Best Flea Treatment For Dogs

Are you wondering what flea and tick treatments are available for your dog?

There are many flea and tick products available for the prevention and treatment of these annoying puppy parasites. Flea and tick season dates vary from one location to another, making it vital to have your furry pets treated by your veterinarian before they strike, sometimes causing serious problems.

Why is it important to have your dog treated for fleas and ticks on a regular basis?

Some flea and tick medications need to be given on a monthly basis, while others last 3 months, or even a full year. Depending on the type of preventative measures you choose for your dog, they should be treated regularly in order to avoid problems.

Skipping a dose of medication, or worse, not giving any preventative treatments at all, can result in your dog becoming infested with fleas and/or be bitten by ticks. Fleas and ticks can be brought into the home and some can cause serious diseases.

What problems can fleas cause for my dog?

Flea bites are not only itchy and annoying, they can cause serious skin problems, such as flea allergy dermatitis, the most frequent allergy in dogs. Your dog scratches and his skin becomes inflamed due to allergic reactions to the saliva in the flea bites.

These parasites feed off of your dog’s blood, sometimes causing itchy scabbing and infection. Fleas can also affect your dog’s internal health by spreading another parasite: tapeworms. These can cause an itchy rear end and serious weight loss.

Another problem that can be caused by fleas is anemia. Blood loss through the bites occurs mainly in puppies who have lost significant amounts of blood, causing their red blood counts to decrease. This issue is severe and can be fatal if left untreated.

Not only are fleas dangerous to dogs, but they also pose a health risk to humans should the home become infested. They can bite humans, and even though they do not feed off of humans, they can still cause itchy wounds and spread diseases.

Dog flea and tick medication

Why are ticks so dangerous?

All dogs are carry a risk for tick bites, especially if they spend a significant amount of time playing outside, through long grass, bushes and trees. Ticks wait for a passing prey to feed on, then cling onto your dog’s fur when he brushes up against them.

Ticks attack by biting into your dog’s flesh then they feed on your dog’s blood. Ticks can be extremely difficult to remove safely, as you must ensure you pull the entire tick out, especially the head. The tick-bitten area usually becomes red and sore.

Ticks can, on rare occasions, cause paralysis in dogs as a result of a toxin they produce and release while feeding. The most prevalent diseases caused by ticks are Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and the better-known Lyme Disease.

These two diseases can cause significant symptoms in your dog, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, arthritis, lameness, fever, and painful, swollen joints. Some dogs may even develop serious kidney issues, and even failure, which may become fatal.

Should I treat fleas and ticks simultaneously?

Traditionally, flea and tick treatments were given in separate forms and doses. Today, pet owners have the convenience of giving one treatment that works in preventing both tick and flea bites. Timing is key, however. When you give the treatment is vital.

Flea and tick season does not begin at the same time everywhere. Your veterinarian will be able to inform you as to when the best time to treat your dog will be. Most treatments are given just before the season begins, and can last up to 3 months.

Some veterinarians recommend, depending on where you live, to continue giving your dog flea and treatments year round. This is a personal decision that relies mostly on where you live and the risk to your dog during the winter months.

Since effective flea and tick treatments are now found in one convenient, easy dose most vets recommend giving these treatments to your dog. These medications protect your pup for up to three months, so you won’t be constantly thinking about it.

What types of flea and tick treatments are available for my dog?

Your veterinarian may recommend one of the following types of flea and tick prevention for your dog. He can help you choose which one is most appropriate, based on your pup’s needs and risks.

Topical Liquids

Topical medications, otherwise known as spot-on treatments, are effective against parasites for about 30 days. The fluid must be poured directly onto your pet’s skin, mostly in the area between the shoulders, where it spreads.

Vet applying ticks, lice and mites control medicine on dog

Powders

Flea and tick powders are a convenient, quick way to protect your dog. Just sprinkle a light dusting of the powder all over your dog’s body, avoiding the eyes and nose, about once a month for full protection against parasites.

Collars​

Most flea and tick collars have dual functions: they repel pests by emitting a gas, and they also help to treat current parasite infestations. This second type has medication that seeps onto your dog’s skin and kills parasites on contact.

Flea collars are convenient because they can be worn when needed, like when playing outside or taking a walk through the forest, for example. They can also provide up to 8 months of protections against fleas and ticks.

Chewables​

Many chewable tablets are more effective in warding off fleas and ticks than many collars and topical treatments. They are also extremely convenient; they some in a one-dose, tasty, edible formula that you dog will actually enjoy.

The oral medications come in either a beef-flavored tablet or soft chew. Many dogs devour them like treats, and some brands will protect your pooch from nasty parasites for up to 3 months!

How can I get rid of fleas and ticks brought inside my home?

