 minutes
6 Best Fast-Acting: Frontline Plus for Dogs
- Suitable for pups aged over eight weeks old
- Destroys fleas, larvae, and eggs
- Contains two active ingredients
- Carries on working for 30 days
A highly effective treatment against fleas, ticks, and chewing lice, this product gets to work right away on adult dogs and pups aged over eight weeks old who weigh between 45 and 88 pounds. This is a liquid that needs to be applied topically (to the skin) between the shoulder blades of large breed dogs. It keeps working for 30 days and does this by destroying eggs and hatching larvae. Therefore, your pooch is protected from re-infestation from eggs on their coat.
There are two powerful ingredients in the solution. The fipronil content is highly effective against adult fleas and ticks. Some studies have shown that within 12 hours it had killed all live adult fleas making it one of the fastest acting products on the market.
There are two powerful ingredients in the solution. The fipronil content is highly effective against the adult fleas and ticks. Some studies have shown that within 12 hours it had killed all live adult fleas. The second active ingredient is (S)-methoprene which gets to work on the flea eggs and larvae and keeps going for a whole month. The active ingredients work together to break the flea life cycle and keep your pooch protected as well as helping to prevent the transmission of Lyme Disease.
- Very fast acting at killing adult fleas
- Respected brand popular with dog owners and vets
- Active on all stages of flea development
- Stops fleas from being able to lay eggs
- Some owners find topical flea treatment products difficult to apply
- Can cause local irritation in some dogs
7 Best Flea and Tick Wipes: Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Wipes
- Suitable for dogs and your home
- A pack of wipes containing natural pesticides
- Active ingredients are peppermint oil and clove extract
- Good at repelling mosquitoes
Made in the USA from natural and gentle plant-based ingredients, this flea treatment is provided in the form of disposable wipes. You use them by wiping them over your dog’s coat including their paws and tail but avoiding the eyes and genitals as they can cause irritation. Then you massage the product into the coat so it penetrates the skin. You can repeat this as often as you need to. You can also use them on surfaces within your home including countertops and pet bedding. Wipes are a very easy and clean way of applying flea control to your pet and your home.
The wipes contain no plastic resins and use only the natural action of peppermint oil and clove extract to kill fleas as well as flea eggs, and ticks. It has a clean, fresh odor with no artificial fragrances added and is great for repelling mosquitoes as well as killing several other parasitic pests. It’s safe for the pets and humans in the home.
- Reduces fleas and ticks on your dogs
- No plastic resins used in the manufacture
- Resist tearing during use
- Pleasant natural scent
- Designed to be used with other flea prevention medication
- Has to be rubbed in and makes dog’s coat wet
8 Best for Multiple Pets: Adams Plus Flea and Tick Spray
- Contains etofenprox, (s)-methoprene and piperonyl butoxide
- Supplied in a handy spray bottle
- Breaks the flea life-cycle
- Applied twice a month
Based on the powerful active ingredients etofenprox, (s)-methoprene and piperonyl butoxide, this is an effective flea control solution. It is supplied in a handy spray bottle and can be applied twice a month. You ruffle your dog’s coat before spraying and use four sprays per pound of your dog’s body weight. Dogs with short coats will need less of the product. The coat needs to be dampened with the spray for it to work but does not need to be soaked.
It gets to work right away and provides instant relief for your pooch. The life cycle of the fleas will be broken as the product will kill adult fleas as well as flea eggs. You may also need to treat the house as it often gets infested with eggs. It will carry on working for two months during which it provides continuous protection. Even mosquitoes will be repelled by this product. The handy spray bottle and the versatility of this flea treatment makes it the best flea treatment for households with more than one dog.
- Liquid topical treatments in a spray bottle makes it suitable for multiple dogs
- Gets to work fast – within about five minutes
- Kills adult fleas and all stages of growth
- Repels mosquitoes
- Contains artificial chemical insecticides
- Has quite a strong chemical odor
- Dogs coat needs to be damp
9 Best Chews: NexGard Chewable Tablets for Dogs
- Suitable for pups aged over 8 weeks old
- Each tablet contains 136 mg of afoxolaner
- Needs to be used monthly
- Effective against ticks
The pesticide in this product is delivered to your dog in a delicious and chewable beef-flavored tablet that you will have no problem administering to your dog. You can also hide it in their food. It is safe for dogs and pups aged over 8 weeks old and who weigh more than four pounds. The tablets need to be given once a month and will last for the whole period in between.
