The Best Flea Treatment for Dogs (Review) in 2021
- The Best Flea Treatment for Dogs
- 1. Bayer Animal Health Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs
- 2. Frontline Plus for Dogs Flea and Tick Treatment
- 3. Bayer Animal Health K9 Advantix II Flea and Tick Prevention
- 4. Capstar Flea Tablets for Dogs
- 5. Petarmor for Dogs Flea and Tick Squeeze-On
- 6. Sentry Pet Care Capguard Oral Flea Control Medication
- 7. Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Spray for Dogs
- 8. Advecta Dog Flea Collar
- 9. Sentry Pet Care FiproGuard Flea and Tick for Dogs
- 10. Richard’s Organics Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs
- 11. Natural Care Flea Spray for Dogs
- 12. Bravecto Fluralaner Chews for Dogs
Fleas. Even the word itself makes you shudder. These good-for-nothing parasites don't seem to exist for any particularly good reason other than to make our lives and those of our furry friends a living hell. Any seasoned pet-owner is unfortunately all too aware of the inconvenience of fleas. As well as making our beloved dog's lives miserable by producing painful and itchy bites, it almost seems impossible at times to treat our dogs and completely exterminate fleas from our living quarters.
Tired of splashing the cash on treatment after treatment only for the flea’s reign of terror to continue in your home? Or have you had enough of dragging your pup against their will to the vet's where it seems like the price you're paying for the check-up and medicine is equivalent to the price of flea and tick treatment for ten dogs? Luckily, we've done our research and compiled together the top ten best flea treatments for dogs out there so that your pupper will be protected against these nasty-parasites for good.
The Best Flea Treatment for Dogs
Single flea collar keeps your dog protected for eight months long
Collar offers non-greasy convenience compared to expensive topicals
Dogs protected by stained released technology
Applied to your dog in seconds
Veterinarian-recommended collar programmed to kill and repel fleas and ticks
Tired of those smelly, sticky monthly treatments and topicals which keep your dog protected from bugs? Seresto’s Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs will keep your dog safe from disease by repelling and killing fleas and ticks without the additional hassle. Unlike other flea collars, Seresto can easily be disguised and worn simultaneously alongside your pet’s favorite collar during the flea-ridden months.
What’s more, you won’t even have to think about searching for a new flea solution for up to eight months. Seresto’s collar will get right to it – after being on your pet for twenty-four hours those nasty ticks should be long gone. And they’ll be eradicated without having to deal with the usual grease and smell of the average flea treatment.
Top Tip: Although the collar is water-resistant, its effectiveness will decrease if dogs are washed more than once per month (5 months for flea control and 7 months for tick control)
Ideal for larger dogs around 45-88 lbs
One dosage will last for a full 30 days
Breaks flea life cycle, kills ticks
Simple application ensured
Reliable waterproof treatment
One dose of Frontline Plus flea and tick treatment will stop those nasty parasites in their tracks. Ideal for larger dogs, all you’ll have to do once a month is apply the formula in between your dog’s shoulder blades and they’ll be safe to roam wherever they see fit. Not only will Frontline’s product prevent fleas, it will also destroy any eggs and larvae plus ticks that have made your dog their temporary home.
A product which vets trust, the Frontline Plus flea and tick control will get rid of those nasty parasites only twelve hours after initial application. Several buyers even affirm that this tick control is ideal for dogs with extremely sensitive skin. Invest in this medication to give yourself and your pooch the peace of mind you both deserve.
Repellent will be effective within ten minutes of application
Protects dogs from mosquitoes, fleas, chewing lice, and ticks
Recommended for application on larger dogs
Cost-effective pack includes six applications
Bayer’s K9 Advantix 11 is specifically engineered to protect big dogs from all kinds of pests including fleas, ticks, and mosquitos. This waterproof product will start killing fleas within ten minutes. It’s super convenient and easy to apply too– just spread the substance evenly from two to three spots from the top of your dog’s back to their tail base, and your pup will be covered for a whole month.
This effective product jumps into action almost immediately, starting to kill fleas within just ten minutes after application. It’s even able to kill off the nastier parasite breed that dog-lovers fear the most – ticks who carry lime disease.
