Every year, your dog becomes susceptible to ticks and fleas which can easily grow and multiply if left unattended. Worse is, they can even cause your dog to develop some health issues if not taken care of. This gets even worse during early Spring.

Fortunately, you can save your dog from a flea or tick infestation by using the best treatment for dogs. In this article, we’ll tackle some products which are considered to be among the best flea treatment for dogs. We’ll also guide you through the buying process so you can find out which product suits your furry friends.

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Why My Dog Needs Flea Treatment?

As warmer weather begins, fleas and ticks will start emerging in massive numbers, making them quite annoying to your pets. If left untreated, a flea infestation can cause your dog to suffer from serious health conditions and may even make your house uninhabitable, not to mention it can make you and your family sick as well. It is for this reason why your dog needs a flea treatment.

Aside from that, preventing them from multiplying is way cheaper than controlling them once an infestation occurs. Flea treatments which are available on the market have insect growth regulators which are capable of preventing eggs and larvae from maturing.

However, you have to keep in mind that fleas can also be active during the winter season, although they’re less active than during the spring and summer seasons. It is, therefore, advised to use flea treatment all-year round, even if your dog spends most of his time inside your house.

In some cases, you might be the one carrying unwanted pests into your house from pests who cling into your shoes or clothing. But before you even give your dog a flea treatment, you should first consult your veterinarian so he can recommend a safe and effective year-round protection.

How to Choose the Best Flea and Tick Prevention for Dogs

Due to the number of products on the market, choosing the right one for your pet can be quite overwhelming. Therefore, we’ve listed the most important factors you should consider whenever you go shopping for one.

Without further ado, here are the factors you have to take into account:

The Extent of the Infestation

Before going for a certain product, you should first consider the severity of the infestation. Since fleas and ticks can multiply really fast, it would mean that a few ones on your pet could mean over a hundred in a day or two. Aside from that, fleas are capable of jumping over 100 times its size, which simply means they can move pretty quickly.

Therefore, if the infestation has already reached your towels, furniture, rugs, carpet, and other stuff, you’ll have to be more vigilant in treating your dog and your house at once. You’ll want to check every nook and cranny, especially in your bed and couch. Depending on the extent of the infestation, you might have to shave the affected areas in your dog.

Meanwhile, if there’s only a few fleas or ticks on your dog, you can just give him a flea bath or perhaps a dip at the vet. However, if they’ve taken over your house, you’ll have to consider treating both your dog and house at the same time.

Effectiveness

You might not know it, but there are a hundred different species of fleas and ticks around the world. The brown dog tick and the American dog tick are just a few of them. To find the right treatment, you’ll have to consult your veterinarian so you can verify the particular species in your residence and find the most effective treatment for the infestation.

Ideally, you want to look for the best flea treatment for dogs is labeled “broad spectrum” so you can deal with several species of fleas and ticks in one go. Aside from that, it’s very easy to use as well.

Your Pet’s Lifestyle

Another important factor you should consider is the lifestyle of your dog. For example, your dog might not be fond of preventative treatments and may not stay still during the treatment. For this, you’ll have to consider buying a flea and tick collar.

However, if your dog has an active lifestyle, then you have to consider a treatment that can last for a long time and won’t be visible on your pet. For that, you’ll have to buy either oral tablets, sprays, powders, and dips. You can also find a dog shampoo that is specially formulated to combat and prevent an infestation. Technically speaking, there’s no right or wrong choice when it comes to choosing the best treatment for dogs. Just choose what you think works well for your situation.

Versatility

If you also have a pet cat in your household, you’ll want to consider a treatment that applies to both dogs and cats. In some cases, they can take the same treatment, but you’ll have to consult your veterinarian first.

Therefore, before you even try to apply the same treatment you give your dogs on your cat, you’ll have to make a consultation first. This is because some flea and tick medications come with a special formulation which can be effective for dogs but contains ingredients which could be harmful, or even deadly, for cats.

That said, you should pay close attention to the label of a product and use it only as directed. For this, asking your veterinarian can really help.

Dog Size

Additionally, you’ll have to consider the size of your dog because certain flea treatments are used only for dogs of a certain size. Therefore, if you have a small-breed dog, you don’t want to apply a medication that’s designed for large breeds. Also, using a treatment that’s specifically designed for large-breed dogs on your small-breed pet, and vice versa, may result in some side effects.