Each tablet contains 136 mg of afoxolaner which kills adult fleas before they have time to lay any eggs. This interrupts the life cycle and prevents infestation from starting all over again. It is also highly effective at killing several species of ticks that can bite dogs including the black-legged tick, the American dog tick, and the Lone Star tick.
- Highly effective at controlling fleas
- Works on several species of ticks
- Dogs love the taste of the chews
- Suitable for pups from 8 weeks of age
- You need a vet prescription to buy the product
- Contains chemical insecticides
10 Best for Puppies: Advantage II Flea Treatment for Medium Dogs
- Suitable for medium-sized breeds
- Only for pups over 7 weeks old
- Active ingredients are imidacloprid and pyriproxyfen
- Waterproof formulation
Topical treatment to use once a month on adult dogs and pups aged over 7 weeks old and who weigh 11 to 20 pounds, is ideal for medium-sized breeds. Once it comes into contact with the fleas it starts to have an effect within 12 hours. It kills all the life stages including eggs, larvae, lice, and adult fleas. This helps to break the life cycle and stops your dog from getting infested over and over again. The formula is waterproof so it will continue to be effective even if you have to bathe your dog or if they go swimming.
The active ingredients in the product are imidacloprid and pyriproxyfen and it is not suitable for cats. If your dog is pregnant or nursing pups, speak to your vet before using it.
- Starts to act quickly
- Can be used on young puppies as long as they are over 7 weeks
- Will not get washed off by water
- Lasts for a whole 30 days
- Dogs have to stay dry for 24 hours after use
- May not be suitable for pregnant or nursing dogs
11 Capstar Flea Oral Treatment for Dogs
- Suitable for pups aged over four weeks
- Destroys adult fleas only
- Delivered in tablet form
- Starts working in 30 minutes
This flea treatment is delivered in tablet form which your dog swallows. It is approved for use in pups and adult dogs who weigh more than two pounds and are aged over four weeks. It is also safe for pregnant and breeding dogs. You only need a single dose of the tablet which contains the active ingredient Nitenpyram. It is highly effective at killing adult dog and cat fleas but is not effective against eggs. For that, you will need another product.
It starts to act very rapidly, some effects can be seen within 30 minutes of ingestion and it has been shown to kill 90% of adult fleas within hours. Soon your dog will be feeling a lot less itchy and uncomfortable. You avoid the mess and odor associated with topical treatments and it is very easy to administer. You can keep giving a daily dose until all the fleas have been eliminated.
- No messy liquids to worry about
- Starts acting very quickly
- Can be used daily if needed
- You get six doses in a pack
- Does not kill flea eggs
- Not effective against ticks
12 Natural Care Flea & Tick Spray
- Contains peppermint oil and clove extract
- Supplied in a handy spray bottle
- Can be used on animals and in the home
- Fresh, clean odor
Complete protection for your pooch, this is a natural product made in the USA and a great way to keep pesky parasites at bay. It is made from a carefully blended formulation of plant-derived ingredients such as peppermint oil and clove extract. It has a fresh, pleasant scent but is a powerful pesticide. It will kill all stages of the flea life cycle including adult fleas and eggs. It will also repel mosquitoes very effectively if you live in an area where this is an issue.
The product is supplied in a spray container so it is easy to apply to your dog although it is also safe for use on cats. You can even use it on surfaces in your home that you think may have been infested. It can be used on adult dogs and pups who are over 12 weeks old.
- Comes in an easy-to-use spray can
- Effective against fleas and eggs
- Does not stain
- No harsh chemicals
- Very strong odor of peppermint
- Can make hard floors slippery when used indoors
13 Virbac Knockout E.S. Area Treatment
- Aerosol spray for the home
- Covers and treat 2,100 square feet
- Contains pyrethrins and permethrin
- Contains pyriproxyfen – insect growth regulator
A highly effective flea treatment is provided in an aerosol spray that will cover and treat 2,100 square feet of carpet, rug, etc. in your home. The treatment is for your home and needs to be used at the same time as another treatment that you apply to your dog. This will break the continual cycle of re-infestation that can be so bothersome to dogs and owners. It contains pyrethrins, permethrin as the active ingredients and also contains pyriproxyfen which is a powerful insect growth regulator. It stops fleas from developing for up to 7 months giving your dog exceptionally long-lasting protection from annoying pests.
