Best Flea Treatments for Dogs

Fleas are more than an annoyance for your dog—they can trigger allergies, serious skin infections, and tapeworms. The best flea treatments for dogs come in a few different forms: topical, flea collars, and oral medications.

Topical Treatments

Topical treatments are liquids squeezed out of a tube and applied to the dog's neck or back. They have ingredients that prevent eggs from hatching and larvae from maturing into adult fleas. The downside is that they can eliminate fleas for only a month and may irritate your dog's skin. They can also irritate your eyes and skin.

Flea Collars

Flea collars used to be ineffective, but with the emergence of collars such as Seresto, which uses the same active ingredient as a topical treatment, all of that has changed. Collars like this are pricey, but their slow release formula lasts eight months. If your dog is indoors most of the time, there are less expensive collars to consider.

Oral Medications

Oral flea treatments kill adult fleas quickly, but they don't address the flea larvae and eggs in your dog's fur. So pet owners have to combine the oral treatment with a topical one until all the fleas are dead.

What Do Flea Treatments for Dogs Do?

The best flea treatments for dogs kill adult fleas and ticks. They also prevent eggs and larvae from developing and reproducing. 

How Do Flea Treatments for Dogs Work?

Flea treatments for dogs work by attacking the central nervous systems of bugs. The insects are poisoned when they eat it, but they live long enough to poison the nest. These chemicals are safe for your pet. The most common insect neurotoxins in dog flea and tick medications are Fipronil, Imidacloprid, and Permethrin. The best flea treatments for dogs also use insect growth regulators that keep the flea larvae from developing into adult fleas.

Where Can You Buy Them?

 You can buy these products at pet stores, grocery stores, and online. 

​How We Reviewed the Best Flea Treatments for Dogs

The following products were reviewed based on the following parameters: features, pros and cons, and price. We reviewed topical treatments, collars, and oral medications. The best flea treatments for dogs are the ones that work for your pet and lifestyle.

​Overall Price Range of Flea Treatments for Dogs

 The overall price of products on our best flea treatments for dogs list ranges from about $20 to $60. The most affordable items are topical medications and sprays. The Seresto flea collar was the most expensive, but it is effective for 8 months. 

​Comparison Table

What We Reviewed

  • Bayer K9 Advantix II Flea, Tick and Mosquito Prevention
  • Frontline Plus for Dogs
  • Advecta II Flea Treatment
  • Novartis Capstar Flea Tablets
  • Flea Away All Natural Flea Repellent
  • Frontline Flea and Tick Treatment
  • Natural Chemsitry Flea and Tick Shampoo
  • Bayer Seresto Flea and Tick Collar
  • Vet's Best Natural Flea + Tick Home Spray
  • Bayer Advantage II Topical Flea Treatment

​Bayer K9 Advantix II Flea, Tick, and Mosquito Prevention

Bayer K9 Advantix II Flea, Tick and Mosquito Prevention for X-Large...
  • K9 Advantix II for dogs works through contact, so fleas, ticks and mosquitoes don’t have...
  • K9 Advantix II topical tick and flea control for dogs is easy to apply, starts working to...
  • Veterinarian recommended Bayer K9 Advantix II for dogs also repels biting flies and kills...

Features

K9 Advantix II is a well-established topical treatment that can kill fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, lice, and even biting flies. That's some powerful stuff. The treatment works within the first 12 hours of application. It can be applied monthly on dogs 7 weeks old or older. This is one of the best flea treatments for dogs who love hiking in the woods, walking in the neighborhood, or lounging outside. K9 Advantix II does not require a prescription. Do not give this product to cats.

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $45 for four monthly treatments.

Pros  

  • Kills fleas, ticks, lice, mosquitos, and biting flies  
  • Bugs don't have to bite your animal to die
  • No prescription needed

Cons

  • There have been customer reports of the product not working for their dog
  • Might be too powerful if your dog doesn't go outside a lot

​Frontline Plus for Dogs

Frontline Plus for Dogs Small Dog (5-22 pounds) Flea and Tick...
  • WATERPROOF FLEA AND TICK TREATMENT FOR DOGS: Frontline Plus for Dogs provides waterproof,...
  • BREAK THE FLEA LIFE CYCLE WITH FRONTLINE: Frontline flea and tick treatment for dogs kills...
  • KILLS FLEAS AND TICKS: Frontline flea and tick treatment for dogs kills fleas, flea eggs,...

