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best flea treatment for dogs

We guide you through the best flea treatment for dogs to keep your dog and home free of fleas

Preventing and treating fleas is an essential part of owning a dog. Fleas are both unpleasant for dogs and can be a nightmare for homeowners if an infestation takes hold. With that in mind, how do you choose the best flea treatment for dogs? We run through the variety of options available to you and your dog.

Why treat dog fleas?

Fleas are highly resilient parasites that can quickly infest your pet and home if you leave them untreated. They are prolific breeders and need to be quickly eradicated to prevent an infestation becoming established. Contrary to what you might think, fleas do not only target dirty animals, so unfortunately a regular bath won’t help with prevention. Dogs may show signs of fleas including increased itching or scratching and excessive grooming or biting, which can lead to hair loss. If left untreated, dogs can develop scabs and sores caused by scratching, usually on the back and base of the tail. Your dog may also go on to develop internal infections caused by ingesting tapeworms inside the flea. Severe flea infestations can lead to anaemia, which can be fatal for your dog.

What dog flea treatment options are available?

There are a range of different options for preventing and treating fleas on your dog. The best flea treatment for dogs is one that has lasting efficacy, whilst simultaneously preventing and treating fleas.

Here are the options available to dog owners:

Oral dog flea tablets

Administered to dogs as a tablet or chew, there are many types of oral flea treatment containing different ingredients. Currently all effective oral tablet options for killing and preventing fleas require a veterinary prescription.

Oral chews and tablets are absorbed into the bloodstream of your pet, so if a flea should bite, it ingests the medication.  This type of treatment can last for up to 3 months is a good choice for dogs who have severe flea allergies.

Flea collars

Dog flea collars have been on the market for a long time, however their efficacy can be variable. Some newer dog collars offer prevention and treatment of fleas, slowly releasing a low dose of treatment to your dogs’ skin for up to 8 months. Your dog will need to wear an additional lead collar as a flea collar is not strong enough to handle a lead. Extra caution is needed as some collars do not have a quick release catch, so if your dog becomes tangled, it could pose a choking risk.

Flea shampoo

If your dog has already been infested with fleas then a medicated flea shampoo can remove adult fleas from your dog. However, killing adult fleas does not break the flea lifecycle. New fleas will soon hatch to continue the infestation. Protection against fleas requires a long-lasting treatment that will stop the flea lifecycle from continuing.

Care must be taken when washing dogs having flea treatments. Any topical treatment will be washed off if bathing occurs within 48 hours of application. Bathing with insecticide can be harmful for insect wildlife if the water is not disposed of properly.

Flea sprays

Flea sprays for dogs are often used for puppies or dogs too small to receive other forms of treatment, such as pipette spot-on or tablets. Some flea sprays are also effective against ticks and lice. Natural flea sprays are available but may not offer the same level of protection, meaning you will need to use an additional treatment. Sprays can be messy to apply and are often a short-term solution until puppies grow large enough to use other flea products.

Household flea sprays are not suitable for applying to pets, but they are an essential part of stopping any flea infestation.

Flea comb

A flea comb with narrow teeth is a natural way of removing fleas, eggs and dirt from your dog’s fur. Repetitive combing allows you to see evidence of fleas on your dog and carefully remove them. This method is time consuming, especially if you have a large dog or a breed with darker fur, as the fleas are harder to spot.

Flea combing is better suited to monitoring for the presence of fleas rather than being a method prevention or treatment. If your pet is at low risk of fleas, then diligent combing can be used as a replacement for on-going preventative flea treatment.

Spot-on treatment

Spot-on treatments such as Advantage for Dogs or Frontline Plus are both easy to administer dog flea treatments, applied via a pipette directly onto the skin between your dog’s shoulder blades. They both offer flea prevention and treatment for one month before reapplication is required. It is important dogs do not swim or have a bath for 48 hours after spot-on application, as some product may get washed off and become less effective.

Advantage for dogs

Advantage for Dogs kills fleas on contact, so a flea does not have to bite to be destroyed. The active ingredients get to work in 24 hours offering protection from fleas and biting lice lasting one month.

Frontline Plus for dogs

Frontline Plus for dogs is an advanced formula that kills ticks, biting lice, adult fleas, and prevents flea larvae and eggs from developing, offering excellent protection for your dog and the home. The formula sets to work swiftly and is stored in the sebaceous glands killing fleas within 24 hours and ticks within 48 hours. This means that fleas do not need to bite your dog to be killed.

These cost-effective treatments are highly effective and will prevent flea infestation when applied regularly. Protect My Pet will send you the exact dose you require, when it is due, ensuring your pet is always protected.

What to remember

With any dog flea treatment, it is essential that high quality treatment is administered regularly at the correct dose. Good housekeeping practices such as washing dog bedding, hoovering soft furnishings and carpets and using an annual household flea spray will help with prevention. Regular grooming will ensure you quickly spot any signs of fleas before an infestation can take hold.

Remember to treat puppies too!

Spot-on flea treatments are also suitable for puppies from 8 weeks old. This type of treatment is highly effective and safe to use on pups making them a convenient solution for ongoing flea control. At Protect My Pet, we request details about the weight, breed and age of your puppy so you can be confident that you are applying the correct dose.

Monthly dog flea treatment delivered to your door

Protect My Pet offers highly effective, market-leading, spot-on dog flea treatment and prevention direct to your door, so you’ll never forget to treat fleas again. When it arrives in the post it’s time to dose. Our monthly flea treatment for dogs offer a long-term solution to flea prevention, allowing you to relax and know your pet and home is free from fleas. We allow you to spread the cost of your dog flea treatment and our service is commitment-free.

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