These ingredients also get to work rapidly to reduce the infestation of adult fleas. Then it prevents any newly hatched fleas from developing into the adult stage when they start breeding and jumping back on your dog to bite them. It reaches the fleas around your home so it controls infestations in rugs, drapes, and floor cracks which makes your treatment even more effective. There is no unpleasant odor and the product is not sticky.
- Covers a large area of your home
- Contain powerful insecticides
- Acts quickly to kill fleas
- Does not have an unpleasant odor
- Not a treatment for dogs – you will need to buy a flea treatment for your dog as well
- Spraying your whole home is time consuming
14 Advantage Flea & Tick Treatment Shampoo for Dogs & Puppies
- Suitable for pups over 12 weeks of age
- Contains pyrethrins
- Designed to be used as a wider treatment regime
- Unscented to avoid irritating young skin
If you are lucky enough to share your home with a little pup, or several pups, the Advantage Flea and tick treatment shampoo is the best flea treatment for you to choose. It is designed to be used as part of a wider treatment regime where you will also treat your home and yard for these unwanted pests.
You use it just like a regular dog shampoo, just make sure that you lather all of your little pup, avoiding the eyes and ears and let the soap stay in contact with the skin for five minutes before you rinse. The active ingredient that kills fleas is Pyrethrins. This flea shampoo also helps to prevent flea allergy dermatitis.
15 Bravecto Chew for Dogs
- Active ingredient is Fluralaner
- Kills adult fleas and prevents re-infestations
- Active against several species of ticks
- Doses are needed every 12 weeks
For owners looking for a powerful product that will both kill fleas and prevent future infestations, the Bravecto Chews would be a wise choice. They contain Fluralaner which is a powerful acting chemical – so you can only use this product on dogs aged over six months.
It kills many species of ticks and all life stages of the flea. Because it is chewable, there is no mess and no unpleasant smell. Most important of all, it lasts for 12 weeks so it requires less effort from dog owners.
- Easy to administer as a chew
- No mess or odor
- Lasts for 3 months saving you time and money
- Starts acting fast – kills most fleas within 24 hours
- Can only be obtained with a vet’s prescription
- Not suitable for dogs under 6 months of age
Best Flea Treatment for Dogs: Buying Guide & FAQs
If you go to your favorite pet supplies store you can easily understand why a lot of dog owners, especially first-timers, are at a loss as to which product they should use for their pets. We understand how you feel. That’s why we’ve prepared this buyer’s guide to help you make better-informed decisions related to the control and management of flea infestation, not only in your dog but also in your home.
Why Does My Dog Need Flea Treatment?
One of the questions that most dog owners ask themselves is whether or not their pooches really need flea treatment. The answer is a very straightforward ‘yes’. The best way to help you understand why is to look at the life cycle of fleas.
Fleas are very resilient – they live outdoors and can survive for up to 5 days in temperatures as low as 33 degrees F. Within this period, it can easily catch a ride on your dog’s fur. They don’t fly, but they are mighty jumpers, able to propel their bodies up to distances that are 50 times the length of their bodies.
The adult flea can then lay eggs on your dog’s skin. Throughout the life of a female adult flea, it can lay up to 5,000 eggs, possibly even more. These can fall on your carpet, your floor, or any other surface near your dog.
Within 2 weeks, these eggs hatch and become larvae. These juvenile fleas are particularly averse to sunlight so they are mostly found in dark and humid places such as cracks and crevices on your floor. They also love to hide under your pet’s bedding as well as under your carpets and rugs. And if they get in touch with your pet’s food, they naturally grow into pupae.
The pupa actually just waits for the right trigger for it to come out from its cocoon. These can include vibrations, heat, and increased carbon dioxide levels. All of these actually indicate the presence of a suitable host nearby. When this is triggered, it transforms into an adult flea. All of these can occur within just 4 days although it may take some time for it to transform into its adult version if adverse conditions are present.