Fleas are killed on your dog within four hours after application
Simple administration directly in mouth or in food
Safe for use in pregnant or breeding dogs and cats
Able to deliver another dose as often as once per day if re-infestation occurs
Safe for use in puppies if weighing over two pounds
Based in Switzerland, Novartis’ goal is to provide healthcare to all their patients, including our beloved pets. Their flea tablets for dogs and cats are both fast-acting and mess-free. Killing off fleas on your dog in only four hours, the tablet can be placed directly in your pet’s month without any subsequent mayhem. If your dog refuses to swallow it, we recommend hiding it in their food at dinner time (but make sure you hang around to ensure they gobble it up).
A single dose should kill fleas living off your dog. Although these pills will only work for a maximum of 24 hours, we believe they’re worth it when looking at the price and the zero harmful long-term results on your dog. Capstar’s primary active ingredient is nitenpyram which interferes with nerve transmission in adult fleas with zero detrimental side effects for your beloved pooch. If you want your four-legged friends to heal up and to end the flea-infestation, these are a great option.
Waterproof formula only takes seconds to apply
Prevents fleas and ticks for up to thirty days
Impedes the spreading of harmful diseases such as Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever
Fleas and ticks will be eradicated from 24 to 48 hours
Stops re-infestation of fleas and ticks
PETAMOR’s Squeeze-On formula is simple to use and as effective as flea treatments get. This topical treatment for dogs will prevent the spreading of potentially harmful diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever by squeezing one tube between your dog’s shoulder blades once every thirty days.
Even better, not only will all fleas and ticks be killed off, their spawn will also be destroyed including flea larvae and eggs within 24-48 hours. There’s no need to lug yourself and your four-legged all the way to the vets to receive treatment, just one click online and you’ll have a simple and cost-effective solution to your flea problem.
Straightforward tablet cuts out any hassle when treating your dog for ticks and fleas
Even suitable for dogs over 25lbs
Packed full of vet recommended and active ingredient Nitenpyram to kill off pests
Economical cost-alternative to expensive vet-treatment
Can’t rub or wash it off
Sentry Capguard’s Oral Flea Control Medication is the answer to the long-debated flea question. Containing the veterinarian recommended Nitenpyram, this tablet will start acting within just thirty minutes of it being taken. Not only that, it’s the cheapest you’ll find Nitenpyram anywhere on the market. This active ingredient will work exactly the same as the other brands, only at a lower price.
Delivering the best results for dogs over 25lbs, this pill is only meant for a 24-hour period unlike many other topicals – so ensure that your dog is protected outside this period. However, unlike many topicals, this Capguard pill cannot be washed off and won’t create a mess!
Can be used on pets and throughout home
Contains peppermint and clove oil
Ideal for active infestations and as ongoing protection
Won’t stain any home surfaces
Do you ever worry about what potential side effects could arise from treating your dog with chemicals included in flea treatment? Vet’s Best has the answer: a spray which kills fleas and ticks without any potential side effects. Having created a product filled with powerful plant extracts such as clove and peppermint, which have been drawn out by steam distillation, this product goes back to nature’s roots.
While natural, this product is highly effective at getting rid of fleas and ticks, and you can spray it anywhere you like without fear of ruining your favorite piece of furniture. Finally, this spray will also protect your pooch from any pesky mosquitos – so better stick around your dog at all times during the summer months!
Waterproof and fragrance free, safe for dogs from seven weeks
Further flea and tick epidemics are prevented for up to four months
Contains pyriproxyfen & imidacloprid
Breaks up flea life cycle
If you’d rather treat your dog for ticks in the comfort of your own home than dragging them to the nearest vet only to pay a fortune on bills, we suggest giving Advecta 11’s Flea Topical Treatment a shot. This product is a three-way protection which kills flea adults, flea larvae and eggs. Suitable for dogs over 55lbs, the topical in question is a handy replacement for all those common flea treatments which have grown to be far too expensive in recent years.
Containing pyriproxyfen and imidacloprid as active ingredients, this treatment is guaranteed to kill fleas even if your dog suffers from a severe infestation. Likewise, your pet will be protected for up to four months after applying the treatment. It’s a must if you’re involved in the battle of wits of man versus fleas.
