For many pet owners, dogs make a huge part of their lives and it’s therefore natural that care for these adorable animals is one of their main priorities. Flea and tick infestation in dogs can prove inconveniencing not to mention unhealthy.
The good news is that there are many medications and treatment options that eradicate pests from pets effectively and reliably. They come in various forms, and some of them even work by killing pests at all stages of their lifecycle. This post looks at the best flea treatment for dogs and provides a buying guide that guarantees that you buy the best medication for your pet.
Overview Of The Top 10 Best Flea Treatments For Dogs
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Types of flea treatment for dogs
When it comes to flea medications for dogs, there are three types that are available to consumers. Some take care of fleas and worms while others work on fleas and ticks. Knowing the various types and how to differentiate them can help eradicate pest infestation on your pooch.
Flea pills for dogs
These guarantee the most effective flea treatment for dogs and while that’s the case, there are a few things that should be considered when purchasing them. Some drugs that are orally administered require a prescription by a vet and others come with side effects. Oral pill medication for dogs targets either adult fleas or flea eggs, but never both. You will therefore have to buy several drugs so as to eradicate the infestation. There is currently no oral medication for ticks. Flea pills for dogs have been proven to offer the most effective solution, with some medication eradicating fleas from your dog within four hours.
Topical flea and tick medication for dogs
This type of medication, like shampoo spot-on treatments and powders, eliminate fleas from your dog with varying degrees of success. Shampoos kill fleas within 24 hours while flea powders take up to one week of consistent use to show positive results. Both work best for adult fleas and are even more effective when used alongside other treatment options like flea pills. Topical spot-on flea treatments are the most effective for destroying not just fleas, but other parasites. They work by destroying adult fleas, eggs and larvae.
Flea and tick dog collars
These are often used for preventing flea and tick infestation in dogs. And while preventive collars are best, there are also some that are meant to treat infestations by getting rid of pests and eggs through chemical release into the dog’s skin. These collars have a lifetime of up to eight months and due to the fact that they are fastened around the neck, they work best for preventing as well as treating infestations around the face and neck. Collars can be used alongside other treatment options for more effective results.
There are few things that are more annoying to dogs than fleas and ticks. The good news for pet owners is that there are a few good flea treatment options that can prove effective. And while they all work differently, the treatments discussed below have the highest success rates.
Advantage II for Dogs
This is an over-the-counter, monthly drug that eliminates flea infestation in dogs at all of their lifecycle stages. It doesn’t work for every dog and it’s not for ticks either but it is very effective and side effects are rare. It comes in a single dose tube that pet owners squeeze onto their dog’s skin. It is applied at three or four points along the back in the case of larger dogs while small dogs get the dose between their shoulder blades.
Frontline Plus Flea Control for Dogs and Cats
This is a topical treatment that works not only for adult fleas, but the entire lifecycle including their eggs and larvae as well. It is perfectly safe for dogs since it doesn’t have any side effects. This drug is 100% effective and can kill fleas infecting your dog in a period of twelve hours or less. It contains S-methoprene, an insect growth regulator that kills flea larvae and eggs. Every application provides your dog with a full month’s protection against fleas and aids with control of sarcoptic mange infections in pets. The only downside of this treatment is that it may cause skin irritation for your pet so try a small amount first to see how your dog’s skin reacts to the treatment.
Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Cats and Dogs
This is an effective way of protecting your pet from flea and tick infestation. It is easy to use and offers protection for your dog for up to eight months. This collar combines the strengths of flumethrin and imidacloprid to provide dual action against fleas and ticks. The collar releases these active ingredients in small doses, thus ensuring a safe and controlled barrier for your pet. It works by repelling ticks before they bite as well as killing the fleas that already exist. The Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs and Cats by Bayer can be worn with your pet’s collage and even adjusted to fit any pet.
Frontline Flea Spray for Cats and Dogs
Unlike other insecticides that contain potentially toxic ingredients, Frontline Flea Spray for Cats and Dogs contains natural ingredients that are safe for use on your dog. It works by wiping out the entire life cycle of fleas. It works best when used at the start of the flea season and once a month after that. Its effectiveness isn’t affected by bathing with most pet shampoo brands or moderate rainfall. Frontline Flea Spray is highly effective, convenient and only needs to be used once a month for positive results. It’s a great asset to keep around just in case of sudden flea infestation.