So, Why Does Your Dog Need Flea Treatment?
Because every time your dog foes outside, there’s no way of telling how many fleas may have latched onto them. It would be safe to assume that your pooch has at least one.
Once fleas bite, they can introduce microorganisms into the bloodstream and cause a variety of health conditions and diseases. The following are some of the more common diseases caused by fleas.
- Flea bite dermatitis: This is one of the most common issues associated with fleas in dogs. It develops because of the inflammatory changes that occur secondary to tissue injury caused by the flea bite. The skin becomes reddish and sometimes swollen and very uncomfortable for dogs. And because inflammatory chemicals are released, primarily histamine, these produce severe itching which, when vigorously scratched by your pet, can lead to loss of skin integrity. Cuts occur on the skin and these can become entry points for other microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and other parasites which can then lead to other health problems.
- Typhus: Fleas are known carriers of several species of the bacteria Rickettsia which is the principal causative agent of typhus. While the primary target is rats, dogs and humans alike are not immune to its infectious nature. This can lead to fever, joint pain, vomiting, and even muscle pain. All of these can make your pooch sick, will not want to eat, or become depressed.
- Plague: The causative agent of plague, Yersinia pestis, is basically transmitted by fleas to rats and other mammals. While the incidence of plague has been significantly reduced, there are still thousands of cases reported every year. Some of the symptoms of plague include fever and severely swollen lymph nodes. The problem is that death often ensues without warning. It is for this reason that pets that are suspected of having plague should be brought immediately to the vet for management. Also, strict isolation must be observed to prevent the spread of the disease.
- Tapeworm: The tapeworm Hymenolepis nana has been shown to be carried by fleas, although direct human-to-human transmission also occurs. Dogs can ingest adult fleas when they lick their fur or surfaces that contain tapeworm-infected fleas. Children are especially vulnerable as they can accidentally swallow an infected critter. The good thing is that this infection can be easily treated.
- Hemobartonellosis: Bartonella henselae is most commonly found in ticks although it can also be found in fleas. The danger in hemobartonellosis is that the bacteria invade the red blood cells. This disrupts the cells’ ability to carry oxygen and deliver it to the tissues. This leads to anemia which can make your pet lose its appetite, lack energy, and lose weight.
These are just some of the more common health issues associated with fleas. There are plenty more. It is exactly for these reasons that many pet owners give only the best flea medicine to dogs. And you should, too.
Where Do Fleas Hide On Dogs?
Fleas are incredibly and can thrive on any part of your pet’s body. However, they do have the tendency to hide in areas where there is some degree of protection, especially from scratching.
As such, you may want to start looking at the base of your pet’s tail as most dogs cannot scratch this part of their bodies. Additionally, the natural curvature of the tail bone gives these pests some degree of protection. Other areas where these pests can hide in your dog include the neck, the belly, and the chest. The space in between toes on your pooch’s paws can also be excellent habitat for these ectoparasites.
Can I Use Flea Treatments When My Dog is on Other Medication?
It is understandable that you may have reservations about using flea treatments while your dog is on other medication. Generally speaking, you should never combine medications as there is no way of telling what effects will come out of the drug interactions. You should always consult with your veterinarian about what flea treatments are safe for your dog if they are already on medication.
Some more safety tips you can consider when considering any treatment:
- Read the labels of each product and focus your attention on the drug interaction section.
- If you wish to combine pesticides for your pet, it is a lot better to combine a flea-only medication with a tick-only treatment.
- Never give your dog more than what is recommended.
- Do not double up on your treatments. For example, giving a flea medication on top of another flea medication.
How Often Do I Need to Give My Dog a Flea Tablet?
One of the most innovative solutions in the fight against flea infestation in pets is the development of a tablet form of these flea medications. There are many benefits of flea tablets, pills, and chewable that other forms of treatments simply cannot provide. For instance, these are considered to be more effective than traditional spray-on or topical preparations since there is no guarantee that all of the active ingredients will be absorbed by the dog’s skin. Since tablets go directly to the digestive tract where they are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream, there is a greater concentration of the active ingredient present in the blood. These medications are a lot more convenient to administer, too. Some actually come complete with all-in-one protection that helps protect pets against heartworms and intestinal parasites, not just ticks, and fleas.