Type

Flea and tick treatments actually come in a variety of types. That said, here are the different types of flea and tick treatments you can find on the market:

Topical treatments

Topical treatments, likewise known as spot-on treatments, are directly applied to your dog’s to kill both fleas and ticks as well as eliminate any eggs and larvae left behind by the fleas. The best thing about this type of treatment is that it’s very easy to apply and is really effective as well.

Although you’ll have to prevent your pet from getting wet after an application, a lot of topical treatments available are actually waterproof, making them the ideal choice if you plan to bathe your pet during the treatment.

Dips and shampoos

A dip is a treatment which is diluted with water then applied to your dog in the same way that you would apply a shampoo. This type of treatment can last for up to 35 days. Shampoos, on the other hand, may last between 5 to 14 days depending on the product.

Shampoos are only designed for short-term use as the effects won’t last for long. However, they’re really effective for killing fleas and ticks on contact. Meanwhile, dips are concentrated solutions that can last for a longer time compared to shampoos. That said, you only have to use them right after consulting your vet.

Collars

Collars are worn around the neck of your dog and will offer treatment and prevention for a few months. Generally, they work by either releasing a chemical that can kill or repel ticks and fleas around the neck area or by releasing ingredients which are then absorbed and spread throughout your dog’s skin.

Most collars contain a concentrated chemical which is really effective for killing fleas and ticks. However, while they’re quite affordable, the strong smell they give off can be irritating for your pet. They also have some associated risks when touched by humans, particularly children.

Powders

A flea and tick powder is considered the dry version of topical treatments. You simply have to sprinkle it over your dog’s body then rub it into his hair. However, you’ll have to be careful not to sprinkle it near your dog’s eyes and mouths as it can lead to certain side effects such as vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, and even depression.

Oral treatments

Oral medications are becoming a popular option for eradicating fleas and ticks on dogs mainly because they are designed to offer a quick flea and tick relief. Some oral treatments are capable of killing fleas and ticks within just 30 minutes after being taken by dogs.

However, oral treatments don’t have the ability to prevent fleas and ticks from sticking on your dog. Therefore, you’ll have to wait for them to actually attach or bite your dogs before they can get killed. Also, they have a risk of upsetting your dog’s stomach.

That said, oral treatments offer a really quick way of treating fleas and ticks on your dogs. Aside from that, they can also help prevent heartworm disease in your pets. However, if you want a preventative measure, you’re better off using a topical treatment instead.

Flea combs

If you’re lucky to notice the pests even before they grow into an infestation, then a flea comb is more than enough to take care of them. What it does is make sure that it removes any and all fleas that are hiding in your dog. Ideally, you have to add a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid or apple cider vinegar in the comb so you can immobilize and even kill the fleas when combing.

11 Best Flea and Tick Treatment Products in 2018

Bayer Advantage II Topical Flea Treatment

bayer advantage ii topical flea treatment dogs

A Quick-Acting Treatment Against Fleas

The Advantage II is a monthly topical treatment designed for killing adult fleas and larvae right before they can even hatch. Needless to say, it’s one of the most effective yet affordable options you can find for dealing with your dog’s flea problems.

Upon application, the treatment will start killing fleas within 12 hours and larvae just after 20 minutes. Aside from that, it can last for a whole month. The treatment is applicable to dogs that are at least 7-weeks old. One of the best things about Advantage II is that you don’t have to treat your dog’s environment – you just have to apply it on your dog and the infestation will go away.

It can also work against chewing lice but not against ticks.

Why We Like It:
  • It comes in different packages for small to large-breed dogs
  • Effective within 12 hours of application
  • Can last for a whole month
  • Odorless and waterproof
What We Don’t Like:
  • Hard to apply to dogs with a thick coat

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Wondercide Flea and Tick and Mosquito Control Spray

wondercide flea and tick and mosquito control spray

Safe and Natural Formulation Designed for Fleas, Ticks, and Mosquitoes

The Wondercide is a spray designed for killing not just fleas and ticks not mosquitoes as well. It’s meant to kill adults, larvae, and eggs of pests even before they can spread out. The best thing about the Wondercide spray is that it’s a safe and natural formulation which can be used even on pregnant and nursing dogs.

Why We Like It:
  • Offers a safe and natural alternative to chemical-based treatments
  • Effective in killing a full flea lifecycle
  • Safe for use even on puppies, kittens, and nursing dogs
  • Does not contain any chemical pesticides such as pyrethrins, DEET, and pyrethroids
What We Don’t Like:
  • Its scent might be too strong and irritating for some dogs

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Vet’s Best Flea & Tick Pet & Home Spray

vets best flea and tick home spray for dogs and home

Insecticide-Free and Natural Flea and Tick Prevention

If you prefer using a natural product, then this spray from Vet’s Best is an excellent choice. As one of the best natural treatments for dogs, it really works well despite containing no insecticide. It’s really effective in stopping and preventing flea infestations in your house, even in protecting your carpet and furniture from a possible infestation.

