How many of you are using the best flea treatment for dogs because your doggo deserves only the best?
We’ve tested the most popular flea treatments on the market based on the ingredients, value, and more and created a list of the top ones.
Read on to discover the ultimate flea-killing product for your furry friend!
How many of you are using the best flea treatment for dogs because your doggo deserves only the best?
We’ve tested the most popular flea treatments on the market based on the ingredients, value, and more and created a list of the top ones.
Read on to discover the ultimate flea-killing product for your furry friend!show more show less
First a Peek at the Top Flea Treatment for Dogs
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Table of Contents:
- Best Flea Treatment for Dogs Reviews
- Bayer K9 Advantix II Review
- Bayer Advantage II Review
- Frontline Plus Review
- Frontline Spray Review
- NexGard Chewables Review
- Novartis Capstar Flea Tablets Review
- Bravecto Chews for Dogs Review
- Bravecto Topical for Dogs Review
- Vet’s Best Flea & Tick Home Spray Review
- NaturVet Herbal Flea Powder Review
- Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo Review
- Ranking Methodology
- Buyer’s Guide
Best Dog Flea Treatment Reviews
Fleas are some of the most annoying pests you can imagine during summer months (apart from mosquitoes). As such, even with the best dog care around, your pet can still get fleas and to no fault of yours.
We’re sure you want to give your furry best friend the best and safest flea treatment for dogs. So, here’s our list of products that will help fight these nasty creatures while keeping your pup safe and sound.
Bayer K9 Advantix II, Flea and Tick Control Treatment for Dogs Review
The treatment is available in 4- and 6-packs, as well as in four dog sizes, so you’ll get the exact dosage your dog needs.
As with other Bayer products, the packaging clearly indicates which size and weight the product is most suitable for and what it treats. So, keep an eye out for that.
It’s available for:
- Small dogs — 3–10lbs (available in 4 and 6 doses)
- Medium dogs — 11–20lbs (available in 4 and 6 doses)
- Large dogs — 21–55lbs (available in 4 and 6 doses)
- Extra-large dogs — 55+lbs (available in 4 and 6 doses)
Advantage is also available for kittens (2–5lbs), and small (5–9lbs) and large cats (9+lbs).
Bayer Advantage Flea Control, Advantage II’s predecessor, was effective only at killing adult fleas. The new formulation — Advantage II — is efficient at killing adult fleas, their eggs, and larvae, as well as lice.
It’s not as broad-spectrum as Advantix II, but it’s great for targeting fleas and lice in particular.
As Advantix II, Advantage II is easily applicable and starts working almost instantaneously. It needs around two hours to kill reinfesting fleas and protect your dog from any further re-infestations.
Bayer Advantage II for dogs also requires just 12 hours to kill all the annoying fleas, beating the 24-hour industry standard by a mile.
Your dog can go for a swim, or you can bathe them 24 hours after the application of the treatment, and the effects will persist for four weeks. However, if your pet’s flea situation is severe, you might have to apply another dosage a bit sooner.
Still, consult your vet about this first, don’t do it on your own.
Bayer Advantage for dogs reviews state that this vet-recommended treatment is also excellent for soothing flea allergy dermatitis.
What we liked the most was how powerful and efficient it was. It kills fleas and lice on contact, and there’s no biting required.
The treatment is best for an already existing problem and is safe to use all year round to prevent fleas from nesting in your home.
Bayer Advantage 2 reviews indicate that the treatment isn’t lethal to cats, but you shouldn’t use it on them as it can be toxic.
Active Ingredients: 9.10% imidacloprid, 0.46% pyriproxyfen
- Kills lice too
- No need for biting
- Kills fleas in all life stages
- Size-specific dosages
- Doesn’t kill other pests like ticks, mosquitoes, and biting flies
Bayer Advantage II Topical Flea Treatment for Dogs Review
Bayer is the home of some of the best pet flea treatments on the market. The treatment is size-specific, so you have ready dosages.
There are five sizes available:
- Bayer K9 Advantix II Small Dog — 4-10lbs (available in 1, 2, 4, and 6 doses)
- Bayer K9 Advantix II Medium Dog — 11–20lbs (available in 1, 2, 4, and 6 doses)
- Bayer K9 Advantix II Large Dog — 21–55lbs (available in 1, 2, 4, and 6 doses)
- Bayer K9 Advantix II Extra Large Dog — 55+lbs (available in 1, 2, 4, and 6 doses)
The treatment is also available in packs of one, two, four, and six.
The packaging clearly indicates which size and weight the product is most suitable for, and what it treats specifically.
This one offers broad-spectrum protection, so you won’t have to give your dog additional medicine for ticks, lice, mosquitoes, and other annoying pests.
It’s an improved version of its predecessor — K9 Advantix — as it includes an insect growth regulator (IGR), which kills flea eggs and larvae, not only adult fleas.
The product is relatively easy to apply and starts working on the spot. It will take about two hours to kill reinfesting fleas and protect your pet from further re-infestation (for up to four weeks).