Suitable for applying to lactating, nursing, or pregnant dogs
Ideal for medium dogs weighing between 23-44 pounds
Inclusion of fiproguard kills dangerous brown and American dog ticks
Cost-effective solution due to packaging containing six application tubes
The Sentry’s FiproGuard Topical Flea and Tick Control for dogs will have those evil little pests jumping off your dog at the very sight of it. Containing the vet-recommended active ingredient Fipronil, this topical repellent will protect your pet from all fleas, ticks, and chewing lice for thirty days. Simply apply by squeezing the tube solution over your dog’s skin around the back of the neck and the tail.
For every pet lover who wishes to treat fleas on a budget, Sentry’s Fiproguard is both waterproof and available for a reasonable price. One packet includes six applications tubes which will protect your dog for a period of six months. Dog-lovers even state that this topical even works for those pooches with sensitive skin. Watch miracles happen and place your trust in Sentry.
Contains 5 essential oils as active ingredients
Natural and gentle on the skin
Repels and kills fleas, ticks and mosquitoes
Fast-acting with a pleasant scent
Made from natural and perfectly pet-safe ingredients including 5 essential oils, this flea shampoo is gentle on the skin, soothing your dog’s red and irritated skin patches and flea bites. As a bonus, it also smells nice thanks to the essential oils that act as active ingredients.
Because it’s made with an array of different oils, including peppermint, cinnamon, clove, rosemary and cedar oil, the shampoo is guaranteed to not only repel and kill fleas and ticks, but also mosquitoes – perfect for those long hikes in nature! It’s also fast-acting – you should see fleas coming off your pup as you bathe them.
A blend of peppermint oil and clove extract
Kills and repels fleas, ticks and mosquitoes
Can be used on pets and throughout the home
Suitable for both cats and dogs
Another natural flea and tick treatment, this spray is quick and easy to use both on your pet and throughout your home. Containing a powerful blend of peppermint oil and clove extract, this spray conveniently kills and repels adult fleas, eggs and larvae, ticks and mosquitoes, making it perfect for outdoor pets; both dogs and cats.
Because it’s natural and safe for the entire family, you can also use this spray on your upholstery, blankets, pillows, pet bedding and anywhere else fleas might hide. Still, you should take precautionary measures when using any flea spray, so obviously avoid contact with skin and eyes and wash your hands after use.
Contains 1000 mg Fluralaner
12 weeks of protection against fleas, 8 against ticks
Prescription approval required
Flavored, easy to administer
If you’re looking for a powerful, prescription-required oral medication against fleas and ticks, check out Bravecto’s chews for dogs. Containing only one active ingredient – fluralaner – this treatment kills fleas and prevents flea infestations for up to 12 weeks, and terminates Lone Star ticks for up to 8 weeks.
Conveniently, the chew is flavored, so you should have no problem administering it to your dog; in fact, they may actually enjoy chewing it! But because it’s so powerful and fast-acting, it does come with a few possible side effects so it’s important that you consult with your vet before purchasing it. Also important to note is that Bravecto is not recommended for dogs with seizures.
Best Flea Treatment for Dogs Buying Guide & FAQ
What to Look for in Flea Treatments for Dogs
It can be incredibly overwhelming when faced with the numerous flea treatments available, out of which only some are effective in making your dog and home flea-free. Here is a list of key questions to ask yourself before making your final decision.
- How many parasites will this product protect my dog from?
Although it's pretty disgusting to contemplate, there are hundreds of different breeds of parasites about, eager to become an unwelcome visitor on your pet. These range from your average flea to dangerous species such as the American dog and brown dog tick which are able to cause all kinds of dangerous diseases. Therefore, search for products that cover a broad spectrum of parasites. If you want to be even more careful, call up your local vet to find out which of these parasites are most prevalent in your local area.
- How much time and patience are my dog and I willing to invest in different kinds of flea treatment?
Before opting for certain types of time-consuming flea treatment, it's important to consider your lifestyle. Many people don't have the time to invest in short-term, oral medications and instead believe that treatments such as collars work better for them. Also, think about how your dog will take to your chosen medicine. If your dog is a wriggler and won't stay still during topical application, maybe a collar or oral medication is the best way to go.
- What is the overall purpose of this product?
There's an astounding number of flea treatments available out there on the market, and each product doesn't have the same purpose. For example, some products repel fleas and ticks; others eradicate larvae and forms of parasite that are still developing; and alternative treatments only kill of adult parasites. To this end, we recommend reading the label over and over again to ensure that you've selected a product ideal for your specific situation. If you want your dog to have full coverage against fleas and ticks, there are even some treatments out there that will protect against all three purposes.