But the question most pet owners ask is related to the duration of action of these formulations. Most spot-on treatments require re-application within 30 days, some as short as 15 days while others promise 90-day protection.
Similarly, the duration of effectiveness of flea tablets depends on the brand. For instance, Capstar is known to be a very potent anti-flea medication that can kill these pests within 30 minutes. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last that long. If your pet gets reinfested within the day, you can give another tablet of Capstar. Without additional effort on your part to control the environmental factors affecting flea growth, you’d end up with a more expensive treatment as you will need to give your mutt.
On the other hand, Bravecto’s 90-day protection is spectacular for a flea tablet. While it doesn’t work as fast as Capstar, it is still a lot faster than traditional spot-on medications. If you do use Bravecto, then you will have to give your pet at most 4 times a year.
This is dependent on where you live. If you live in areas where fleas thrive all year round, then you will have to treat your pet for the whole year. However, if you live in an area where these pests display seasonal patterns, then you will only give your mutt these tablets at most twice a year.
Again, depending on the product that you give to your mutt and the prevalence of flea infestation in your locality, the number of times you will give a flea tablet can range from as short as daily to about 3 months.
Tips on Preventing Fleas at Home
Regardless of how aggressive you are in your application or administration of the best flea medicine for dogs or how meticulous you are in removing these critters off of your pet if you are not going to do something about their natural habitat, then you will still face the same problem year in and year out. As we have already explained, there’s no way we can track the movement of these pests from the outside environment to our homes. We often only realize that they have invaded our homes when our pet begins to scratch. By then, many of these fleas would have already laid eggs. Some would already be in their larval and pupal stages. In a few more days, they will turn into adult fleas.
That is why it is imperative that you should also know how to prevent fleas at home. Here are some tips.
- Start cleaning your backyard. Since they love hiding in crevices and cracks where there is plenty of moisture, you may want to start spraying your backyard with an appropriate pesticide so that these pests are killed even before you or your pet has a chance to bring these inside your house. Covering crevices and cracks on the ground and keeping everything neat and tidy should also help minimize infestation. This also means you have to mow your lawn and keep the shrubs well-trimmed.
- Safeguard your property by putting appropriate electric fences for dogs that will help prevent the entry of feral animals into your backyard. Remember that fleas don’t just rely on dogs as their hosts. Other mammals are excellent hosts, too. So, don’t give this curious wildlife a reason to be nosy on your property. Don’t leave food scraps or even your pet’s food outside as these are natural magnets for feral cats, raccoons, and other creatures. Also, seal off possible entry points such as crawl spaces, sheds, garages, and even under decks as these can be used by other animals as nests.
- Call a professional to fog your home properly. Many of the chemicals used in fogging can kill fleas in all stages of development, including the very hardy pupae. These substances can also last as long as 7 months, so it may be wise to plan the fogging so that when it does wear off most of the fleas will be less active. If you have a large property, getting 2 to 3 foggers should do the trick.
For more options head over to our guide on the Best Flea Killer For Yard.
Keep your shrubs well-spaced. The more sunlight that gets through to each leaf or any other structure in your plant should help kill the larvae of these pests. Improving ventilation also helps.
Use a pet hair vacuum, sweep, and mop your floors and other surfaces to help remove eggs, larvae, pupae, and even adult fleas. Make sure to reach in baseboards as these critters love the dark. With each vacuum, dispose of the bag immediately. Remember that vibrations can ‘awaken’ pupae and turn them into adult fleas.
Wash the beddings and other items of your pet. Leave these to dry under the hot sun. This should kill these ectoparasites. Include your mutt’s toys.
What to Look out for When Buying a Flea Treatment
The market for flea and tick treatment for dogs is crowded which gives you plenty of choices. However, in order to choose the best product for you are your dog you need to know what to look for. Here are our top tips:
- Age suitability. Is the product suitable for your age of dog? Some cannot be used on dogs under 3 months or even 6 months. Others should not be used on seniors without speaking to your vet. Always check the label.
- Coat suitability. Some types of treatment are more suited to a thick coat. For example, you may want to avoid shampoos if washing and drying your dog’s very thick coat is a big job!