Moreover, it takes Bayer K9 Advantix II Flea and Tick Control 12 hours to eradicate the rest of the fleas, which is much faster than the average 24 hours other products need.
As previously mentioned, the effects persist for four weeks, which is the industry standard. On top of that, the treatment is fully waterproof, so bathing and swimming won’t affect it.
The treatment is vet recommended, and from our experience, as well as the opinion of other Bayer K9 Advantix II reviews, it’s incredibly potent.
What gave it the number one spot on our list, besides its quality and efficiency, is that it kills a broad spectrum of parasites without any biting required.
This is an excellent product in the case that other flea-prevention methods haven’t worked, and your pet has picked up the annoying pests. Moreover, it’s safe to use all year round to prevent fleas from wintering in your home.
Even though it’s a chemical, the treatment is entirely safe for dogs. However, if you give your pet a higher dosage, you may notice some Bayer K9 Advantix II side effects. These include:
- Skin irritation — redness, scratching, and general discomfort
- Gastrointestinal signs — vomiting and diarrhea
- Lethargy or agitation
Side effects are quite rare. Yet, if you notice any of these signs contact your vet immediately.
Please note that Advantix K9 is extremely toxic and lethal for cats, as it includes permethrin, which cats cannot metabolize.
So, if you’re using Advantix flea treatment for dogs, please keep your pets in different rooms until you’re 100% sure your dog’s skin has completely absorbed the treatment.
As we all know, cats love grooming dogs. As a result, they can accidentally lick the treatment off and poison themselves in the process. Or, you might accidentally mix up the treatments and give the wrong one to your feline companion.
Therefore, make sure to always double-check the product packaging before administering the treatment.
However, accidents do happen. If you’ve accidentally put Bayer K9 Advantix II Flea and Tick Control on your cat, or they’ve licked it off your dog, follow our advice below and act quickly!
Active Ingredients: 8.8% imidacloprid, 44% permethrin, 0.44% pyriproxyfen
- Veterinarian recommended
- Kills fleas at all life stages
- Efficient against other pests as well
- Active ingredient permethrin is lethal to cats
Frontline Plus Flea Treatment for Dogs Review
This highly-effective flea treatment has kept the vets’ trust for over 20 years.
Designed for puppies and adult dogs, the treatment kills fleas at all life stages, including ticks and lice.
The treatment is available in four size-specific formulas:
- Small dogs and puppies — 5–22lbs (available in 3, 6, and 8 doses) — According to reviews, this is the safest flea treatment for small dogs.
- Medium dogs — 23–44lbs (available in 3, 6, and 8 doses)
- Large dogs — 45–88lbs (available in 3, 6, and 8 doses)
- Extra-large dogs — 89–132lbs (available in 3-pack and 6-pack doses)
Please note that only the small dog formula is suitable for puppies.
The brand also has a formula for kittens and cats 8 weeks and older, who weight over 1.5lbs, available in 3, 6, and 8 doses.
Frontline Plus reviews highlight that this formulation is more potent than its predecessor — Frontline — since it can kill fleas at all life stages, including other pests.
It’s applied just like any other spot-on treatment and its effects persist for a month. Users are immensely satisfied that it kills parasites within 4 hours of application, and cleans your dog from fleas and ticks 100% within the first 12 hours.
According to flea and tick prevention reviews, this is one of the most effective and safest treatments currently on the market. Plus, seeing how it kills pests on contact, there’s no need for biting.
Despite it being at the top of the ladder when it comes to protection, it might not prevent ticks from attaching to your pup, but it will definitely kill them before they get to bite your pet.
Frontline Plus for dogs reviews claim that the treatment has one major downside — some dogs might develop resistance for said treatment after long-term use.
Active Ingredients: fipronil, (S)-methoprene
- Waterproof and fast-acting
- Trusted by veterinarians
- Long-lasting protection
- Broad-spectrum protection
- Extremely popular among pet owners
- Dogs might develop resistance to the treatment
Frontline Spray for Dogs and Cats Review
This quick and efficient spray — also available in a 250ml bottle — is suitable for both cats and dogs at all life stages, as long as they’re older than eight weeks.
Applying it is pretty straightforward, and it’s completely waterproof, so your pet will be protected for at least a couple of weeks.
What we loved the most about the Frontline flea and tick spray is its main active ingredient — fipronil. This is an insecticide that kills fleas and ticks before they even get a chance to lay eggs into your pet’s fur.
The spray is known for killing all the fleas and ticks within 24 hours of application.
Also known as the highest–rated flea treatment for dogs in the form of a spray, the substance also prevents the pests from re-infesting and causing flea allergy dermatitis.
On top of that, it protects your pets from Lyme disease (which also affects humans). It also protects from Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, haemobartonellosis, and other diseases.
Frontline Spray reviews warn that your pet can lick the spray off after application, so keep an eye on them. There’s only one possible side effect from this outcome — hypersalivation. Yet, your pet should be fine even in such a scenario.
Depending on your pet’s problem, the spray should protect them for about 3–12 weeks before it needs to be reapplied.
