Fleas are undoubtedly one of the most annoying things our furry companions may experience. Not only are pesky fleas persistent, but they may also lead to allergic reactions which can cause our dogs even more problems. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to treat our dogs even without prescription medication — but with a plethora of choices on the market, it can be hard to choose the right solution for your furry friend.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ve made a curated list of the 10 best flea medicines for dogs this year.
What are Fleas and Ticks?
Fleas and ticks are parasites that love to burrow inside the warm fur of cats and dogs, which feed on your pet’s blood. People often mistake them for the same thing but they are different from each other; fleas will only have 6 legs and ticks have 8 legs, which makes them related to spiders. Ticks will often wait in tall grass, waiting for a host to pass by but can survive for a whole year without the need to feed.
Your pup is likely to pick them up while walking through grass or woods during the spring or fall seasons. There are different types of ticks that dogs will usually encounter in your walks, which include the American dog tick, lone star tick, and brown dog tick. While both insects are more active during hot weather, there are steps you can take to keep them away from your pets throughout the year.
Why is Flea and Tick Treatment Important for Dogs?
Because your pup can easily pick up fleas while playing outside, your dog may surprise you one day that it has a female flea that has already spread an infestation in just a few days. This can be a big problem since fleas and ticks are known to carry and pass on diseases. Flea bites can cause flea allergy dermatitis and tapeworm infections, while tick-borne diseases from tick bites include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, and more.
Both fleas and ticks can spread their infections to humans, so it’s important to keep them away from our pets. Preventative treatment can be routinely and safely given to your pets to help prevent future infestations which come in a wide range of forms and dosages. Below are the best flea treatments that you can get from the shelves this year to help with flea and tick prevention.
The Best Flea Medicine for Dogs
No matter the kind of treatment you’re looking for, we’ve got a wide selection of flea medicines for you to choose from.
- Provides flea and tick protection for puppies and dogs under 18 pounds
- A long-lasting collar that repels and kills fleas for up to 8 months
- Quick-working solution that repels and kills fleas on contact
- This hassle-free option is easy to use and requires no prescriptions
The Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Small Dogs is vet-approved for the treatment and prevention of pests in dogs under 18 pounds. This long-lasting and fast-acting collar is the best choice for small dogs and cats; it immediately works to kill fleas on your dog’s fur and prevents the recurrence of infestations for the next 8 months. Seresto flea collars are odorless and non-greasy, making the experience comfortable for you and your pooch!
- This waterproof solution uses two active ingredients to disrupt the life cycle of fleas
- Each treatment can help to protect against dog fleas for as long as 30 days
- Kills flea larvae, adult fleas, and lice while protecting them during tick season
- Also helps to control sarcoptic mange problems in dogs
With FRONTLINE Plus Flea and Tick Treatment for Large Dogs, you can provide your pup with an effective solution for tick and flea control. Made with (S)-methoprene and fipronil, it’s been formulated to kill flea eggs, adult fleas, flea larvae, lice, and ticks that carry Lyme disease. Every fast-acting topical flea treatment provides 30 days of protection and is a good option for bigger dogs that weigh between 45 to 88 pounds.
- With Nitenpyram which activates within 30 minutes, killing fleas in just 4 hours
- Safe to use on puppies over 4 weeks old, weighing at least 2 pounds
- Just one dose can eliminate a whole infestation of fleas and can be given once a day
- These oral tablets have no odor and can be given without a mess
Keep your canine buddy healthy and happy with Capstar’s Flea Oral Treatment for Dogs; each tablet comes with the active ingredient Nitenpyram, which works as an effective flea medicine. Working in just 30 minutes, this fast-acting solution has been proven to be over 90% effective in the elimination of fleas in a matter of hours. It works quicker than many other options without the odor and mess that comes with topical medications — it’s also safe to use on pregnant or nursing pets, so get one for your pooch today!