You may also like our guide on Dog Flea Combs.
Why Does My Dog Need Flea Treatment
Seriously, don't wait for a flea problem to manifest before searching for a solution. Instead, use products all year round to protect your dog from harm’s way. Prevention is key and to prove this, we've compiled together a list of compelling reasons to use flea-products on your four-legged friend all year round.
- Fleas are DANGEROUS
Ok, so this point may already be obvious. But we want to re-iterate it again for the folks up the back. Fleas can cause all sorts of horrific diseases in your dog like tapeworms – which are initially inside the flea and subsequently grow inside your dog. In younger animals, a severe flea infestation can cause anemia as the feeding of the fleas can reduce their red bloods cells.
- They aren't only an issue in the spring and summer
We hate to break it to you, but the delusion that fleas are only prevalent in spring and summer to then become magically extinct in the winter is only wishful thinking. These nasty bloodsuckers lie in wait throughout the winter so they can thrive during warmer environments. And they're favorite place to wait out the winter is in the comfort of your cozy home.
- Prevent a flea infestation from occurring in your home
Let's debunk another common myth that fleas only exist in dirty homes. If a dog isn't treated for fleas correctly then even the most immaculate of homes can become infested. And let it be known that if this happens, it's a nightmare to regulate and will usually take a minimum of three months to sort out. Therefore, best not to play the game of chance and protect your dog and your home before they contract fleas.
Take a look at our article on Essential Oils for Fleas on Dogs.
Types of Flea Treatments for Dogs
Luckily, there's a product for everyone when treating your dog against fleas. Here is a list of our favorites.
- Flea Shampoos
Similar to standard pet shampoos, flea shampoos are designed to clean your dog's skin and coat, plus kill and/or repel fleas and ticks. Typically, they contain essential oils known to repel pests, or actual insecticides.
- Topical Treatments
This liquid medication is what's typically used to cure dogs of their flea problem. By applying this formula to an area out of the way of any typical self-cleaning, these ingredients will be absorbed into your dog's skin over a period of time.
- Flea Collars
With the long life-span that flea collars usually offer, they're often considered to be the best method of protection. However, it can often be a hit or miss with such flea treatment, as many of them only protect an extremely small part of your dog from infection (usually around the neck).
Many dog-owners recommend the variety of multi-functional sprays available which they consider to be less harmful towards the overall health of their pupper. Yet it's important to be aware of where and when you can spray them; some sprays are only able to be used outside and can mark furniture, while others are safe to use all throughout the home.
Check out our review of the Best Flea Carpet Powders & Sprays.
Flea Control Tips
You've tried every flea prevention on the planet, you've scrubbed your house from top to bottom, and still your dog has fleas. What are you doing wrong? Follow these top tips to ensure that fleas will stay out your home forever.
- Vacuum, Vacumm, and Vacumm some more
Fleas tend to make themselves cozy in the little nooks and crannies around your house. Vacuum everywhere (including behind the furniture) as well as removing the vacuum bags straight afterwards. After treating your home with detergent flea removal detergent, vacuum again to ensure that all organs of fleas and food sources are gone.
- Groom and clean your dog
Using specific brushes geared towards removing fleas from your home should capture many of these annoying parasites, including dormant fleas.
- Disinfect your dog's environment
Does your dog have a favorite bed which they automatically collapse into after a long walk or a playdate with their buddy? Flea eggs can remain dormant in your pet's environment for long bouts of time. Wash all their favorite spots and bedding thoroughly so these pesky eggs can be eliminated.
- Create your very own flea trap
Like humans, fleas thrive in cozy temperatures and consequently are attracted to warmth. This is why placing a dish of soapy water near sleeping areas can become very effective in catching adult fleas who are operating without a host.
The Difference Between an Allergy and Regular Flea Bites
If you're often asking yourself why your dog is scratching, chances are they've either succumbed to an allergy or flea bites. There are two main types of dermatitis – this term referring to the inflammation of the skin – which are allergic and parasitic. Allergic dermatitis is triggered by seasonal, non-seasonal and food allergies while parasitic dermatitis is affiliated with insect bites.
Before you jump into a panic, it's important to ask yourself some key questions in order to differentiate between the two before deciding upon your next move.
- Where is my dog scratching?
