Fleas can be a horrible infection for both you and your pup. They are persistent and difficult to get rid of, causing your dog to scratch relentlessly and even causing nasty diseases. They can pass from your dogs onto your other animals, live around your house and even infect your children, so you’ll want to get rid of them pronto. Luckily, there are a lot of different dog flea treatment products out there.
While fleas are adapting to be able to survive with certain flea treatments, it can be difficult for pet owners to find one that is really going to work and keep these critters away from their pup. This is why we have compiled a buying guide and our favorite flea treatments below, so you can get rid of these creatures once and for all.
Why Does My Dog Need Flea Treatment?
Although flea season usually begins in the spring and lasts through the summer into early fall, these fleas can be very dangerous to the health of the dog and their owner and this is why flea treatment can be necessary all year round.
Fleas and ticks are little critters that suck the blood from your dog’s skin, even when they can’t feel it. Fleas are very hardy animals and can survive in very cold temperatures, latching onto your canine’s fur and laying eggs on their skin. Your dog then carries these around, carrying them into your house and passing them onto other animals or people they interact with. Because fleas and ticks are so small, you often can’t see them your dog’s fur. They are easier to see on a dog with light brown or white fur.
What Lies Beneath
Fleas like to live in the dark and can be found in the cracks in your floorboards or under your dog’s bedding. They can also jump into your dog’s food bowl and become pupae, which then hatch into adult fleas. Fleas can be extremely difficult to get rid of and this is why your dog will need a flea treatment. Although there are natural home remedies to get rid of fleas, such as washing your dog or using vinegar, nothing beats a medicated flea treatment to really ensure they are all gone. You may not be able to see fleas on your dog’s body, but if your dog has been outside in your backyard it is safe to assume that they may have at least one.
The Long Game
Fleas can live on your dog’s body for up to 120 days. If they are not treated, they can lead to a variety of skin conditions and diseases that can make your dog very unwell. These can include flea bite anemia in heavy flea infestations or flea bite dermatitis. Flea bite dermatitis is a very common condition in dog’s with fleas and is the primary cause for scratching. The dermatitis makes the skin very red and swollen, and, with a lot of scratching, the skin can be opened up to new infections.
Typhus and plague are two other diseases your pooch get acquire from fleas, both with make them very sick, with plague often causing death. Tapeworms are another issue as fleas can act as an immediate host to tapeworms. This can be dangerous if you have small children, because children can then be infected with tapeworm. Luckily, tapeworm is easy to cure.
Things To Look For In A Dog Flea Treatment
Now you know why flea treatment is so important for dogs, it is important to also know what to look for in flea treatment for dogs.
There are two types of flea treatments that you can administer to your dog. One is a topical treatment, which you apply to your dog’s skin. The topical treatments can come in the form of shampoos, powders or spot-on treatments. The other is in the form of tablets that are taken orally. These are known for being the most successful form of flea treatment, but the one you choose depends on many factors such as the size of your dog and how infected they are with fleas. If you are unsure you should speak to your vet about which treatment is going to be best for you.
The dosage or amount of the treatment you give your dog should be something you should also take into consideration. Oral pills should normally be taken daily, whereas a topical treatment can be applied as little as every 30 days and last a month each time.
If your dog has fleas, you will want to give them immediate relief, especially from the itching. Topical treatments are best for this and can usually be effective in twelve hours at relieving any discomfort.
While topical treatments are faster at removing any discomfort your pet may be feeling, they are actually not as effective as oral pills. If you are unsure about which one to go for, you should consult your vet.
If you have a cat living at home with your dog, you should treat them for fleas too because these critters can be passed from pet to pet. If this is the case, you should look for a topical treatment that can be administered to both types of pet, because often pills contain too high of a dosage for cats if they are designed for dogs and it will vary depending on their age and their weight.
The type of flea treatment you give to your pet will also depend on their age. Topical flea treatments can usually be given from 7 weeks old, but oral treatments from 14 weeks because of the higher dose.
If you are ready to find the right flea treatment for your pup and rid them of the nasty critters, take a look at the best pet flea treatments that we recommend below, all available to you on Amazon.
The Best Dog Flea Treatment Reviews
The Frontline Plus flea and tick treatment for dogs is a waterproof, fast-acting and long-lasting treatment for dogs between 23-44 lbs. This treatment kills adult fleas plus flea eggs and larvae to stop existing infestations and prevent a reoccurrence of them later on. It also kills lice and ticks, including those that may transmit Lyme disease. Made with two tough killing ingredients, fipronil and s-methoprene — one to kill adult fleas and ticks and the second to kill flea eggs and larvae —this treatment is safe to use on puppies over the age of eight weeks. Included in the packet is six doses, with each dose lasting thirty days and a full packet lasting six months.