Features

Frontline Plus, a Merial product, is a great option for killing fleas, ticks, and chewing lice. Frontline Plus kills fleas in just 12 hours and is waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about your pet getting wet. As with other topical treatments, Frontline Plus is to be applied monthly. You can only give it to dogs 8 weeks or older. It claims to kill 98 to 100 percent of fleas in the first 24 hours. It contains two ingredients that attack the ticks and fleas. Fipronil kills adult fleas, and ticks and (S)-methoprene kills flea eggs and larvae. The formula protects your dog from sarcoptic mange and lice.

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $35 for a 3-month supply.

Pros  

  • Lasts for 30 days  
  • Kills most fleas and ticks the first 24 hours
  • Is waterproof

Cons  

  • Can be messy to apply
  • Some reports of insects being resistant to the product

​Advecta II Flea Treatment

Advecta II Flea Treatment - Flea and Lice Prevention for Dogs, 4 Month...
  • BREAK THE FLEA LIFE CYCLE: Effectively breaks the flea life-cycle by killing all life...
  • ACTIVE INGREDIENTS THAT WORK: Contains the same active ingredients as Bayer K9 Advantix II...
  • FLEA TREATMENT FOR DOGS: Kills fleas and lice within 12 hours of drops application, and...

Features

The Advecta II is a topically applied medicine that kills fleas. It also prevents your dog from getting them again. It promises to kill all adult fleas, eggs, and larvae within 12 hours of applying the drops. It will protect your dog for 4 weeks. It will stay effective after swimming, rainstorms, baths, and shampooing, as long as you apply it every month. The product is also fragrance-free.

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $20.

Pros  

  • Easy to apply 
  • Waterproof
  • Fragrance-free

Cons  

  • May leave a greasy spot on your dog's fur
  • You have to reapply every 4 weeks

​Novartis Capstar Flea Tablets

Capstar Fast-Acting Oral Flea Treatment for Dogs
  • One oral tablet starts killing fleas within 30 minutes of administration
  • Tackle flea infestations fast – give Capstar and watch dead fleas fall off your pet
  • The convenience of an oral tablet available without a prescription from your vet

Features

Capstar is an oral medication that aims to rid your dog of fleas in 4-6 hours. It's one of the best flea treatments for dogs whose owners want fast eradication of fleas. It works by killing the adult fleas after they bite your dog. The medication is also available for cats, so if you have a multi-pet household, this may work well for you. While it provides quick relief from fleas, the product does not provide long-term protection.

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $35.

Pros  

  • Can be given to both cats and dogs 
  • Affordable
  • Kills stubborn adult fleas 

Cons  

  • Pets may have a sensitivity to the ingredients
  • Should be used with a topical treatment for long-term relief

​Flea Away All Natural Flea Repellent

Flea Away All Natural Flea, Tick, and Mosquito Repellent for Dogs and...
  • ALL NATURAL: Flea Away is a vitamin complex, made to FDA human standards and specifically...
  • NO PESTICIDES: Flea Away repels fleas, ticks, & mosquitoes naturally, with no toxic...
  • ADDITIONAL BENEFITS: Our vitamin complex promotes healthier skin, reduces shedding,...

Features

Flea Away is a chewable vitamin complex for dogs and cats. It is liver flavored so your dog will love probably love how it tastes. Flea Away differs from other flea treatments. It is one of the best flea treatments for dogs that don't like sprays or baths. Flea Away repels pests before they can bite your dog. It creates an odor, undetected by humans, that your pet's skin gives off. Dogs up to 50 pounds get one tablet one time daily. Dogs 51-100 pounds get two tablets once a day, and dogs 101-150 pounds get three tablets once a day. You should expect to wait about 30 days before seeing the results in your dog.

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $35 for 200 tablets.

Pros  

  • Repels fleas and ticks before they can bite  
  • Liver flavor dogs love
  • Alternative to sprays or bath

Cons  

  • Takes 30 days to see results
  • May be difficult to get your dog to take it

​Frontline Flea and Tick Treatment Spray

Frontline Flea and Tick Treatment Dog/Cat Spray, 8-1/2-Ounce
  • Flea and tick treatment spray-on topical flea control formula can be applied directly to...
  • Spray bottle is easy to use, ensures fast and even application and can be reapplied...
  • Kills fleas before they lay eggs, effectively preventing reinfestation

Features

Frontline's flea and tick treatment spray can be applied to your pets to control fleas and ticks for up to 30 days. It kills fleas before they lay eggs. The spray contains fipronil and can be re-applied regularly on pets that are 8 weeks old or older.

