That was our top criteria for selecting the best dog flea treatment.
If you want to get the fleas to flee right away, Frontline Plus is a combination of all these features and was selected the “Best Overall” pick from our editorial team.
Dog Flea Treatment Comparison
Merial Frontline Plus (45 – 88 lbs)
Bayer K9 Advantix II ( > 55 lbs)
Bayer Seresto ( > 18 lbs)
Bayer Advantage II ( > 55 lbs)
Bayer Seresto ( < 18 lbs)
Merial Frontline Plus ( < 22 lbs)
Merial Frontline Plus (89 – 132 lbs)
Bayer Advantix II (11 – 20 lbs)
Sentry (> 25 lbs)
|45 – 88||10 – 55+||> 18||2 – 25+||0 – 55||0 – 18||0 – 22||89 – 132||11 – 20||25+|
|up to 8|
|2 – 6|
|4 – 6|
|4 – 6|
|up to 8|
|up to 8|
|up to 8|
|30 days||12 hours||20 minutes||4 hours||20 minutes||20 minutes||30 days||30 days||12 hours||30 minutes|
|99||98 – 100||98||98||98 – 100||98 – 100||99||99||98 – 100||98|
Dog Flea Treatment Buying Guide
What is a Dog Flea Treatment?
Dealing with fleas is never enjoyable but if you understand the life cycle and know how to best battle these resilient pests, you can enjoy having your dogs inside and they won’t be wracked with fleas and constant scratching. It is very important to start treating your dog for fleas as soon as you see them or if you want to be proactive, you can start treating them before they become a problem.
Using dog flea treatments to prevent fleas will not harm your dog. In fact it will keep them happy and healthy since they will not have to suffer and battle the painful bites that fleas inflict upon dogs. They will even bite humans if the dogs are not around to bite, so dealing with them thoroughly and efficiently is very important.
The Life Cycle of a Flea
Fleas have 4 stages of life that they go through:
- Egg stage
- Larvae stage
- Pupae stage (also known as the cocoon stage)
When treating the fleas on your dog, you will need to also treat the fleas on your dog’s bedding, crate or dog house if they have one and your own home as well, especially if the dog has free run of the house. When you only treat the fleas on the dog you will run the risk of them getting re-infested which will cause you to go through the dog flea treatment faster than necessary.
The four different stages of the flea mentioned above is exactly why you can treat your dog for fleas, think everything is okay and two or three weeks later have another surge of fleas that you have no idea where they came from. In actuality, they came from the eggs and larvae and pupae that were left behind after the adult fleas were killed.
This is why it is so important to find a dog flea treatment that takes care of the adult fleas but also the eggs, larvae and pupae as well. All three of the top rated dog flea treatments reviewed above kill the flea at all stages along with ticks and lice too.
Fleas do more than cause your dog discomfort. Left untreated they can cause many serious illnesses and even death if they are not taken care of. The common problems that are associated with fleas include:
- Flea allergy dermatitis
- Tape worms
- Flea anemia
Depending on the size of your dog, these conditions can be life threatening so be sure to take care of fleas as soon as you notice them or be even more careful and treat them before they become a problem.
If your dog exhibits any signs of flea allergy dermatitis or flea anemia, visit your veterinarian so they can be treated along with treating the fleas. If your dog has sores from the FAD they will need special treatment so the dog flea treatments don’t further aggravate the sores and wounds.
There are many different types of dog flea treatments to choose from. The amount of different types and brand names can be really overwhelming when you are trying to decide which one you want to use on your dog. Some of them can be used in combination with other treatments.
Spot Treatments – Spot treatments are flea treatments that are liquid and are applied to your dog on a monthly basis. The application process is typically very simple and there are normally no side effects. You use one tube, purchased according to the dog’s weight, at 2 or 3 different spots from the base of the neck to the base of the tail. These applications should be as close to the skin as possible. Don’t let children pet and play with the dog immediately after application of the flea treatment.
Flea Collar – Flea collars have a bit of a bad rap, but when you get a well known and proven brand of flea collar, you will really like the convenience of using them. Application is as simple as taking the collar out of the package and putting it on your dog, cutting off the excess. Most flea collars will last several months with the good ones lasting up to 8 months. Flea collars are not meant to replace regular collars so be sure not to attach leashes or tie outs to them or they can break.
Dips – If you get your dog professionally washed, they may have a flea dip applied to kill existing fleas and prevent new ones from laying eggs on your dog. You can also give your dog a flea dip at home but be sure to read the instructions thoroughly, get the right product for the age of your dog and use gloves. You also need to avoid the mouth and eyes of the dog. Flea dips can be effective but they are chemical so the proper care must be used.
Flea Shampoo – Giving your dog a bath with a good quality flea shampoo can get rid of the adult fleas that are bothering your dog. Many dog owners give their dogs a good flea shampoo bath before they apply a topical treatment or flea collar. Giving your dog a flea shampoo bath once a month before applying the treatment is a great way to kill anything live on them and then the topical prevents and continues the treatment. Flea shampoos are not meant to keep the fleas from getting back on the dog which is why you pair them up with something else, but they are good for killing existing ones.
Flea Spray – Flea spray is much like a good flea shampoo in that it can kill existing fleas on your dog or puppy. (Make sure the spray can be used on puppies) Sprays are another dog flea treatment that can be used in conjunction with topical, oral or collar treatments.
Oral Flea Treatment – Another monthly flea treatment can be giving orally to your dogs. Depending on the brand, they can work just as good, if not better than many other treatments. There are some cats oral flea treatments that are strictly for use in killing existing fleas and can be given to your dog as often as once per day. Most of the oral medications that are monthly work by preventing the adult flea from laying eggs but they do not kill existing eggs or larvae. Use the oral preventatives along with something that works longer term and you will have a great barrier against fleas.
There are a few different active ingredients that you will find in various dog flea treatments. Each one does something specific to fleas. Some of the flea treatments have more than one active ingredient in them.
(S) – methoprene – Kills ticks, lice, flea eggs and larvae
Fipronil – Kills adult fleas, ticks and lice – does not kill eggs, larvae or pupae
Cyphenothrin – paralyzes the flea, kills adult fleas fast
Permethrin – Kills fleas, ticks, lice, mosquitoes and flies that bite
Imidacloprid – Kills mosquitoes
Pyriproxyfen – kills flea eggs and larvae
There are some basic safety tips that every dog owner should be mindful of when using flea treatments on their dogs and puppies. Following these guidelines can keep your dog, not only flea free but safe too.
- Never use dog flea treatments on cats. Cats have their own flea treatments and dog products can be fatal to a cat.
- Always know exactly how much your dog or puppy weighs before purchasing the flea treatment you want to use. Topical and oral treatments are done by weight.
- Always, always check the age requirements on any dog flea treatment before using on a puppy. Most have age restrictions such as 8 weeks but it will be listed on the package somewhere.
- Don’t overuse any flea treatment product. You can use it too much and cause skin irritation and even illness if you give them too much. Always follow the application instructions on the package and never give them more than is recommended.
With the right dog flea treatment, your dog will be much happier and healthier. With so many different products available, there is a dog flea treatment for every dog and puppy. The information we have provided for you can enable you to understand the choices available, the ingredients that kill the fleas and even how the life cycle of the flea works. With this knowledge you will be able to battle the flea problem your dog may be experiencing or prevent it from happening in the first place.
- Frontline Plus – www.frontline.com/
- Seresto – http://www.petparents.com/
- K9 Advantix II – http://www.bayerdvm.com/