Your dogs can easily and unknowingly bring fleas and ticks from the outdoors into your home, causing infestations and misery to all of the family. Thankfully, there are some easy methods that you can use to relieve the itch and get rid of them for good.

Fleas and ticks can hide in carpets, clothing, dog beds and human beds and bite you when you least expect it. Start by washing all linens, vacuuming mattresses and carpets, and shampooing the floor if possible. This will get rid of many parasites.

Next, wash all of your dog’s toys and make sure he is treated, as well. Invest in a household insecticide powder or spray that is suitable for floors, beds and other furniture. You may also decide to have your entire yard treated for parasites.

Best Flea and Tick Treatments for Dogs

Merial Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Control

Frontline Plus is a monthly topical flea and tick preventative for virtually every dog over 8 weeks old. Frontline Plus topical liquid kills existing fleas, ticks and larvae within hours and prevents re-infestation for an entire 30 days. The treatment also remains waterproof the entire month, so your dog can still enjoy a swim or take a bath.

Frontline Plus for dogs flea and tick medicine

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A handy feature offered by Frontline Plus treatments is that they come ready to use in convenient applicators. Just snap the end off, part your dog’s hair between his shoulder blades and apply the liquid treatment in a single spot. The Frontline Plus spot-on treatment quickly covers the entire dog, so that even fleas and ticks elsewhere on the dog’s body will be eliminated, without even biting first. The annoying parasites die upon contact with the treatment.

Frontline Plus is a treatment that is highly recommended by vets and it is also safe enough to be used on pregnant or nursing dogs. It does not have an expiration date, so it remains effective when it is kept at room temperature.

Pros

  • Comes in 3 or 6 doses.
  • 3 different dog weight options: 5-22 lbs., 23-44 lbs., or 45-88 lbs.
  • Convenient ready to use pre-filled applicators
  • Provides complete coverage
  • Safe for pregnant or nursing dogs

Cons

  • The topical oil takes a while to absorb, so children and other pets should be kept at a distance
  • Some dogs may experience irritation at the site of application.

Bayer Seresto Dog Collar

The Seresto flea and tick collar is appropriate for dogs over 7 weeks old, and it comes in two sizes. The circumference of the collar adjusts to fit around your dog’s neck. A great feature of the Seresto dog collar is that it is non-greasy, unlike topical liquids, and completely odorless. Its sustained release technology means that the active ingredients are slowly and continuously released over time.

Bayer seresto flea and tick collar

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Another wonderful feature is its effectiveness and convenience. The Seresto collar protects your dog from parasites for 8 full months, making flea and tick prevention hassle-free; you no longer have to worry about forgetting a dose! The Seresto collar is also water resistant and still remains highly effective with the occasional bath or swim. When you know that your dog will be spending more time in the water, however, the collar can then be taken off temporarily.

The Seresto flea and tick collar also features a safety release mechanism: if your dog suddenly becomes trapped, his own strength is enough to unhook the collar from his neck, allowing for a quick escape. The Seresto flea and tick collar may be a great option for dog owners who do not want to spend a fortune on treatments and who wish to provide long-term, worry-free protection against parasites.

Pros

  • Comes in 2 sizes: up to 18 lbs or over 18 lbs
  • Non-greasy, odorless
  • 8 months of protection
  • Water resistant
  • Economical cost compared to monthly topical treatments

Cons

  •  Seresto flea and tick collar can lose effectiveness with prolonged exposure to water and sunshine
  • Protection is reduced to 5 months when the collar gets wet more than once per month

PetArmor Plus for Dogs

The PetArmor Plus is also a topical, spot-on treatment containing the medicinal ingredients: fipronil and (s)-methoprene. The pre-filled applicators are a handy feature. PetArmor Plus prevents flea and tick infestations for 30 days and kills larvae and eggs for 12 weeks. It is a fast-acting product that is also applied to one spot specifically and quickly spreads to the entire body, providing full protection.

Petarmor Plus flea and tick treatment for dogs

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PetArmor Plus comes with 3 applications, suited to three dog sizes: small dogs (4-22 lbs.), medium-sized dogs (23-44 lbs.) or larger breeds (45-89 lbs.). PetArmor Plus is also waterproof and does not expire when stored properly. A handy feature offered by PetArmor Plus topical liquid is the convenient, pre-filled doses. The tips of the applicators snap off effortlessly, for easy application between your dog’s shoulder blades. It literally takes seconds.

The PetArmor Plus topical prevention quickly covers your entire dog, so even larvae, fleas and ticks elsewhere on his body are destroyed, without your dog ever being bitten. This is a great option if you want quick, easy application.The most attractive advantages of PetArmor Plus is its resistance to water ,the duration of protection, and the ease of application. This product may be a great choice if you are a busy, active person. 