Active Ingredients: 0.29% fipronil
- Suitable for both cats and dogs
- Protects from Lyme disease
- Provides lengthy protection
- Kills a variety of parasites
- Very strong chemical smell
- May have potential side effects on pets
NexGard Chewables Review
Made by Frontline Vet Labs, this FDA-approved flea treatment is the first of its kind. The treatments come in the form of tasty beef-flavored chews that you can administer easily. It’s recommended you give one chew a month to your pet, as is.
However, numerous NexGard for dogs reviews state that you can also hide it in your pet’s food if they’re particularly picky or stubborn.
The treatment is available for:
- Small dog — 4–10lbs (available in 3 and 6 doses)
- Medium dog — 10.1–24lbs (available in 3 and 6 doses)
- Large dog — 24.1–60lbs (available in 3 and 6 doses)
- Extra-large dog — 60.1–121lbs (available in 3 and 6 doses)
Each chew contains the appropriate amount of afoxolaner for your dog’s weight.
Afoxolaner — the only active ingredient in the chews, is an insecticide and acaricide that your dog’s bloodstream absorbs from the chew.
It travels through the bloodstream, overstimulating the fleas’ and ticks’ central nervous system, killing them before they even get a chance to lay eggs.
NexGard flea and tick chewable reviews say the treatment kills 3 types of ticks:
- The American dog tick
- The black-legged (Deer) tick
- The Lone Star tick
Moreover, it also protects your dog from tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease.
Another thing about NexGard is that it can be taken alongside heartworm medicine.
In addition to everything, the chews are also fast-acting. It takes them about 24 hours to kill all the existing pests, but there are a few NexGard chewables for dogs reviews that claim it requires a bit more than 24 hours.
There are a few side effects you should keep an eye on:
- Lack of appetite
They’re not common, but it’s recommended you monitor your pet for a few hours after administering the treatment.
We also found a couple of NexGard flea and tick pill reviews. However, they don’t report any side effects. They just state that the drug isn’t working even after a few months’ worth of applications.
Please note that the treatment shouldn’t be used on dogs with neurological issues and a history of seizures.
Active Ingredients: 28.3mg of afoxolaner per chew
- Suitable for 8-week old puppies
- Effective against ticks
- Chews have a precise afoxolaner dosage
- Doesn’t work for some dogs
- Not suitable for dogs with known seizure history
Novartis Capstar Flea Tablets for Dogs and Cats Review
The treatment is available in 6- and 60-tablet packs and comes in size-specific formulas. It provides instant relief for your pet as it works relatively quickly.
Most Capstar reviews indicate that this lightning-quick treatment is the best OTC flea treatment for dogs. There used to be two formulas — for large and small dogs (that was also suitable for cats). But now, there are, in fact, three formulas:
- For small dogs — 2–25lbs (available in 10 doses and 60 doses)
- For large dogs — 26–125lbs (available in 6 doses)
- For cats — 2–25lbs (available in 6 doses)
Nevertheless, the small dog and cat formulas are mostly the same, as they’re both designed for pets 4 weeks and older, weighing 2lbs–25lbs.
Each tablet formulated for cats and small dogs contains 11.4mg of nitenpyram. This is the active ingredient responsible for killing fleas. On the other hand, the large dog formula has 57mg of nitenpyram.
Capstar for dogs reviews reveal that administering the tablets is relatively easy. They’re great if you don’t want to mess around with collars or topicals, or if your pet suffers from flea allergies.
Yet, they’re not as hassle-free as you need to administer them daily until the flea infestation is gone.
It’s recommended you give the tablet orally, but according to Novartis Capstar reviews, you can also hide it in your pet’s food if they won’t let you mess with their mouth.
The treatment starts working within 15 minutes of administering it and kills 90% of fleas within the first 4 hours. All the fleas should be gone within 24 hours tops.
However, as fleas go through life cycles, you should administer the therapy to your pet until the infestation is completely gone.
This is also the safest oral flea treatment for dogs and cats as it can be administered to pregnant and nursing pets as well.
Still, there’s one thing our Novartis Capstar flea meds review didn’t like — the treatment is only efficient against adult fleas, and it doesn’t kill other pests.
Keep in mind, though, that your pet may scratch and groom more than average within the first hour of administration. Rarely, transient signs of hyperactivity and panting may also occur. Be sure to contact your vet if these signs persist.
Active Ingredients: 11.4mg of nitenpyram
- Suitable for everyday use
- Safe for pregnant/nursing pets
- Extremely fast-acting
- Doesn’t require a prescription
- Available in size-specific formulas
- Only kills adult fleas
- Doesn’t last very long
Bravecto Chews for Dogs Review
Bravecto flea treatment for dogs comes straight from the labs of Merrick Animal Health. This FDA-approved, vet-recommended treatment requires a vet’s prescription, so you can only get it at specialized pet stores and vet clinics.
