5 of the Best Flea Treatments for Dogs

5 of the Best Flea Treatments for Dogs

by ScritchSpot

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Though the presence of fleas and ticks will vary by location, these pests are a concern that all pet parents should be aware of. The best way to combat fleas is to prevent them in the first place, however some may have to face the battle of the bugs.

Either your pet is clear of fleas but you’re proactive about prevention, you’ve seen a flea or two and you’d like to get rid of them as well as prevent more fleas, or your pet has a flea infestation and you need to focus on eradicating those first. There are many different types of flea treatments, and the kind you choose may depend on your current situation. Here are the various options and some pros and cons of each:

  • Topical treatments are typically applied once per month to the back of your dog’s neck. The natural oils on your dog’s skin distribute the medication to kill adult fleas and eggs and stop the flea life cycle, preventing future fleas.
  • Flea collars last up to 12 weeks and kill adult fleas as well as prevent new generations but contain potentially harmful insecticides.
  • Flea sprays can kill and repel fleas on your pet as well as around the home. Some sprays contain only natural ingredients so there’s no worry of harmful chemicals. However, they need to be applied as frequently as once per week all over your pet’s body, so it’s important not to miss a spot. 
  • Oral medications absorb into the bloodstream, so a biting flea will receive a lethal dose. However, they only last about a day and do not work as a long-term preventive.
  • Flea shampoos are powerful at eliminating a flea infestation, but they can be very potent and don’t help with prevention.

We rounded up the best flea treatments based on several top review sites, taking into account the effectiveness at both killing and preventing fleas as well as the use of ingredients that are safe and healthy for pets (and people). Here are our top 5:

Frontline Plus

As a waterproof topical treatment, Frontline Plus gets to work within 4 hours and wipes out fleas, ticks, and eggs within 12 hours. It has a strong, chemical odor and the price is usually higher than other products, but it features an easy-to-use applicator that simply snaps open, plus it lasts a full 30 days. 

PetArmor Plus

Though PetArmor comes with a more affordable price, it takes a bit longer to kill fleas: it starts working within 12 hours and can take up to 48 hours to eradicate all fleas, ticks, and eggs. This product protects your pet for up to 30 days. Because the applicator needs to be cut open with scissors, you may need to wash your hands and scissors after applying. 

Sentry Fiproguard Plus

This affordable flea treatment and preventive is waterproof and lasts up to 30 days. It contains the same active ingredient as Frontline and starts working within 12 hours. Fiprogard Plus has a mild, inoffensive scent, but its applicator can be messy and leak-prone.

Bayer Advantage II

This topical treatment starts working within 12 hours and the waterproof formula lasts up to 30 days. The company claims it is odorless and kills fleas on contact, meaning they don’t have to bite your dog to receive a lethal dose. 

Vet’s Best Flea & Tick Spray

This all-natural insect repellent can be sprayed on furniture, carpet, your pet’s bedding, and even your pet to keep fleas and ticks away. It uses essential oils and plant-based ingredients to kill bugs and eggs on contact. Unlike topical medications, this spray must be used as frequently as every day for infestations and at least once per week as a preventive.

Important note: With topical treatments, it’s imperative to use the right product based on your pet’s weight and species. Flea treatments made for dogs should not be used interchangeably with those made for cats.