Pros

  • Convenient, prefilled treatment applicators
  • Prevents flea and tick infestations for 30 days and kills larvae and eggs for 12 weeks
  • Three dog sizes: small dogs (4-22 lbs.), medium-sized dogs (23-44 lbs.) or larger breeds (45-89 lbs.)
  • Water resistant
  • Product does not expire

Cons

  • Other pets and children should stay away while the topical oil is absorbing into your dog’s skin
  • Liquid may cause slight irritation at the site of application.

Pest Peeve 100% Natural Flea and Tick Prevention Powder for Dogs

Pest Peeve is an all-natural way to prevent your dog from being bitten by fleas and ticks. This product is a great choice if you are environmentally- and health-conscious. It is a great alternative to traditional sprays, oils and collars. Pest Peeve flea and tick powder uses all-natural ingredients from the USA and contains no harsh chemicals. It is completely safe for your pets, your family and the home. It is recommended by international holistic veterinarians.

Pest Peeve flea and tick powder protection

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Pest Peeve can be used to get rid of existing fleas and ticks, or used on a regular basis (monthly) to prevent infestation, and the company offers a pest-free guarantee. If you aren’t satisfied with the product, they will reimburse you. Applying the Pest Peeve powder is easy; simply dust it over your dog’s entire body, avoiding the eyes and mouth. Rub it into the fur and even between toes. The powder offers short-term (1 month) protection from fleas and ticks.

Pest Peeve powder is safe for all pets, babies, children and even the home! You can sprinkle it into your carpet or onto mattresses to eliminate existing parasites. It also soothes skin irritations when rubbed onto the affected area.

Pros

  • Great choice if you are environmentally- and health-conscious
  • All-natural ingredients from the USA and contains no harsh chemicals
  • Pest-free guarantee, if you aren’t satisfied with the product, they will reimburse you
  • Safe for all pets, babies, children and even the home
  • You can sprinkle Pest Peeve powder into your carpet or onto mattresses to eliminate existing parasites
  • Soothes skin irritations

Cons

  • Short duration of one month and needs to be reapplied on a regular basis.
  • Only effective in eliminating adult fleas. Does not kill eggs or larvae
  • Can be difficult to completely cover your dog, so there is always a slight risk of being bitten

Adams Plus spray is a fast, effective way to kill fleas, ticks, eggs and larvae. It remains active for 2 months. A great feature is that the spray is also effective at repelling mosquitoes! It is available in a 16-oz. or 32-oz. vaporizing bottle. Adams Plus Flea and Tick Spray is appropriate for adult dogs and puppies older than 10 weeks.

Adams plus flea and tick spray

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As with any parasite preventive, caution should be taken not to get the spray in your dog’s eyes as this can cause severe irritation. The Adams Plus spray is a convenient way to get rid of existing fleas and ticks, and in order to prevent future infestations; just spray it all over your dog’s body! The spray offers quick relief from itchy, annoying parasite bites.

Another wonderful feature of the Adams Plus spray is that is does not have an expiration date, so the product will remain effective even if you only use it occasionally. Just keep it at room temperature and it will last for a long time. Adams Plus is a great option if you are looking for an easy way to get rid off leas and ticks fast, without spending a lot of money. It’s the perfect choice fort hose needing to keep an emergency treatment at the cottage or campground.

Pros

  • Effective flea and tick prevention and repelling mosquitoes
  • Available in a 2 sizes: a 16-oz. or a 32-oz. vaporizing bottle
  • Does not have an expiration date
  • Great option for flea and tick prevention if you are looking to not spend a lot of money
  • Perfect choice for those needing to keep an emergency treatment

Cons

  • Can cause eye and skin irritation in humans
  • Must wash your hands and clothing after exposure
  • Can also cause your dog to drool after application
  • Not safe for pregnant or nursing dogs

Conclusion

There are so many different options available to prevent and treat flea and tick bites and infestations. Owners must consider the specific needs of their pet and what is most important for them as an owner: Price? Convenience? Safety? Effectiveness?

Fleas and ticks can be a major annoyance, both for your dog and for you, as an owner. They can spread into your home, causing itchiness and even diseases. There are powders and sprays that can be used on your dog, as well as beds and carpets.

With any flea and tick treatment, it is vital to keep your pet and family members safe from harsh chemicals. Check the ingredients and read labels carefully. Some of the products on the market cause serious irritations to human and canine eyes and skin.

Every flea and tick treatment has their own individual advantages and downfalls. Some are less expensive, but have a shorter duration of protection, while others are more expensive, but last much longer, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting.

Here’s wishing both you and your pooch a bite-free summer!

About the author

Melanie Fox

Hi there, I'm Melanie Fox, editor at Beloved Bark. We look to provide people with the knowledge and tools to make smarter, more educated choices for their dogs. We have made it our mission to inform our followers with expert advice and recommendations, that will make a difference in your dog's life.

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