It comes in five size-specific formulas suitable for puppies and dogs that are 6 months and older:
- Toy dog — 4.4–9.9lbs (available in a single-pack)
- Small dog — 9.9–22lbs (available in a single-pack)
- Medium dog — 22–44lbs (available in a single-pack)
- Large dog — 44–88lbs (available in a single-pack)
- Extra-large dog — 88–123+lbs (available in a single-pack)
According to numerous positive Bravecto reviews, the treatment is suitable for both prevention and treatment. It’s more expensive than its competitors, but it’s more cost-effective in the long run as it provides lengthy, 12-week protection.
There’s only one Bravecto chewable tablet in the packaging, and it starts working merely 2 hours after administration. It kills 98% of active fleas and ticks within 12 hours of application. After the 12 hours have elapsed, 100% of pests are dead.
It effectively kills adult fleas and prevents their infestation for 12 weeks.
Moreover, it also kills black-legged ticks, American dog ticks, and brown dog ticks for 12 weeks, and kills and protects your dog from lone star ticks for 8 weeks.
On top of that, Bravecto for dogs reviews claim that the chew also protects your pet from flea-borne diseases and flea allergy dermatitis.
The treatment is safe for pregnant, breeding, and lactating dogs. It’s tasty enough to give it to your pet as a treat, or you can crumble it and mix it in with their food.
Bravecto flea and tick reviews mention that there might be some side effects to this treatment. The most common ones include:
- Decreased appetite
The side effects are simply unpleasant, but they’re not life-threatening.
If your dog has a history of seizures or neurological disorders, use the chews with caution. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any side effects or changes in their behavior.
Active Ingredients: fluralaner
- Ends active flea infestation
- Also efficient against fleas
- Provides a 3-month protection
- Convenient to administer
- Chews may be big for smaller dogs
- Kills only adult fleas and ticks
- Not all dogs love the taste
Bravecto Topical for Dogs Review
Much like the chew, Bravecto topical is available in five size-specific formulas made for puppies and dogs that are 6 months and older:
- Toy dog — 4.4–9.9lbs (one treatment)
- Small dog — 9.9–22lbs (one treatment)
- Medium dog — 22–44lbs (one treatment)
- Large dog — 44–88lbs (one treatment)
- Extra large dog — 88–123+lbs (one treatment)
Bravecto reviews are also smitten with the brands’ flea formulas for cats. There are also two types of formulas — regular Bravecto and Bravecto Plus:
- Bravecto for cats and kittens 2.6–6.2lbs
- Bravecto for cats and kittens 6.2–13.8lbs
- Bravecto for cats and kittens 13.8–27.5lbs
- Bravecto Plus for cats and kittens 2.6–6.2lbs
- Bravecto Plus for cats and kittens 6.2–13.8lbs
- Bravecto Plus for cats and kittens 13.8–27.5lbs
Our Bravecto for dogs review found that the products differ only in the formulation, as both the chew and the topical have the same ingredients and effects.
The only difference being that the topical needs some 8 hours to start working, and it kills all adult fleas and ticks within 12 hours of application. Against fleas and ticks, it protects your doggo for 12 weeks, and against lone star ticks for 8 weeks.
There is currently no negative Bravecto topical for dogs reviews. It’s FDA-approved, so it’s safe for all dogs. It’s proven to be safe for pregnant, nursing, and breeding dogs, but you’ll need a vet’s prescription to buy it.
Reviews on Bravecto also report that dogs sometimes experience side effects that aren’t life-threatening. They include vomiting, hair loss, diarrhea, lethargy, decreased appetite, and moist dermatitis/rash.
Active Ingredients: fluralaner
- Safe for pregnant dogs
- Protects from flea-borne diseases
- Provides a 3-month protection
- Kills only adult fleas and ticks
- May cause side effects
Vet’s Best Flea & Tick Home Spray Review
This chemical-free all-natural flea and tick spray — also available in a 96-ounce bottle, is designed for furniture, bedding, carpets, flooring, and curtains. It can be used in and out of the house, and you can also spray your dog with it.
Seeing how it’s made out of natural ingredients, it’s safe to use on dogs older than 12 weeks and around your family.
Most Vets Best flea and tick spray reviews indicate that the spray makes quick work of fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes directly on contact.
It’s also an excellent preventive measure as it repels said pests from your furry companion (and your house) and keeps them at bay.
According to Vet’s Best reviews, the only downside is that the effects aren’t long-lasting, so you’ll have to spray your dog a couple of times a day.
Moreover, having an all-natural product doesn’t mean your pet won’t have an allergic reaction to it. Some Vets Best flea and tick spray reviews report reactions like rashes, redness, itchy and dry skin, lethargy, and vomiting.
They’re not dangerous, but contact your vet if they do persist over time.
Active Ingredients: 0.30% peppermint oil, 0.70% eugenol, 2.70% sodium lauryl sulfate
- Can be used on dogs
- Safe to use around family
- Kills fleas at all life stages
- Natural ingredients
- Doesn’t leave stains
- Not long-lasting
NaturVet Herbal Flea Powder Review
Another best inexpensive flea treatment for dogs, this flea powder is made from natural ingredients and is safe to use on dogs and cats that are 6 weeks and older. As it has all-natural ingredients, it’s great for pets with sensitive skin.
