It’s the stuff of nightmares: Creepy crawlers on your beloved pet! Somehow your furry friend caught fleas. Yuck! Not only do the tiny bugs give itchy bites, they also can carry diseases. But there’s no need to lose sleep over an infestation. StudyFinds has put together a list of the best flea treatments for dogs that will make all fleas flee.
Research reveals that fleas and other bugs trigger some deeply rooted fears in us. “The common reaction to finding bugs in the home is that we want to get rid of them, immediately,” says chief study entomologist Daniel Perry. “Insects push our anxiety, fear, and disgust buttons. They are resilient and smart — having millions of years to adapt to predators and, more recently, us.”
While cockroaches are the most hated bug, fleas pose the bigger health risk to pets and humans. Luckily, today we have many options to safely prevent or fight an infestation with the parasite. For your dog, you can choose from topical or oral applications, shampoos, and flea collars — no need for extreme measures. You won’t have to join the one in three people (34%) who claim they’ve actually considered burning down their own house after finding an infestation, according to a new study.
Most flea treatments for dogs are available over the counter. Some work only as a remedy and not as a preventative. Others may need to be used in combination with additional flea-fighting methods. To help you find the best solution for your situation, StudyFinds consulted ten expert websites and created a list of the top five best flea treatments for dogs.
The List: Best Flea Treatments For Dogs, According To Experts
1. Best Overall: Frontline Plus Topical Treatment
The most frequently recommended is a topical treatment. Frontline Plus is a well-established product: “For more than 20 years, veterinarians and pet owners have been using Frontline Plus for Dogs to effectively prevent, treat, and control fleas,” writes DogProductPicker.
“It is easy to use, safe for dogs of almost all sizes, effective at killing both fleas and ticks at all stages of life, and waterproof (after 24 hours),” PetsRadar explains its top choice and continues: “Frontline Plus has been a veterinarian-recommended flea and tick treatment for years for its combination of effectiveness, ease of use, and being well-tolerated by dogs.”
TherapyPet also picked Frontline Plus as its favorite because “beyond its fast-acting mechanism, Frontline Plus offers a ton of other benefits. For instance, it will keep your pooch protected from fleas for 30 more days after application. Also, this treatment is great for controlling sarcoptic mange infections.”
(As a safety note, this and many other flea treatment products contain chemical pesticides.)
2. Best as needed: Capstar Flea Tablets For Dogs
If topical treatment isn’t safe for your family, for instance because you have multiple pets or young children, flea tablets (an oral treatment) are a good option: “You won’t have to avoid touching [your dog] until the formula works in, like you have to with topical solutions,” DogProductPicker explains the product’s main benefit. Capstar is safe in other ways as well: “If your pooch ends up getting another infestation of fleas, or if you aren’t sure if he swallowed it, you can give him another tablet. It’s safe for your pup to take one tablet a day.”
It is in fact so safe that puppies can use it, too. “Capstar Flea Oral Treatment is one of the few products that is labeled for use in dogs as young as 4 weeks. They will need to weigh at least 2 pounds to safely use this medication, but it will offer them flea protection in under 30 minutes,” writes Hepper. The product is also safe for dogs that are pregnant or nursing.
Here’s to a safe and easy solution! According to PetsRadar, “if you’re after a flea treatment for dogs that is fast-acting and will provide instant relief to your pooch, these Capstar Flea Tablets for Dogs are ideal.”
3. Best Monthly Dose: NexGard
NexGard’s flea and tick treatment is Hepper’s “premium” treatment choice: “This product is quite effective and has a low-maintenance dosage. It kills fleas on contact and prevents outbreaks. It is also the only tick-prevention product that is FDA-approved for the prevention of Lyme disease. If you live in a high-risk area or like to go camping and hiking with your dog, this alone makes it an attractive product.”
NexGard is administered in form of a beef-flavored chew, which makes it easy to disguise the medicine as a treat. Other highlights, according to Great Pet Care, are that it “kills fleas before they can lay eggs” and “offers formulations specifically for large dogs, including those weighing between 60 and 121 pounds.” This product is however only available with a prescription from a veterinarian.
NexGard requires a prescription due to “the active ingredient afoxolaner, which is the isoxazoline class of drugs,” PetMD specifies. Although the product is considered safe by the FDA, the FDA and PetMD warn that it “should be used with caution in dogs with a history of seizures or neurologic disorders.”
4. Best Shampoo: Adam’s Plus Precor Flea & Tick Shampoo
In case of an infestation, you have to physically remove the fleas from your dog. A shampoo works well for this purpose. “But this shampoo does a lot more than fight off fleas,” says TherapyPet. “It’s formulated with the best ingredients including oatmeal, coconut extract, aloe, and lanolin. All these compounds work hand in hand to make [your dog’s] coat shiny, clean, and flea-free.”
Since you’re rubbing it all over your friend’s fur, you want shampoos to be gentle, and this product is. “If you’re looking for a shampoo that will kill fleas, ticks, lice, and their eggs on contact but still be gentle on your furkid’s skin and coat, then this formula from Adams is a great choice,” writes PetsRadar. The product is formulated for sensitive skin and “is suitable for [dogs] ages 12 weeks and up.”
Hepper explains that “this shampoo remains active for up to 28 days, but it’s not designed to be a flea preventative. This product is best to rid your dog of active flea infestations.” They also mention that the shampoo is not safe for cats.
5. Best Collar: Seresto Flea Collar
Despite recent controversy – the product has been linked to over 2,500 pet deaths! – lots of experts still recommend this flea collar. “Seresto is the most effective flea collar for dogs on the market, veterinarians say. It kills fleas and ticks without having to expose your dog to flea bites,” says Great Pet Care.”
BestForPets likes about the collar that “it is odorless and non-greasy, and features a quick-release safety function in case your dog becomes entangled.” The collar is waterproof: “Even with frequent swimming or bathing, the drug is effective for up to eight months, making it suitable for protracted tick seasons.”
MSN says the Seresto collar protects against a number of pests. “It contains imidacloprid, which kills fleas before they can lay eggs, flumethrin, which kills ticks before they latch onto your dog’s skin, and permethrin, which repels mosquitoes so they don’t bite at all!”
(Please always consult with your veterinarian before choosing a flea treatment.)
- Great Pet Care
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- Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomachs
- Best Dog Probiotics
- Best Dog Breeds For Families
- Best Dog Treats
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.