TevraPet’s Activate II flea and tick prevention contains imidacloprid, permethrin and pyriproxyfen and is proven to repel fleas, flea eggs, ticks, biting flies and mosquitoes. This broad spectrum topical application kills all stages of fleas to ensure they won’t come back. This packet includes four applications, each which last 30 days and therefore meaning the packet will last you four months. There is no need to reapply the application after your dog goes swimming or gets wet. This flea treatment is designed for puppies over the age of seven weeks and dogs over 55 lbs. It is made in the USA. This treatment also comes in three other weight sizes, based on the size of your dog.
Designed for dogs over the weight of 25 lbs, the Capstar flea treatment is an oral treatment that comes in the form of tablets that your dog must swallow. Because this is an oral dose, this treatment is fast-acting and begins working in thirty minutes, with studies showing that it achieves 90% effectiveness in just four hours. It helps to kill adult fleas that cause flea allergy dermatitis in just one tablet, too. Even better, if your dog were to get re-infested, you can safely give another dose as often as once per day. Suitable for dogs over the age of four weeks, there are six doses in this packet.
PETARMOR Plus is a fully waterproof, flea and tick topical prevention for dogs that kills fleas, flea eggs, flea larvae, ticks, and chewing lice for up to 30 days after the first application. Formulated with fipronil, this powerful formula begins killing fleas within 24 hours and does not just kill fleas but works by breaking the flea cycle, killing eggs for up to 12 weeks. It also keeps your dog safe from brown dog ticks, American dog ticks, lone star ticks and deer ticks which may cause Lyme disease. In this packet there are three applications, perfect for medium sized dogs between 23-44 lbs. There are different versions of the application available to purchase too, based on your dog’s size.
The Bayer K9 Advantix II kills and repels fleas, ticks and mosquitoes through contact, meaning that these harmful critters do not have to bite your dog to die. This treatment is easy to apply and starts working to kill fleas within 12 hours and keeps working for 30 days before you need to apply another treatment. This treatment also repels fleas and kills lice, ensuring that there won’t be a reoccurrence of the fleas and your dog can stay flea free. This packet contains four doses of treatment, lasting up to four months, although there are options to purchase smaller or larger doses. This treatment is designed for large dogs between 21-55 lbs.
Designed for adult dogs, this Adams Plus flea and tick shampoo is a formula that effectively kills fleas, ticks, flea eggs, flea larvae and lice. The shampoo is formulated with soothing aloe, lanolin, coconut extract and oatmeal and is designed for those dogs with sensitive skin. It also contains an insect growth regulator to kill and prevent flea development for up to 28 days. This shampoo is safe to use on all dogs, cats, puppies and kittens 12 weeks and older, so is therefore perfect if you have a multi-pet household. It also has a pleasant and fresh scent and helps to condition your pet’s fur and restore shine, as well as containing protein for improved groom-ability.
7) Berku Dog Flea Collar for Flea and Tick Treatment and Prevention
The Berku dog flea collar provides a very effective way to ensure your dog does not get infested with either fleas or ticks. Unlike a topical treatment or an oral tablet that you need to keep giving your dog, this collar works around the clock to kill and repel fleas, ticks, and other pests ensuring 24/7 protection for a continuous 8 months. Infused with only natural ingredients and containing no harsh chemicals, this collar is very safe and helps to repel larvae and lice that could cause harm to your dog.
It also contains a blend of essential oils such as eucalyptus and peppermint oil. The collar is waterproof too and is built to be used for any sized dog. All you need to do is adjust the collar to fit the length you need and cut off any remaining length.
Another flea and tick collar, this one from Seresto is designed for dogs over 18 lbs. This collar provides continuous protection over your dog’s skin and coat for 8 months, without the hassle of having to apply a topical treatment or give your dog an oral tablet. The collar is odorless and non-greasy and kills and repels fleas and ticks. This collar also kills through contact so fleas and ticks don’t have to bite your dog to die.
The active ingredients in this collar are imidacloprid and flumethrin which are stored within the collar and released in low concentrations over your dog’s hair and skin surface. This makes the collar both effective and long-lasting, as well as maintenance and easy for you. This collar is also available in different sizes for different breeds of dogs.