Also, the treatment can last for up to 30 days and is a great alternative to a flea dip. As an added benefit, it’s also capable of repelling mosquitoes and can even deodorize your dog.

Why We Like It:
  • Comes with a natural plant-based formulation
  • Works well against fleas, ticks, and even mosquitoes
  • Can clean and deodorize your dog
What We Don’t Like:
  • Only offers a short-term treatment

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Bayer Seresto Collar

bayer seresto flea and tick collar for dogs

An Effective and Mess-Free Alternative

The Bayer Seresto collar is the ideal choice if most medications weren’t effective on your dog. It’s also an excellent alternative if your dog suffers from allergies and irritations when applied with a topical treatment.

The best part about the Seresto collar is that it can offer prevention for up to eight months. Aside from that, it’s odorless and can offer a secure fit with its adjustable clasp. It’s also safe for use on dogs seven weeks old and above.

Why We Like It:
  • Can last for up to 8 months
  • Comes with a water-resistant feature
  • A non-messy alternative to topical treatments
What We Don’t Like:
  • You’ll have to remove it when you take your dog to the groomer

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Novartis Capstar Flea Tablets for Dogs and Cats

novartis capstar flea tablets for dogs and cats

Ideal for Instant Relief

The Capstar offers instant relief for your dog in a safe and easy to administer method. It can work just within four hours of administering it to your dog. The only problem is that it’s not capable of preventing an infestation, and there’s a huge chance of a reinfestation occurring on your dog.

Fortunately, you can just administer another tablet to your dog and the infestation could go away. If you’re looking for a reliable solution for a flea infestation that’s out of control, then this could be your best option.

Why We Like It:
  • Comes in an easy-to-administer formulation
  • Offers a quick and effective means of killing fleas
What We Don’t Like:
  • It has no means of preventing a reinfestation
  • It won’t work against ticks

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Bayer K9 Advantix II Flea, Tick and Mosquito Prevention

bayer k9 advantix ii flea tick and mosquito prevention

An Effective Monthly Topical Treatment

The Advantix II is an effective topical treatment which can kill fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and lice. It can kill around 98-100% of all fleas and ticks on your dog just within 12 hours of application. Aside from that, it can prevent fleas from biting your dog in just 5 minutes after applying.

Although it can be quite effective on dogs, you have to make sure not to apply it on your cat (if you have one) as it contains permethrin which is lethal to cats even in a small dose.

Why We Like It:
  • Contains active ingredients that can kill fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes within just 12 hours after applying
  • Offers protection for a whole month
  • Waterproof
What We Don’t Like:
  • Comes with a higher price tag and is not safe for cats and children

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Frontline Plus Dogs Flea Tick Treatment

frontline plus for small dog flea and tick treatment

An Easy-to-Apply Preventative Option

If you’re looking for a preventative treatment, then the Frontline Plus is a good choice. It’s capable of killing flea and ticks within just 12 hours of application. Just like most topical treatments, it can last for up to a full month. The formulation is designed for small dogs between 5 and 22 pounds and comes in either 3 or 6-dose packs.

Why We Like It:
  • Easy to apply
  • Can last for up to 30 days
  • Designed for small-breed dogs
  • Can work against fleas, ticks, and lice
What We Don’t Like:
  • More expensive than the other products on this list

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SENTRY Capguard (nitenpyram) Oral Flea Control

sentry capguard nitenpyram oral flea control medication

A Powerful and Quick-Acting Insecticide

The Capguard from SENTRY Pet Care is a quick-acting insecticide which can show its effect in just 30 minutes after application. As such, you can treat infestation on your dog and provide him with a quick and effective flea relief.

It comes in two different for small-medium and large-sized dogs. Perhaps the only caveat is that you’ll have to let your dog swallow it before it can take effect. For that, we recommend mixing it with his food so your dog can swallow it without noticing.