- Effective for big dogs over 55 lbs. and protects from mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and lice
- Works in just a few hours and becomes waterproof 24 hours after application
- A topical flea medication that’s easy to apply and requires no prescriptions
- Repels and kills fleas on contact so they don’t get the chance to bite your dog’s skin
Just use the K9 Advantix II XL Flea and Tick Spot Treatment for dogs to say goodbye to persistent flea problems. This vet-recommended topical solution can be applied monthly and is the best option to keep ticks, fleas, flies, lice, and mosquitoes that carry heartworm disease from your pooch. It kills pesky fleas upon contact and turns waterproof after 24 hours in case your pup wants to go swimming or there’s a sudden downpour during your walks.
- Uses a fast-acting formula that activates in 24 to 48 hours
- A waterproof treatment that protects against ticks, lice, fleas, flea larvae, and eggs
- Prevents the reoccurrence of infestations for 30 days after it’s applied
- Can be used once a month to provide year-round tick and flea protection
Watch as lice, ticks, and fleas drop dead with the PetArmor Plus Flea and Tick Spot Treatment for Dogs, which has a long-lasting and waterproof formula that quickly stops the flea cycle. Just one dose provides protection for our dogs that lasts a whole month and is safe to use on dogs 12 weeks and over. Working in as fast as 24 to 48 hours and ideal for pups between 5 to 22 pounds, you can be confident knowing that your furry friend is protected against ticks and fleas.
- Uses an insect neurotoxin called imidacloprid, which works in as little as an hour
- Soft, chewable tablets that can be fed straight from your hand to help with infestations
- Can be given without the need for prescriptions so you can always have one on hand
- No need for topical treatments that may cause a mess
Take home this Advantus Large Dog Soft Chew Flea Treatment to provide your puppy with a simple and quick solution to its flea problems. This oral flea treatment can be easily administered once a day — imidacloprid works after just an hour to kill and paralyze fleas in as little as an hour and is perfectly safe to use without a prescription. Ideal to use on dogs 10 weeks of age or older and if you’re dog’s weight is between 23 to 110 pounds.
- Provides immediate treatment for flea and tick control, working in as fast as 5 minutes
- Helps to eliminate ticks, fleas, lice, mosquitoes, and more
- With a waterproof formula that gives protection for as long as 30 days
- A topical treatment specifically formulated for extra-large dogs between 89 to 132 lbs
Your dog can have peace of mind knowing it won’t have to deal with annoying pests thanks to the NextStar Fast Acting Flea and Tick Treatment for X-Large Dogs. A powerful topical treatment, it kills ticks and fleas in as little as 5 minutes while providing protection from a wide range of pests and preventing flea pupae from developing. It can be easily applied; it keeps pests away for 30 days and is a great option for bigger breeds that weigh up to 132 pounds.
- Provides a fresh and mild lemongrass scent that repels and kills ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes
- Uses natural ingredients without any harsh chemicals with similar results to pills, collars, and chews
- Safe enough to use on pets of all life stages and can be used as often as your dog needs
- Effective protection that’s cruelty-free, biodegradable, and made in the United States
Pet parents looking for natural products that can protect their pups will find the Wondercide Lemongrass Scent Dog Flea and Tick Spray is the best way to keep pests at bay. Using essential oils that ward off ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes, this spray helps to keep your pooch safe and comfortable while eliminating the life cycle of these insects. It can be used on furniture, carpet, flooring, and your pet’s belongings to apply full pest control around your home.
- A dog shampoo that uses natural oils to kill fleas, flea eggs, and ticks on contact
- Contains glycerin and vitamin E to nourish and clean your dog’s skin and fur
- With plant-based ingredients such as citronella and cinnamon to keep mosquitoes away
- Safe to use around young children and pets and can be used for routine baths
If you’re looking for an affordable option, Hartz Nature’s Shield Natural Flea and Tick Dog Shampoo features an effective combination of natural oils to keep your pet safe from pests. With cinnamon, rosemary, and citronella oils, it kills these insects upon contact and repels mosquitoes for 24 hours when used correctly. It also contains glycerin and vitamin E to nourish your pup’s coat and skin while it’s also free from bad substances such as alcohols, dyes, and parabens.