Flea Away is a vitamin complex, made to FDA human standards and specifically formulated for dogs and cats, creating a natural and safe barrier from fleas, ticks and mosquitos. Perfect for a multi-pet household, these chewable tablets repel fleas, ticks and mosquitoes naturally, with no toxic chemicals or residue. The fleas and ticks are repelled before they even bite your pet, so you can be sure there is no harm caused to them. The vitamin formula also promotes healthier skin, a shinier coat and better joints as well as reducing shedding.
The chews come in a liver flavor and one should be administered every day for 30 days to build up to the appropriate level to fight off the critters. Different doses are based on the size of your pet.
This spray from Wondercide is a natural flea, tick and mosquito repellent and treatment designed to be used on your pets and also around your home. Safe for dogs and cats of all ages, this treatment kills and repels 98-100% of fleas, ticks and mosquitoes, while also eliminating the entire pest life cycle, including eggs, larvae and adults. With so harsh chemicals, the ingredients are naturally derived and it is gentle enough to use on small and senior pets weekly.
You can also spray it on your carpet, furniture, bedding and flooring to ensure the fleas are really gone and won’t come back to infest your pets. The spray comes in a peppermint scent although other scents are available, including lemongrass, rosemary and cedarwood.
The Hartz topical flea and tick treatment is a formula that kills fleas, flea eggs, deer and brown dog ticks while also preventing re-infestation for up to 30 days after application. Helping to get rid of nasty fleas and ticks that may cause Lyme disease, this treatment is easy to apply and comes with three months worth of formula. It is a fast-acting treatment with active ingredients that spread through the glands, helping to regulate your dog’s natural oil composition. It is designed to be used on dogs and puppies 12 weeks or older that weigh 5-14 lbs, although it is also available in other doses based on the size and weight of your pet.
Another flea and tick repellent collar, this one from Hartz kills and repels fleas, ticks, flea eggs and flea larvae, as well as preventing flea eggs from hatching, for up to 7 months. Designed to be worn alongside your dog’s regular collar, this fresh scented collar gives long-lasting full body protection to ensure your dog won’t be infested again. With it’s water-resistant design, the collar won’t lose it’s effectiveness if your dog goes swimming or gets wet and reflective strips included in the design reflect direct light up to 450 feet for added visibility. This collar is formulated for use on adult dogs and puppies 12 weeks of age and older and fits dogs with necks that measure up to 26 inches.
The Natural Care flea and tick spray works to kill fleas, flea eggs and ticks on contact, as well as killing mosquitoes, both on your cats and dogs and also around your house. All you need to do is to spray this formula wherever you think these critters may be hiding and it will kill them. The spray uses plant extracts, such as peppermint oil and clove extract, as well as eugenol, to ensure it’s effectiveness and the lack of any harsh chemicals means it is safe to use on pet bedding, pillows, blankets, carpets, rugs, drapes, upholstery and countertops, without you having to worry about it leaving a stain. It is also safe to use on your dogs and cats, 12 weeks and older.
Another home spray, this plant-based formula from Vet’s Best kills fleas, flea larvae, flea eggs, ticks and mosquitoes by contact without harsh chemicals. It is safe enough to be used on your pets as well as around the house due to the all natural formulation, with essential oils that contain pest-fighting properties, including peppermint oil and eugenol.
Because this is a water-based formula and will therefore not stain any surfaces, the spray applies easily on surfaces, indoors and out, including dog bedding, crates, furniture, blankets, upholstery and carpets, as well as your dog’s themselves. It is designed to be used on dogs and puppies 12 weeks or older. It is made in the USA and certified safe.
Similar to the other Bayer flea treatment we mentioned above, this Bayer Advantage II flea and lice treatment is designed for extra large dogs over 55 lbs and seven weeks or older. A topical flea treatment, this effective formula kills fleas in multiple life stages – eggs, larvae and adults – to break the flea life cycle. It works on contact and therefore these fleas do not have to bite your dog to die, making it extra safe for your pup.
This treatment starts working within 12 hours and protects for up to 30 days, with each packet containing four doses and therefore lasting you four months. It is also waterproof, so perfect if your dog loves swimming, and is also fragrance free so your dog won’t smell funky after the application!
The SENTRY Fiproguard flea and tick prevention is a topical flea treatment that can be used on puppies and dogs eight weeks and older as well as on breeding, pregnant and lactating dogs. This treatment contains fipronil, the number one veterinarian recommended active ingredient, meaning that it kills fleas, ticks and chewing lice, as well as controlling mites and killing ticks such as deer ticks, brown dog ticks, American dog ticks and lone star ticks that may cause Lyme disease.