A combination of rosemary oil, thyme, and lemongrass is nice and gentle for your pet’s skin. It repels fleas while absorbing the excess oil from your pet’s skin. The powder leaves a pleasant, natural scent that’s also great for deodorizing your pet.
The powder makes for exceptional flea prevention, or it can be used as a first step in fighting an infestation. Due to it having no chemicals, it’s safe to use as needed. But don’t go overboard.
Besides being a great natural product, NaturVet powder is also the best budget flea treatment for dogs, as it’s highly affordable and persists for a long time.
What’s best is that you can use the powder in combination with other flea treatments, like Advantage, as it won’t interfere with their effect. Just consult your vet before doing so.
You can also sprinkle it on your pet’s bedding, pillows, blankets, foam beds, and so on. That way, it should be even more effective at keeping the fleas away.
On top of all this, the brand has other great flea treatments too. Their essential-oil based flea spray can also be used on dogs and cats for repelling fleas and protecting your pet.
Moreover, NaturVet No Flea Carpet Crystals reviews say that the crystals are fantastic for killing fleas.
You should keep the crystals away from pets and your family, but you can sprinkle them on carpets and under cushions of upholstered furniture to get rid of fleas. They’re also extremely easy to vacuum.
Active Ingredients: 0.25% thyme oil, 0.5% lemongrass oil, 0.5% rosemary
- Vet-formulated and non-toxic
- Pleasant smell
- Great for pets of all sizes
- Suitable for pet beddings
- Doesn’t interfere with other flea treatments
- Not a long-lasting solution
Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo Review
Adams shampoo is one of the most popular products of its kind on the market, and for a good reason too! It’s available in 24oz and 1gal bottles as well, and this treatment is suitable for both cats and dogs that are 12 weeks and older.
Adams Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo reviews rave about its effectiveness, and we were impressed too. The shampoo kills pests on contact. It’s efficient against fleas at all life stages, ticks, and lice.
What’s best is that it’s not just a short-term solution. Namely, it provides 28-day protection against reinfestation.
However, Adams Flea and Tick Shampoo reviews also claim that you can use the shampoo every 7–10 days if your pet suffers from severe flea infestation.
The shampoo is formulated with aloe vera, oatmeal, coconut oil, and lanolin, which makes it great for sensitive skin. It also provides quick relief from flea bites. The formula has a light coconutty scent, which is fresh and pleasant.
On top of that, Adams flea and tick reviews also claim that the shampoo is excellent for moisturizing your pet’s skin and conditioning their coat. Furthermore, the shampoo removes loose dandruff, scales, and dirt.
Still, you shouldn’t apply the shampoo more than once per day, as you may cause skin sensitivity and irritation.
Now, Adams makes some pretty fantastic pet products that people love, and we read tons of positive Adams Flea and Tick Spray reviews and flea and tick collar reviews, so we decided to try them as well.
The spray kills and prevents fleas and ticks, and can be used on both cats and dogs. It has a rapid onset and kills the pests directly on contact while also providing 2-month protection.
You can use it twice a month, and it will also repel mosquitoes as a bonus.
Adams Flea and Tick Collar reviews are also fantastic. The product protects your dog for 7 months. It prevents and kills fleas and ticks at all life stages. There are separate collars for cats and dogs, and you can choose them according to your pet’s size.
Active Ingredients: 0.15% pyrethrins, 0.10% (S)-methoprene, 1.88% piperonyl butoxide
- Kills fleas at all life stages
- Efficient against ticks, lice, and lice
- Soothing formula with a light scent
- Conditions the coat, moisturizes the skin
- Not a long-lasting solution
- May not be best choice for serious infestations
Our Methodology for Selecting the Best Flea Treatment for Dogs
Choosing the best of the best wasn’t easy, as there are tons of great products for helping your dog with fleas. Nevertheless, only the products that passed our rigorous testing found their place on our list. Here’s our ranking methodology:
The most crucial thing in a flea treatment is the ingredients list. Our list includes only products made from high-quality ingredients that have been tried and tested and are proven to be safe for pet use.
Value for Money
Buying the best cheap flea treatment for dogs is every pet parent’s goal.
So, we chose treatments that contain the highest-quality ingredients but come at reasonable prices — or prices that match the quality of the product—all for the sake of getting the best value for money.
Frequency and Convenience
Checking your pet for fleas every day is hassle enough, so we chose products that work for 14 days up to several months.
This is convenient for both you and your pet.
We also chose products that are available online and can be delivered to your very doorstep. Presenting you with an exceptional product that you can’t even get or is at least a three-hour drive away from you is pointless.
Dog Flea Treatment Reviews – Real User Experience
We went through reviews, forums, chats rooms, we searched high and low, and took what other people were saying about each product into consideration.
- Are they good, bad, average?
- What are the effects?
- How are pets reacting to the products?
We thought of everything.
Sure, having a great product is fantastic, but we want to know who stands behind the brand too. We diligently research each company, what they stand for, and what they believe in.
The policies and practices are a significant part of any company and are responsible for earning the users’ trust.