- With PRECOR Insect Growth Regulators that kill eggs for 28 days
- Contains ingredients that rapidly kill ticks, fleas, and lice
- Has natural ingredients like oatmeal, aloe, and coconut extract for soft and shiny fur
- Removes loose dirt, dandruff, and scales to keep your pup clean and fresh
If you’re a dog owner, you need to get your hands on Zodiac Oatmeal Conditioning Shampoo for Dogs and Puppies; it’s one of the most effective flea shampoos in the market. This concentrated shampoo contains coconut extract, oatmeal, lanolin, and aloe vera which leaves your canine pal’s coat fresh, manageable, shiny, and soft. It provides plenty of benefits, such as eliminating fleas, lice, and ticks, killing eggs, removing loose dandruff, and keeping your pup clean at all times.
How to Find the Best Flea Medicine for Dogs
Before you purchase flea, lice, and tick products to help your dog fight against infestations, you must first consider a few factors that will help you determine the best choice for your pet.
Type of Medication
There is a wide range of treatments that you can choose from, which include the following:
- Oral medications
- Topical creams
When deciding between which of the options above will work best for your pooch, be sure to think about the convenience, cost, and effectiveness that each will offer. It’s also best to remember that some dogs have sensitive skin and may not be able to tolerate topical solutions. If you’re unsure which will work best for your pet, be sure to contact your vet for advice.
Many experts recommend using vet-recommended options since they will contain ingredients that not only kill pests but can also eliminate infestations. Make sure that each ingredient is pet-friendly since some essential oils can be toxic and harmful to cats and dogs.
Look products approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because these go through rigorous efficacy and safety testing before they reach the store shelves. You should also look through their ingredient labels to ensure that your pooch won’t suffer adverse reactions and the product will have minimal potential side effects on your dog.
Whether you’re looking for a topical or an oral product, be sure to look for an option that will treat a wide range of pests. However, you should also think about the age range that certain products can treat — for example, Capstar can be used on puppies younger than 6 weeks.
Ease of Use
Opt for options that are easy to administer; chewable tablets can be easily given to dogs without any mess. On the other hand, products that need you to wear gloves or those that need your pup to stay away from other pets and children while they’re treated may be too much of a hassle.
Weight and Age
Flea treatments should only be used on dogs above a certain weight and age. Unfortunately, options for young puppies are quite limited, so you may need to wait until they weigh more and get older.
Flea Medicines for Dogs FAQs
Below are questions that many pet parents ask when it comes to getting rid of fleas from their dogs.
How Do I Kill Fleas Permanently?
To get rid of these pests for good, you’ll need to kill more than just adult fleas; other insects in their developmental stages such as eggs and larvae should also be eliminated. Products that kill fleas during their early stages will be most effective, and year-round treatment should also be of utmost importance.
How Do I Tell if My Dog Has a Flea Infestation?
Fleas aren’t easily seen by the naked eye, so it’s best to look for signs of infestation in your dog, such as skin irritation, flea dirt, hair loss, as well as excessive biting and scratching on their skin. You can also look for other signs such as pale gums, which is a symptom of anemia, or you can use a flea comb to run against your dog’s hair to see if there are fleas.
What Types of Flea and Tick Medicines are Available for Dogs?
There is a wide range of solutions for dogs suffering from flea infestations such as oral treatments, topical products, shampoos, collars, and sprays. Oral flea medications will often come as chewable tablets, while topical ointments are applied directly to their skin. Recently, shampoos and flea collars haven’t been favored by pet parents since they are known to be less effective compared to other options.
Taking care of pesky parasites as soon as possible is important for our pets since many of them can lead to health conditions that can lower your pup’s quality of life. To make sure that you don’t encounter these nasty critters, keep your home clean and give your pup a good bath and grooming routine. If you find your dog has an infestation, give your vet a visit to get the right advice on how to treat your pooch and to place preventative measures.