Why We Like It:
  • Affordable than most brands containing the same formulation
  • Comes with nitenpyram which is recommended by most vets
What We Don’t Like:
  • Might be hard to administer to your dog

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Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo Precor Dogs Cats

adams plus flea tick shampoo with precor for dogs and cats

An All-Natural and Effective Shampoo Formulation

The only flea and tick shampoo on this list, the Adams is perhaps one of the best you can find on the market. It contains coconut extract and oatmeal for a healthier and shinier coat. That aside, it contains a formulation which is capable of killing fleas and eggs with ease.

One of the best things about the Adams shampoo is that it can offer protection which can last up to 28 days with just a single bath. It’s also safe for use on pups which are 12 weeks old and above.

Why We Like It:
  • Includes coconut extract, oatmeal, lanolin, and aloe
  • Can be used on dogs and cats
  • Offers protection for a very long time
What We Don’t Like:
  • Gives off a strong smell which might irritate your dog

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Advecta II Flea Treatment

advecta ii flea treatment

A More Affordable Alternative to Advantage II

Albeit sharing a close resemblance to the Advantage II, the Advecta II is a different product which is manufactured by the Advecta company. The formulation is effective against fleas and lice, not to mention it’s waterproof as well. It goes without saying that this is a really effective product which is way more affordable than other popular brands out there.

Why We Like It:
  • Works really well against fleas and lice
  • Very affordable pricing
  • Waterproof formulation
What We Don’t Like:
  • A lot of reviews mentioned that it didn’t work for their cats although this product is designed for dogs

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Advantus Soft Chew

advantus soft chew

Soft and Chewy Alternative

The Advantus Soft Chew has imidacloprid which helps in getting rid of your dog’s flea problems. One of the best things about this product is that it comes in soft chewables which presumably smell and taste like regular dog treats. Quite possibly it’s the only product on this list which your dog will enjoy taking.

That aside, it can effectively eradicate up to 96% of the fleas on your dog’s body in just an hour after your dog has taken it.

Why We Like It:
  • It comes in a tasty chewable form
  • Can quickly resolve your dog’s flea problems in an hour
  • Ideal for dogs suffering from protein food allergies
What We Don’t Like:
  • The effects won’t last long, making it ideal for use only for quick relief purposes

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FAQs

Q: How to lower the risk of my dog getting fleas?

A: To keep your house and dog free from any fleas and ticks, here are the different ways you can follow:

  1. Start by cleaning your yard. Your very first line of defense is to keep fleas and ticks from setting up camp inside your property. To do that, you’ll have to start by cleaning your yard. That means you have to mow your lawn, trim any shrubs, and seal off the openings to your garage, crawl spaces, or any space where wild animals might stay. As much as possible, don’t let raccoons, feral cats, and opossums get into your yards considering that they’ll most likely bring fleas with them.
  2. The next step is to keep your house clean. This includes vacuuming your carpets and washing your pet’s crate, beddings, and toys. This will likely kill the larvae and eggs which might have nested in them.
  3. After keeping your house clean, the next thing to do is to eliminate any existing fleas and ticks on your pet. You can achieve this by using a flea and tick prevention designed for dogs. The types of treatment you can choose from are stated above. You should also bathe your dog regularly and apply dog colognes afterward.
  4. Lastly, you have to prevent a reinfestation from happening. There are a number of flea medications which are also effective in preventing a future infestation from happening. However, make sure you only choose the products which are intended for your dog’s age and size.

Q: How often should I use the flea treatment

A: Bites from fleas and ticks can be really annoying for your dog, not to mention they can make him sick. However, how often you should use a treatment to get rid of them will depend on the type of product you use. Here’s a useful guide you might want to look into:

  • For flea collars, they can last for up to seven months.
  • A flea spray is an effective solution that will kill and repel pests for up to seven days. However, it will prevent the eggs from hatching for up to 30 days.
  • A flea shampoo can kill any existing fleas and ticks while preventing reinfestation for up to two weeks.
  • A flea drop can prevent reinfestation for up to 30 days.
  • An oral pill can provide a quick relief but won’t prevent a reinfestation.

Q: How long does flea treatment take to work?

A: On average, a flea treatment can take anywhere between a few hours to a day to take effect. Most of the products we’ve included on this list can work within 12 hours after applying.

Q: When can puppies get flea treatment?

A: You can apply a flea treatment to puppies under 12 weeks old. However, you need to make sure you consult your vet first. Meanwhile, a topical treatment can be administered for as early as 6-8 weeks old.

Conclusion

Managing and preventing a flea and tick infestation from coming back will require a number of approaches. Choosing the best flea and tick prevention for dogs is just one of the many approaches you have to follow. Hopefully, you can find everything you need when it comes to the best treatment for your dogs.