- Household. Perhaps you have young children in the household and would prefer to avoid harsh chemicals. A more natural product may be more appealing to you.
- Dog lifestyle. If your dog regularly goes on hikes in the forest, they need a good tick treatment.
- Where you live. Some areas of the country have a bigger problem with ticks and fleas than others.
- Time. Wipes, shampoos, and sprays are more time-consuming than tablets and chews.
- Dog co-operation. Will your dog sit still while you apply a topical treatment? Will they happily take a tablet or chew?
All dogs are different, that is why there are so many products to choose from!
Different Types of Flea Prevention Products
On the whole, you will find the following types of flea treatment for dogs:
|Type of Treatment||Pros||Cons|
|Tablets||- Highly effective|
- Quick and clean
- Usually last for at least a month
- Humans don’t come into contact with the chemicals
|- May require a prescription
- Some dogs can react to the medication
- Your dog may spit it out
- You must give the correct dose
- It may not be suitable for young pups
|Chews||- Highly effective|
- Can be combined with worm medication in the one product
- Quick to administer
- Most dogs like the taste
- Can last for up to 3 months saving you time and money
|- May require a prescription
- Some dogs can react to the medication
- You must give the correct dose
- It may not be suitable for young pups
|Sprays/wipes||- Totally natural versions with no harsh chemicals are available|
- Little chance of a reaction
- Often suitable for younger dogs
- May be suitable for home surfaces as well saving you money
|- Some are toxic to other animals (especially cats) and young children
- The dog may not be able to get wet for 24 hours
- Messy to apply
- Can have a strong odor
- Natural products are not as effective
|Topical liquids (often placed between the shoulder blades)||- Highly effective|
- Often last for a month
- Start acing very quickly
- Highly effective
- Good for dogs that will not swallow tablets or chews
- No possibility of stomach upset
|- Can cause a local skin reaction
- You may need a prescription
- Can be messy to apply
- Dog will have to stay dry for 24 hours
- Could be harmful to other pets and children while still wet
|Shampoo||- Smell pleasant|
- Also helps with skin irritation
- Leaves the coat looking great
- Often suitable for younger pups
|- Not as long lasting as some other products
- You need to leave the lather on for 5/10 minutes
- More work for the owner
|Collar||- Simple and easy to use|
- Provides constant protection
- Long-lasting – up to 8 months
- Some also have a reflective strip
- Available for different sizes of dogs
|- Young children should not come into contact with the collar
- Not all owners are happy about being constantly exposed to the chemicals
- Can cause a local skin reaction
Warning: When buying online, always ensure that you are purchasing a legitimate product, as there are many companies that will sell imitation products that can be easily mistaken for the real thing.
- How Do I Stop My Pet From Getting Fleas?, RSPCA Australia
- Using Flea Medications Safely: Top 5 Tips for Pet Parents, ASPCA
- Flea Control: Safe Solutions, PETA
Frequently Asked Questions
Unfortunately, there is no way to permanently ged rid of fleas once and for all. It is a constant battle between you and the fleas and you have to stay one step ahead of them. If you want the minimum of input, one of the longer-lasting solutions may be best for you. Consider a flea collar (than can last for up to 8 months) or one of the longer lasting chews that can last up to 3 months.
If you dog is constantly getting re-infested consider some of the hygiene measures we have highlighted above for your home and yard. These include vacuuming inside and clearing debris from your yard.
Modern flea collars are now considered effective for controlling fleas. In the past, flea collars did not work. Now, collars such as the Seresto collar featured here start working very quickly and last for up to eight months.
Dogs get fleas from another animal or from the environment. If it seems like they keep coming back, it may mean that you need more than one treatment to interrupt their lifecycle. New fleas can emerge for up to 6 weeks after the first treatment.
Also, all the dogs, cats and rabbits in your home may need to be treated. Don’t forget about environmental hygiene measures and treatment. If none of this works, consult a professional pest controller and your vet.
No they can’t but this is not because they drown. They are killed by the combination of heat and the chemicals in laundry detergent. To eradicate fleas from bedding and other clothes, was on a hot cycle – fleas cannot survive beyond 95°F and are sensitive to laundry powder containing boric acid. Popping your clothes on a hot cycle in the drier is also likely to kill fleas and their eggs.