Products to prevent fleas on dogs are widely accessible, both by prescription from a vet and at pet stores. Ticks, heartworms, intestinal parasites, mites, and biting flies are just some of the various parasites that can be killed or prevented by using one of the many available medications.
Sometimes it's hard to know what to look for in a reliable and successful flea and tick treatment for dogs. There is a wide variety of things to choose from, and they each have their own unique qualities. From an early age, I was exposed to the importance of parasite protection and the range of flea control options on the market today. After working as a veterinary assistant for eight years, I shifted gears and spent the next two decades editing pet and veterinary periodicals. I've given flea treatments to innumerable dogs, including my own, throughout the years.
When researching items for this article, I relied on the Companion Animal Parasite Council's (an independent, non-profit organization) short product reference guide. Products were chosen after careful consideration of their relative safety, effectiveness against parasites, convenience of use, and recommended starting age. In order to learn more about how we made our decision, please scroll to the very last section of this manual. I talked to two veterinarians to get their input on how to treat and prevent fleas on pets.
Your doctor will be able to provide you advice on the best flea preventative for your dog based on factors such as the dog's personality and how often you take him outside, as well as the prevalence of parasites in your area.
- BrandK9 advantix
- BrandK9 advantix
PetArmor Plus Flea and Tick Prevention for Dogs, Dog Flea and Tick Treatment, Waterproof Topical, Fast Acting, Small Dogs (5-22 lbs), 3 DosesView on Amazon
- BrandK9 advantix
Advantus (Imidacloprid) 30-Count Chewable Flea Treatment for Large Dogs between 23-110 Pounds, 37.5mgView on Amazon
- BrandK9 advantix
Vet's Best Flea and Tick Home Spray | Flea Treatment for Dogs and Home | Plant-Based Formula | 32 OuncesView on Amazon
- BrandVet's Best
CAPSTAR (nitenpyram) Oral Flea Treatment for Dogs, Fast Acting Tablets Start Killing Fleas in 30 Minutes, Medium & Large Dogs (Over 25 lbs), 6 DosesView on Amazon
PetArmor CAPACTION (nitenpyram) Oral Flea Treatment for Dogs, Fast Acting Tablets Start Killing Fleas in 30 Minutes, Dogs Over 25 lbs, 6 DosesView on Amazon
Last update on 2023-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API
Warning: we have access to a wide variety of flea and tick treatments. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of them:
Pesticide-laden (flea-killing) soaps, shampoos, dips, rinses, sprays, and powders
Products like these were the flea remedies of my youth, and they're just as out of date now. These early-generation insecticides may have contained very toxic carbamates such as carbaryl and propoxur and/or bioaccumulating organophosphates such as chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and tetrachlorvinphos. Many of these products still remain sold, despite though they are more hazardous to animals and less successful at killing fleas than the newer-generation products.
Toxic and useless pesticides coated the first plastic "flea collars" for dogs. Pesticides (flumethrin and imidicloprid) are progressively spread throughout the dog's skin over a period of months thanks to the material of the Seresto collar (originally introduced by Bayer, now owned by Elanco).
Topical “spot-on” pesticides
Small amounts of fluid are dripped through a tube onto the dog's back, between the shoulder blades, to provide the medication. The active components typically make up a small percentage of the total volume, and the oily carrier liquid is there to assist the product travel across the dog's skin. In these remedies, mature parasites are targeted using neurotoxins. To stop fleas from maturing into adults, some products include insect growth regulators.
Long-acting oral medications
When given orally, the active components in these medicines travel throughout the dog's digestive tract and circulatory system. As the flea or tick feeds on the dog, it consumes the poison and ultimately dies. In most cases, this parasite-killing effect lasts for around a month. You can only get these items with a vet's prescription.