Only transparent and honest brands have made it on our list.
Selecting the Best Flea Treatment for Dogs
Complete Buyer’s Guide
Dogs are amazing, and they deserve the best. So be extra careful when choosing the right flea treatment. Here are some of the most important tips and questions you should ask when selecting a product for your pup.
How to Know If Your Dog Has Fleas
You should always have a top–rated flea treatment for dogs on hand, as these pests can surprise you when you least expect them. Fleas can live on any part of the dog’s body, but they mostly hide in areas where your dog can’t scratch them off so easily.
It’s recommended you use a special flea comb while inspecting your pet. Scabbing, red, and inflamed skin are definite signs of fleas.
Now, if you find little dark specks in your dog’s fur, don’t panic, because sometimes it’s just dirt. Put the speck on a paper towel and put a few drops of water over it. If it turns a dark reddish-brown color — it’s probably a flea.
So, You Found Fleas. What Next?
As we mentioned, consult your vet first when it comes to choosing the best–rated flea treatment for dogs.
You’ll also need to clean your dog from fleas and clean your home, which takes about three to four months — you need to attack them at all life stages.
On top of that, you’ll need to:
- Wash beddings in hot and soapy water regularly
- Vacuum your entire home and throw away the vacuum bag when done
- Apply a home spray from our flea treatment for dogs review (or call a local pest control)
- Come up with a regular flea prevention routine and stick to it
Soothing Flea Bites
Flea bites are incredibly itchy and irritating. They’ll make your dog scratch and bite itself, which can lead to skin damage, wounds, and even hair loss.
We’ve also included some of the best flea shampoos on our list, which will quickly soothe the bites.
Do I Really Need to Use a Top Flea Treatment for Dogs?
Absolutely — yes! You don’t have to buy the most expensive one, but you need to use a safe and effective treatment. Fleas are annoying, hard to get rid of creatures that are dangerous to your pet’s health.
There’s a high chance of transmitting microorganisms into your pet’s bloodstream once they get bitten. If not treated, fleas can cause:
Flea bite dermatitis — this is the most common complication caused by a flea bite. The skin becomes red and irritated, and at times even swollen and uncomfortable.
If it’s not treated with a flea and tick treatment for dogs, it can lead to scratching, cuts, and wounds.
Other bacteria and microorganisms can also enter the bloodstream and cause more severe health issues too.
Typhus — fleas carry several strains of the virus that causes typhus, resulting in muscle and joint pain, fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, and depression.
Plague — although not so common, fleas can also transmit the plague that causes fever, severe swelling of the lymph nodes, and in some cases, even death.
Tapeworm — it’s possible for dogs to ingest fleas that are infected with a tapeworm, which can then breed further and make your dog ill.
Haemobartonellosis — both ticks and fleas carry this disease. The bacteria invades and disrupts red blood cells and prevents them from providing the tissue with enough oxygen.
Should I Choose an Oral or Topical Dog Flea Medicine?
First things first, you need to determine which type of treatment is best suited for your dog. There are topicals, chews, shampoos, sprays, etc., literally hundreds of products.
Now, every dog is different, so you should mainly consider their lifestyle, age, and whether they’re pregnant or not when deciding on the treatment.
All flea treatment categories are good, but here’s what each of them is best used for:
Collars prevent and keep fleas off of your pet. They’re great for puppies and dogs who are just starting to socialize or like to wander around and play outside, where they’re most likely to pick up fleas.
Pet parents love them, and for a good reason too! The best flea and tick collar for dogs will be easy to use and will stay on no matter what after you put them.
On top of that, the flea poison lasts for months, so you don’t have to mess around with topicals and chewables every day.
Topical treatments are the most common flea treatments. They’re popular because they’re easy to apply and are super effective. They usually kill ticks and mosquitoes, as well.
Topicals are best for fast action and are vet-recommended.
Tablets and pills are usually recommended for dogs that already have fleas. The best chewable flea treatment for dogs is tasty (just like your traditional dog treats), yet effective at killing parasites.
Flea shampoos, too, are made for dogs that are already infested with these annoying pests. They’re specially designed for killing fleas while cleansing your dog’s coat and relieving their skin from nasty itches.
However, you need to use them often.
Another product for already infested dogs is a flea spray. Much like shampoos, flea sprays kill pests while maintaining your dog’s coat shiny and healthy.
Most of them are waterproof and last about a month. The best ones can also be used on pet beddings and around your home.
Flea powders are designed to kill parasites directly on contact. They’re a safe flea treatment for dogs.
You can sprinkle them on your pet’s fur, bedding, carpets, and other infested areas. There are even powders that can be sprinkled on pet food, too.
You should consult your vet before buying the treatment to minimize the risk of an allergic reaction.
Also, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t use flea treatments designed for other animals. Treatments designed for felines can be toxic to dogs, and vice versa.
You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and your vet’s recommendations.
Even the Best Dog Flea Treatment Has a Protection Period
You should consider the protection period of the product you choose for your dog. Collars usually protect the longest. Topicals can protect your dog for up to a month, while oral treatments provide only short-term protection.