Fleas often throng together around a dog's head, neck, tail base, and perineum while dogs who fall victim to allergies are most commonly affected around the armpits, ears, feet, groin, legs, muzzle and eyes.
- Have they eaten anything unusual in the last few days?
If your dog has been fed anything which differs from their normal diet, notably proteins and grains, chances are they could just be taking an allergic reaction to the food and not be bugged down with fleas. Common food allergies are triggered by chicken and even beef.
Our Top Pick
Finding it difficult to choose between all the reputable flea treatments recommended above? Out of all the products, we would simply have to opt for Bayer's Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs. There's no need to worry about sourcing other reliable flea treatments from elsewhere, as Bayer's collar will protect your pet for up to eight months against fleas and ticks. For the average working family this is ideal, as unlike pills and certain topicals, there's no need to do anything else for this period of time. This design is non-greasy and odorless and makes for a happy home as well as a happy dog. Bayer are well aware of the fear of 'ugliness' associated with these kinds of collars and have designed their anti-flea collar so that standard leash collars can be worn alongside it. And being veterinarian recommended, you know that your investment won't bring harm to your four-legged friend in any way. For these reasons, invest in Bayer's today to give your dog the quality, flea-free life they deserve.
Q: Do they work?
Whether a flea and tick remedy will work depends on two factors: the active ingredients the treatment contains, and the severity of the infestation your dog suffers from. For instance, natural flea solutions such as those containing essential oils known to repel pests, are perfectly fine for pups struggling with milder flea problems. However, more powerful active ingredients such as imidacloprid, flumethrin or pyriproxyfen may be required for more severe infestations. All products featured on our top list do work as they contain effective anti-flea ingredients, be it natural oils or insecticides.
Q: How long do you have to wait to wash a dog after flea treatment?
Unfortunately a lot of flea treatments – although effective – can stink to high heaven. However, although it's more than tempting to get rid of the smell and throw your dog in the tub the first chance you've got, it's best to wait it out.
Don't become confused with flea treatments labelling of 'Waterproof' – many customers consider this to mean straight after application and often bathe their dog. Allow the topical time to settle into your dog's skin before washing them or their protection will wear off sooner than you want it to. As a general rule of thumb, wait at least 48 hours before washing your four-legged friend.
One common error even seasoned dog-owners make is believing that the 48-hour rule only applies to topical medication. Unfortunately, there's no getting around the washing ban rule as it still applies – most collars will require the two-day headway to get their flea prevention going. If anything, it's a nice excuse to relax and not wash your dog for a while!
Q: How long can a flea survive without a host?
Finally, some good news. Although it may seem like fleas are impossible to kill off, without a host to steal nutrients from they'll be dead within four short days. This is due to a multitude of reasons, such as malnourishment, blood dependency, and starvation. Although it may seem a little cruel to want animals to die, we've not encountered anybody who really cares all that much about these nasty blood-sucking parasites.
Q: How long does it take for fleas to die after flea treatment?
How long it takes for fleas to die really depends on your chosen flea treatment. It's a fine line between how quickly you want fleas destroyed and the long-lasting effectiveness of the treatment, so tread carefully!
Usually, topical treatments will start working within 12 hours and kill all stages of fleas (both adults and larvae).
Flea and Tick Collars
These handy accessories will begin to kill off fleas within the first 24 hours.
Daily Chewable Treatments for Infestation
If you're looking for something which works a little quicker than your average remedy, daily chewable treats are by far the fastest. They'll start to kill off fleas primarily within one hour of treatment. It's always nice to see immediate results but remember, these products will wear off in a hurry!
Q: How long does it take flea treatment to wear off?
Although some flea treatments may start working quicker than others, many wear off just as fast. Here's a list of common treatments which last the longest:
Although some may consider topical treatments to be smelly and inconvenient, these spot-on chemicals within the treatment will be deposited into the sweat glands of the skin and released for several weeks at a time.
Just like topical treatments, flea collars use concentrated chemicals – which are dispersed all over your dog's body – and will subsequently last up to several months. One product reviewed in our buying guide, Bayer's Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs, offers up to eight continuous months of protection.
It really depends on the different active chemical used. Some oral medications will last a few days whereas others will last a month. Nitenpyram is an example of an insecticide prevalent within oral medication and daily chewables, which doesn't have a continuous long-term effect and shouldn't be relied upon for uninterrupted flea control.
- Fleas and Ticks - ASPCA