There are three applications of treatment in this packet, which each application lasting 30 days and therefore the packet lasting you three months. The treatment is designed for dogs between 4-22 lbs and the formula is also waterproof and will not wash off if your dog goes swimming or gets wet.
Tips On Preventing Fleas At Home
No matter how many times you administer your dog with flea treatment, if you don’t tackle the source of the problem then these fleas will keep coming back. You need to make sure that your home and garden are flea free too, and not just your dog.
Fleas and ticks like dark, damp places, so you should treat these places first. You should start with your back garden, using a flea pesticide on plants and area that you may think has been infected. The cleaner and tidier your garden is, the less likely there are to be fleas. You can also buy flea-repelling plants such as rosemary and lemongrass. Cut your lawn and trim your shrubs, too, just to be sure. You can also use an electric dog fence to keep your garden area flea free. With and electric dog fence only your dog will be allowed inside the fence, so you won’t be attracting stray dogs or other animals that may bring fleas to your yard.
For your home, you should start by vacuuming. Vacuum the cracks in the floorboards and any other dark crevices where fleas may be breeding. You can use a pet hair vacuum for this, as well as sweeping and mopping the floor. You should always dispose of the waste immediately afterwards to ensure the fleas and larvae aren’t still infesting your house. Washing your pets bedding after they have been infected is also essential. Washing these, including your dog’s toys, and leaving them to dry in the hot sun should kill any remaining fleas. If this doesn’t work, you can always call a professional to fog your house and ensure the fleas are really gone.
Best Dog Flea Treatment FAQ’s
Where do fleas hide on dogs?
Because fleas are so small, it can be difficult to know where they are hiding. As we mentioned above, sometimes you can only see them if your dog has light brown or white fur. Fleas tend to hide where there is some degree of protection form your dog scratching at them. These places can include their tail, their neck, their belly and their chest, as well as the space between their toes. You should start by applying the flea treatment in these areas first, before the rest of the body.
In your house, as we have said before, fleas like warm, damp, dark spaces. You should check any cracks between floorboards or crevices for these critters, as well as bedding or cracks in furniture. In your garden they are most likely to hide in plants, flowers and tall grass, so it is important to keep your garden trimmed and neat to eliminate the chance of fleas breeding.
Can I use flea treatment when my dog is on other medication?
This is a very important question because mixing two types of medication can be very dangerous if you don’t know the side effects. You should always check with your vet if your dog is on another medication before giving them any kind of flea treatment. Your vet will also be able to advise which kind of flea treatment is right for your dog and which one will not cause any side effects when combined with the medicine they are already taking. Remember, you should always read the label for the ingredients of the medication you are giving your dog and you should never double up on the amount of treatment you are giving your dog.
How often do I need to give my dog their flea treatment?
The answer to this question depends on a number of factors. Firstly, it depends on the type of flea treatment you are giving your dog. Oral tablets often have to be taken every day, whereas a topical treatment may only need to be applied every 15 or 30 days.
Another factor to consider is how infested your dog is with fleas and where you live. If your dog is more likely to get infected again, then you should continuously give your dog their treatment all year round to keep these fleas and ticks at bay. Also, the different brands of flea treatment will have different dosage amounts and some will work quicker and longer than others. It is always important to read the label of the flea treatment you buy and never give your dog more than the recommended amount.
Can you use vinegar to get rid of fleas?
Yes, you can use vinegar to get rid of fleas. Vinegar is a great natural flea treatment that can help to kill the fleas. It contains acetic acid which has a very strong smell and taste that the fleas tend to avoid. However, vinegar is primarily useful as a preventative for fleas, rather than a treatment if your dog is already infected. If your dog already has fleas and you are trying to get rid of them, the best way to do this is with a medicated flea treatment.
Fleas and ticks are two nasty critters that can make life for your pet very uncomfortable. Not only do they cause your pet to scratch at their own skin, often tearing the skin, but they can also cause a number of diseases that can make your pet very sick or even kill them. Luckily, the flea treatments we have listed above are a great way to treat and prevent your dog from being infested with fleas and allow them to go back to their happy selves.
Remember to always keep your garden tidy and clean your house properly to prevent fleas from thriving, paying particular attention to any warm and dark areas where they may be breeding. If you are unsure at any point, always consult your vet. Now you and your dog can live a flea free life!