Waterproof Is Important
If you decide on a topical treatment, choose a waterproof one whenever possible. This will ensure that your dog is fully protected and that the medicine is effective even if you bathe your dog.
Multifuncional Products Are Lifesavers
Some flea treatments kill other parasites as well. Multifunctionality isn’t an essential feature for pet treatments, but it’s nice to protect your dog from ticks, mosquitoes, and lice too, and keep the pest situation under control.
Choose the Best Flea Treatment for Dogs That Is Safe for a Dog
The safety and effectiveness of a particular flea treatment are essential. Before buying a product, make sure it’s tested and safe for your dog.
Be sure always to check the ingredients, as well as the many customer reviews first.
Frequency of Treatment Application
How often you’ll apply the treatment depends on the treatment itself and the manufacturer.
Collars, for example, provide the most extended protection — up to several months. They’re also an excellent preventative measure.
Topicals offer protection 15–90 days after their application. Yet, the flea poison needs to be absorbed through the skin, which means it takes them a bit longer to start working.
Chewables are by far the newest and most effective flea treatment for dogs, and you should administer them about once a month, depending on the brand.
Treatment frequency also depends on where you live. If you live in areas where fleas are active all year round, you’ll have to keep your pet protected at all times.
On the other hand, if you live in a place where fleas are only a seasonal occurrence, you should give your dog flea treatment only a couple of times per year.
Prescription Flea Treatment for Dogs and Other Medication
We understand that you may want to mix your dog’s flea treatment with some other medication to enhance the effects. This isn’t recommended, as no one can tell what side-effects combined medications can give.
Now, if your dog is already on some medication, but you need to give them flea treatment, too, we can’t stress this enough — talk to your vet.
They’ll know which medication and treatments can be combined, and they understand drug interactions and effects a lot better than you do (or us, for that matter).
Homemade Flea Treatments
Using an all-natural treatment is excellent and all, but we don’t recommend DIY-ing it. Our best dog flea treatment reviews include natural products, too, so check it out.
Making your own treatment is dangerous as you can mix ingredients that are usually harmless to your dog, yet combined can cause allergies, for instance.
On the other hand, products on the market are tried and tested, and won’t harm your pet as long as you follow the instructions.
Flea Treatments for Sensitive Skin and Allergies
Your dog may be sensitive or allergic to some of the ingredients in the treatments — even in the all-natural ones. Moreover, if you’ve been using a specific treatment for a long time, they may develop sensitivity.
Their skin can become tender, sore, and inflamed, so ask your vet to recommend another treatment.
What’s Best, Natural Dog Flea Treatment or Chemical Treatment?
Both are great, so it basically comes down to your choice. Our list includes only the top-rated, safest, and tried and tested chemical and natural products. Hence, it’s up to you to decide.
If you have a more severe flea problem, chemical treatments may offer a faster solution, but both categories work well.
The Treatment Isn’t Working – It Must Be Bad
There are a million factors that can influence the efficiency of the treatment.
A proper application may sound simple enough, but it’s often the main reason the treatment isn’t working.
Therefore, be sure that you’re applying the vet prescribed flea treatment for dogs the right way. Read the instructions carefully and pay attention to the correct dosage.
You have to treat all the animals in your home, not just the ones that go outside. Moreover, you have to clean your home too, to get rid of each and every flea, their eggs, larvae, and pupae.
It also takes lots of time to get rid of these pests, so be persistent and don’t give up!
Best Prevention Flea Treatment for Dogs — Tips and Practices
Using aggressive, yet effective (and safe), treatments for your dog is excellent. Nevertheless, if you don’t do something about your home and the surrounding environment, you’ll be facing fleas, and who-knows-what, time and again.
Here are some tips on what you should do to prevent fleas at home:
- Clean your backyard. Fleas love hiding in cracks and crevices where there’s lots of moisture.
Spray your backyard with a pesticide that’s safe for your family, your dog, and the environment.
Mow your lawn regularly and keep the shrubs well-spaced and tidy to prevent infestation.
- Safeguard your property. Put up fences to prevent feral animals from entering your yard and infecting your pet.
- Consider professional help. Buying the best flea treatment for cats and dogs is all fine and dandy. However, you should still call a professional to clean your home thoroughly to ensure that no fleas are left behind.
- Use a pet hair vacuum. Also, clean and mop your floors and other surfaces to remove flea eggs, larvae, pupae, and adult fleas. Leave no space untouched, especially dark places — fleas just love those.
Also, be sure to throw out the vacuum bag after each use.
- Wash the beddings regularly. And your dog’s toys too. Leave everything in the sun until it’s completely dry. This should kill any remaining fleas.
- Avoid certain ecosystems. Keep your dog away from fleas’ natural habitats. That includes tall grasses, woods, decaying leaves, overgrown shrubs, etc.
- Check your dog for fleas daily. Even if you’re using the best and newest flea treatment for dogs, check your pet every day. Inspect between their toes, in and around their ears, head, neck, their tail, and belly.