This is a relatively new drug by the makers of Frontline that offers revolutionary protection against flea as well as tick infestation. It is the first of its kind that comes in a beef flavored chew that protects your pet for up to thirty days. It is considered by most vets as the best flea and tick treatment for puppies, particularly ones that are less than fourteen weeks old. It can be taken alongside heartworm medication and being chewable, you don’t have to worry about the preventative medication been washed off during baths. NexGard is particularly effective for killing three types of ticks including the Lone Star tick, black-legged tick and American dog tick. It however requires a prescription from a vet to use.
Capstar Flea Control for Cats and Dogs
Once applied, Capstar Flea Control starts working within thirty minutes killing fleas in cats and dogs. It comes in flavor-free tablets that can be mixed with dog food or fed directly to your pet. It starts to take effects in a few minutes and you can buy formulations for cats as well as dogs. There are also various formulations designed for dogs of different sizes, so be sure to keep this in mind so that you buy the right medication. Capstar tablets are safe for nursing or pregnant dogs, and you can administer them once a day for effective results.
This is a fast acting flea medication for dogs that kills fleas within an hour of administration and whose effects continue for up to one month. It is ideal for killing and preventing flea infestation (Ctenocephalides felis) as well as ticks infestations (brown dog tick, Gulf Coast tick, American dog tick and Lone Star tick). It starts to kill ticks within a period of eight hours and fleas within three hours, making it one of the most effective flea and tick medications for dogs. It is safe to administer Simparica for one year without interaction. It requires a prescription and is given once a month.
K9 Adventix II
This is a great option for dog owners who want to control both fleas and tick infestation. K9 Adventix II is made by the same company that makes Advantage II and contains the same ingredient along with an additional ingredient known as permethrin that kills mosquitoes and fleas. Given that permethrin is toxic to cats, this drug is only meant for use on dogs. It is effective for treating fleas and ticks, and the only downside is that dogs may experience skin irritation.
This a safe topical drug administered to dogs to protect them from fleas, ear mites and heartworms. It also protects against sarcoptic mage and ticks in dogs as well as hookworms and roundworms in cats. It requires prescription from a vet and should be administered once a month. It contains selamactin, an active ingredient that works by penetrating the skin and entering the bloodstream thus working from the inside out to treat and protect your dog from pests. It is safe for lactating and pregnant pets. It shouldn’t be used on pets that are sick or underweight as this may lead to side effects like digestive disturbance. It should also not be used for puppies less than six weeks old or kittens less than eight weeks old.
This is an oral drug that offers flea and tick protection to your dog for up to twelve weeks. One chews provides long lasting protection and starts to kill pests within two hours. It can be used to control the American dog tick, lone star tick, brown dog tick and black-legged tick, which is more than can be said for most flea/tick medications. Bravecto kills existing pests and prevents infestation from occurring for twelve weeks. It requires prescription from a vet and is ideal for puppies and adult dogs alike.
How To Buy The Best Flea Medication For Your Dog
A good flea medication for dogs should:
Kill adult fleas, eggs and larvae: You may need to treat your dog often if you are using a medication that only kills adult fleas. Consider a medication that works at all lifecycle stages or combine medication for optimal effects. You would also need to treat your dog's bed and the rest of your house if it is infested.
Work quickly and reliably: You don’t want to spend your money on something that won’t give your dog relief within a short period of time. Ask for advice on how long a medication takes effect and protects your dog before purchase.
Cause few or no side effects: While it’s normal for medications to have side effects, it’s always best to invest in something that has minimal side effects.
The factors discussed below may not affect purchase of flea medication directly. Keeping them in mind however helps ensure that you buy only the best for your dog.
Talk to your vet: Your vet can offer specific recommendations that he/she thinks will work best for your dog. This particularly important if your dog is sick, old, pregnant or lactating. In addition, not every medication works for kittens or puppies.
Check your dog’s weight: Many medications are packaged according to pet’s weight. It’s therefore important to ensure that you get your dog’s weight right to avoid buying the wrong dosage.
Read the instructions: Check the directions for application before you purchase any flea medication and make sure that you understand. This also goes for medications that you have used in the past as directions may have changed. Be careful not to use medications meant for your cat on your dog and vice versa as this may prove catastrophic for your pet.
There you have it – everything you need to know to buy flea medication for your dog. The most important to remember is that effective treatment of pests should also be able to protect your dog against fleas and ticks.
We have covered the best picks from reputable brands like Adventix, Bayer and Capstar based on verified consumer reviews as well as a guide that highlights important factors that you should keep in mind when purchasing flea medication for your dog.
The recommendations highlighted here are capable of not just treating, but also preventing infestation of fleas and ticks before it occurs. We hope it is of use to you.