Topical treatments, oral tablets, shampoos, and collars are just a few examples of the many options available for warding off fleas and ticks. Oral pills are designed to be eaten, while topical liquids are put to the dog's skin on the back of its neck; if your dog gets wet regularly, the topical treatments may be washed away, therefore the oral meds are preferable, but they are also more expensive. Shampoos should be administered frequently, usually at least once a month.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) still considers flea and tick prevention collars safe for usage, however we do not suggest them at this time.
Most flea and tick prevention products contain some form of insecticide that kills the insects. It's vital to investigate the active compounds in a flea/tick prevention solution to determine what types of insects it kills, whether it's safe to use around children and other animals, and whether it can create unpleasant reactions in your pet. When in question about what components will be safest for your dog, consult with your vet.
"To ensure the active ingredient in flea prevention is safe for the pet, has good efficacy and residual activity, and causes few if any negative effects, it must be discussed. Isoxazolines, such as Lotilaner in Credelio®, Afoxolaner in NexGard®, Fluralaner in Bravecto®, and Sarolaner in Simparica® and Simparica Trio®, are one of my favorite types of active ingredients "So says Dr. Hall.
Products designed to combat fleas and ticks last in the environment for varying amounts of time. There are those that need to be reapplied once a week or more frequently, and others that could endure for months. In addition to determining how often you'll need to reapply the medication, this factor will also determine how much you'll spend on flea and tick treatments annually.
Number of parasites treated
Preventative products were given higher marks if they protected against a wider variety of parasites. "Parasites cause skin disease just by their presence and they carry diseases, too," Crumley explained. "Small puppies can actually become anemic from the amount of blood these parasites steal from their growing bodies."
Exceptions include Capstar, the sole medication for puppies under 6 weeks old, and Frontline Plus, which kills fleas, ticks, and lice and may be purchased without a prescription. Heartworm medication is always available only with a doctor's prescription.
Ease of use
When compared to other products with equal features, those that were more difficult to use received lower ratings. If the pet owner needs to wear gloves to apply the treatment or if other animals and children need to be kept away from the treated animal for an extended period of time, the product receives a lower rating.
Minimum age and weight
Preventatives that can be given to animals at an earlier age generally received higher marks than their counterparts (for instance, puppies 7 weeks of age instead of 12 weeks of age).
How can you tell if your dog has fleas?
There are a number of symptoms that can indicate your dog has fleas. Do a thorough inspection of your dog's coat if you experience itching in unusual places, such the flank or the area just above the tail. Flea "flea dirt," which looks like tiny black specks or even black bugs that may jump away, can be seen if you split your pet's fur.
How can you prevent your dog from getting fleas?
The risk of fleas on your dog can be minimized in several ways beyond just using a flea and tick preventative solution. Keeping your lawn kept short and preventing your dog from playing in areas where fleas might be hiding can help reduce flea populations. Fleas prefer to hide in shady outdoor locations with sand, leaves, or other waste. Diatomaceous earth is effective in killing adult fleas and can be used to treat your home for this pest.
How do I remove a tick from my dog?
As soon as you notice a tick on your dog, you should get rid of it. Tweezers are the tool of choice for this task. Use your thumb and forefinger to grasp the tick's head and pull it out straight.
Ticks can transmit disease to dogs if their bodies are crushed, so take care not to do that. Disinfect the region once the tick has been removed.
Can my dog get sick from flea and tick bites?
Infestations with fleas and ticks can cause serious illness in dogs. Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and ehrlichiosis are just a few of the diseases that these insects can pass on to your dog.
Keeping your dog on a regular flea and tick prevention program is crucial. Talking to your doctor is the best approach to figure out what kind of preventative measures would be most effective for your dog.
In order to maintain a pest-free environment for your dog, it is essential to treat him with flea and tick medication. To help you find the finest treatment for your dog's flea and tick infestation in 2022, we've highlighted 12 of the most effective products currently available.
When giving your pet a new medication, it is imperative that you discuss it with your vet first and then strictly adhere to the label's directions. If you take good care of your dog, he or she will be content and healthy throughout the year.