- Act fast. Do everything you can to prevent your dog from getting fleas. If they still pick them up, act as quickly as you can and start treating your pet and thoroughly clean your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long after flea treatment can I bathe my dog?
The most common question among pet owners, yet the answer depends greatly on the product itself.
When it comes to oral treatment, you can bathe your pup whenever you want as the treatment isn’t affected by water in any way.
However, when it comes to topicals, powders, and similar products, you should follow the brand’s specific instructions.
For example, with Advantage, you have to wait for 24 hours before bathing your dog, whereas with some other products you can bathe them after just two hours have elapsed.
We recommend you wait 24–48 hours, just to be sure.
How often can you put flea medicine on a dog?
Again, the answer depends on the treatment you choose.
- Shampoos are effective for soothing your dog’s skin, but they only work while you’re shampooing your pet, so you have to use them frequently and team them up with another product.
- Flea sprays are longer-lasting. They should be applied every few days or weeks, depending on the brand.
- Tablets, pills, and chews are fast-acting, but you’ll need to re-administer them to your dog every couple of days (up to a month), depending on the brand.
- Topical/Spot-on treatments last about a month, or more, also depending on the brand.
- Collars are the longest-lasting of all treatments. They start working the moment you put them on your pet and last for months.
What happens if you put cat flea medicine on a dog and vice versa?
Some flea treatments are designed to work both on cats and dogs. If this is the case, it will be clearly marked on the packaging.
However, using flea treatments on the wrong animals can cause serious health issues and even death.
Cats should never, under no circumstances, come in direct contact with dog flea treatment.
Not only is canine flea treatment more potent, but it also has insecticides that are toxic to felines. Cats can’t metabolize those pesticides. Hence, they get poisoned.
Poisoning symptoms include hyperexcitability, drooling, tremor, twitching, depression, seizures, vomiting, loss of coordination, and worse — death.
If you’ve accidentally put topical flea treatment for dogs on your cat, reviews say you should:
- Bathe them as quickly as possible with a mild soap to strip their skin of toxins. If you notice any symptoms, skip this step and go to the nearest emergency vet immediately.
- Rush them to the emergency vet where they’ll thoroughly cleanse your pet with specialized decontaminates. If your cat has absorbed toxins the vet will give them medications that will stop their body from processing them.
- Monitor your cat for any symptoms or changes in behavior for the next couple of days, and revisit the vet if you notice anything strange.
How long does it take for fleas to die after flea treatment?
Spot on treatments and collars kill fleas on contact. On the contrary, oral treatment and some topicals need some time as they’re active in your pet’s bloodstream.
This means that a flea has to bite your dog for it to get poisoned and die. Oral treatment usually takes two hours to a day to kill fleas.
You should note that a fleas’ life cycle consists of the egg, the larvae, the pupae, and the adult stage. Flea treatments kill mostly adult fleas, so you have to repeat the treatment a couple of times to get rid of them completely.
How long do you have to wait to wash a dog after flea treatment?
The answer depends on the brand of treatment you’re using. Be sure to follow the brand’s specific instructions and guidance.
However, our recommendation is the same as with bathing — wait for at least 24–48 hours before washing your dog.
What is dog flea medicine and how does it work?
Dog flea medicines are unique treatments for your pet designed to prevent flea infestation while protecting your dog’s overall health.
Each treatment category is efficient, but works differently:
- Topicals deposit chemicals into your dog’s sebaceous glands. Once there, the toxins attack the fleas’ nervous system and cause them to lose the ability to feed on your dog.
Some spot-on treatments also have an insect growth regulator (IGR) that prevents eggs from developing.
- Collars are better for flea prevention than treatment.
- Repellent collars release a gas that averts fleas from biting.
- Treatment collars release ingredients that kill fleas before they get to bite your dog. Plus, they also contain medication that’s absorbed into your dog’s sebaceous glands.
- The best oral flea treatment for dogs targets either eggs or the adult fleas themselves, eradicating, but not killing the fleas. They’re incredibly efficient and fast-acting.
- Sprays and powders kill fleas on contact and are suitable for pets of all life stages.
- Shampoos, much like sprays and powders, kill fleas on contact, but you have to massage them into your dog’s fur and rinse them out properly while also taking care of your pet’s eyes and ears.
Can you use vinegar to get rid of fleas on a dog?
In short — don’t do this.
Adding apple cider vinegar (ACV) to your dog’s water, or massaging it into their fur, is just a myth and won’t actually kill the fleas. You need a treatment that will kill and eradicate the pests, and ACV simply can’t do that.
Vinegar solutions, white vinegar, or ACV may help repel some fleas because of the taste, but it’s not good prevention, nor treatment, as it does absolutely nothing for those two.
Our best flea treatment for dogs and the home will give you a much broader set of options that are also more effective as well.
Our list includes only the best, best flea treatment for dogs. Why? Well, as pet owners ourselves, we understand that providing your dog with the best possible care is essential to their happiness and health.
We hope that this list will make your search for the best flea product for your pup a lot easier. Stay safe!