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Fleas are not only a pesky infestation for your dog and home, they can also cause some serious health problems, like dermatitis, anemia and even tapeworm, so it's important to keep your dog safe from these invasive bugs. Besides fleas, ticks can also pose a huge risk to dogs and their owners... by possibly infecting anyone who gets bitten by a tick with Lyme Disease. Thankfully many flea prevention products also have tick prevention built in so if you are looking for a formula that can treat both you're in luck.
There are many factors when deciding what product to use, such as the cost, the size of your furry friend, any side effects and overall strength of the treatment. From collars to topicals to tablets, we’ve rounded up the very best flea and tick prevention products to keep your dog healthy.
Frontline Plus is a well-known topical flea prevention medicine that kills adult fleas and larvae within 12 hours of application and works for 30 days to repel fleas and ticks. This formula is made specifically for large dogs between 45 and 88 pounds. The easy three-step process can be completed within minutes, and it’s a great choice for picky dogs who can’t stand baths or pills. Once you’ve applied the clear liquid to your dog’s coat, you have to keep him dry for 24 hours to ensure the treatment doesn’t wash off.
Amazon reviewers say Frontline Plus is their go-to flea preventative because it’s easy to apply, scent-free — and most importantly, it works. Some owners warn of slight irritation in their sensitive pups, so a topical may not be the best choice if your dog has skin issues.
Bayer Advantage is safe for dogs weighing between three and ten pounds, which makes it our pick for best flea prevention treatment for small dogs. This veterinarian-recommended treatment begins working within 12 hours and continues for 30 days. It kills fleas on contact, so they don’t need to bite your dog in order for the treatment to be effective; it also works against flea larvae, eggs and chewing lice.
Reviewers describe Bayer Advantage II as one of the best flea medications they’ve used, noting that it works quickly to fight even severe infestations. Simply part the hair on the back of your dog’s neck and apply directly onto the skin.
If you’re looking for an alternative to topical flea medicine, a pill-based flea preventative is a convenient and incredibly effective solution. Comfortis, the first FDA-approved chewable tablet for fighting fleas, starts killing fleas in 30 minutes and works for a full month. Appropriate for dogs or cats 14 weeks of age or older, it uses an ingredient called Spinosad to kill fleas before they have a chance to lay eggs.
Available in an enticing beef flavor, Comfortis is available in numerous formulations corresponding to your pet’s weight. Reviewers say it’s a highly effective treatment — just be sure to consult with your veterinarian before purchasing, as it may have unwanted reactions with certain heartworm medications.
Unlike Comfortis, Capstar is a pill that works only to remove a current flea infestation on your dog. Capstar comes in two formulas based on your dog’s weight, and it’s a great solution for a bad flea infestation that you want to end ASAP. Within four hours, Capstar kills all adult fleas on your dog. Though it doesn’t prevent future flea or ticks past 24 hours, it’s by far the best solution for a flea situation that has gotten out of control. Pair with a flea shampoo to kill eggs and fight future pests for the best outcome.
Reviewers say Capstar is their go-to for instant flea relief and often the first step in a multi-step flea removal process. If you’ve found yourself suddenly battling a pesky flea situation, Capstar is a great solution to stop the problem in its tracks.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
If you’re searching for a more “set it and forget it” solution, Bayer Seresto Flea and Tick Collar may be right for you and your dog. A single collar gives your dog up to eight months of protection against fleas, ticks and lice. Seresto works on contact (even before the fleas bite) and is subtle and odorless. Safe for dogs over seven weeks old, this collar comes in large and small sizes, and has an easy-to-use adjustable clasp for a secure fit. Seresto is the only flea collar that is water-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about Fido jumping in a lake.
A flea collar is a cost-effective way to prevent flea infestations on your pup, but not all dogs can tolerate them. Dogs with extremely sensitive skin or severe dermatitis may be better off with another flea product.
Amazon reviewers say Seresto is extremely effective, even at the height of flea and tick season.
A flea shampoo is a mainstay in pet-loving households, and Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor is one of the best you can buy. This concentrated shampoo contains oatmeal and coconut extract to give your dog a healthy, shiny coat while killing fleas and eggs on contact. Safe for pups over 12 weeks of age, it protects your dog for up to 28 months with a single bath. Simply mix concentrate with water, lather and leave on your dog for five minutes to achieve the best effect.
Amazon reviewers note that Adams is so effective at killing live fleas that the first night after usage can be, well, a little on the messy side. Once your dog is flea-free, Adams shampoo works to keep future pests off your dog by killing the bugs before they become biting adults.
Similar to a shampoo, spray-based treatments kill fleas on contact and serve as another great, affordable flea and tick prevention method. Vet's Best Flea & Tick Pet & Home Spray is made to stop flea infestations in your home and protect your furniture and carpets from future fleas. Made with peppermint oil and eugenol, Vet’s Best is safe to spray directly on your dog (as long as he is over 12 weeks old). Each usage lasts about 30 days from application and can be a great alternative to a flea bath if your dog is water-averse.
Dog owners rave about Vet’s Best spray, remarking that it kills instantly and efficiently. Great for dog bedding and other toys, a spray is a must-have in your battle against fleas and ticks.