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $33 for 8.5 ounces.

Pros  

  • Kills fleas and ticks    
  • Easy to apply
  • For use on pets 8 weeks and older

Cons  

  • Pets may not tolerate being sprayed
  • Expensive

​Natural Chemistry Flea and Tick Shampoo

Natural Chemistry ZT1100 91 Natural Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs,...
  • Kills fleas, ticks and lice on contact, safe and non-toxic
  • Will not wash out spot on treatment
  • Works at all stages of the insect life cycle

Features

Natural Chemistry flea and tick shampoo for dogs uses plant extracts to kill ticks and fleas. The shampoo softens the waxy exoskeleton of insects. The effects of the non-toxic shampoo will not wash out for 7 days. The shampoo kills insects at all stages of life, and it's safe for dogs of all ages. It is available for purchase in a one-gallon size. Its active Ingredients are sodium lauryl sulfate, cinnamon oil, cedarwood oil, clove oil, water, vanillin, and aloe barbadensis leaf juice.

Price

It can be found on Amazon for around $30 for one gallon.

Pros  

  • Natural plant extracts 
  • Safe for dogs of all ages
  • Insects do not build up resistance to the shampoo

Cons  

  • You dog may not tolerate a bath well
  • You have to bathe you dog every 7 days

​Bayer Seresto Flea and Tick Collar

Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs, 8-Month Tick and Flea Control...
  • Seresto collar for dogs provides 8 months of continuous flea and tick prevention
  • Seresto collar works through contact, so fleas and ticks don’t have to bite your dog to...
  • Seresto flea treatment for dogs also aids in the treatment and control of sarcoptic mange...

Features

The Bayer Seresto Flea and Tick Collar is one of the best flea treatments for dogs that won't take a pill. It uses the same active ingredient as Advantage II to get rid of fleas. It also has an effective tick repellent. The collar has a slow release formula, which gives your dog eight months of protection. The collar comes in sizes for small (up to 18 pounds) and large dogs (more than 18 pounds), and for cats. The Seresto collar is non-greasy, and you don't have the hassle of applying monthly treatments.

Fleas die within 24 hours of wearing the collar. It also prevents tick infestations within 48 hours. It kills and repels re-infesting ticks in as quickly as 6 hours. The Seresto collar is water-resistant and remains effective following a shampoo treatment, swimming, or after exposure to rain or sunlight. Do not bathe your dog more than once a month, and for dogs that swim once a month, the collar's effectiveness is reduced to 5 months. The collar does not interfere with other leash collars and can be worn simultaneously.

Price

The Bayer Seresto Flea and Tick Collar can be found on Amazon for around $60.

Pros  

  • Long lasting treatment    
  • No need for monthly treatments
  • Easy to use

Cons  

  • Expensive, especially for a multi-dog home
  • Not as effective if the dog is often wet

​Vet's Best Natural Flea + Tick Home Spray

Vet's Best Natural Flea + Tick Home Spray, 32 oz Pack of 2
  • Vet's Best Natural Flea and Tick Home Spray kills fleas, flea eggs, and ticks on contact,...
  • Natural key ingredients feature peppermint oil and clove extract control and kill fleas...
  • Our flea and tick spray is safe for use on or around dogs and cats 12 weeks or older, and...

Features

Vet's Best Natural Flea and Tick Home Spray kills ticks, fleas, and flea eggs on contact. It also repels mosquitoes. It has natural ingredients including peppermint oil and clove extract to control and kill fleas and ticks. The spray contains no pyrethrins, permethrins, or cedar oil. The spray is safe for use on cats and dogs that are 12 weeks or older. The non-staining formula can go on furniture, carpet, flooring, and countertops. The spray is safe to use around children and plants. It comes in a 32-ounce bottle.

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $27 for a pack of two.

Pros  

  • Natural ingredients
  • Kills fleas, flea eggs and ticks on contact
  • Safe for use on household surfaces

Cons  

  • You must keep reapplying the spray
  • Pets may not like being sprayed

​Bayer Advantage II Topical Flea Treatment

Advantage Flea Control for Dogs Blue Over 55 lbs 4 mth sply
  • Stops fleas from biting within three to five minutes
  • Starts killing fleas within an hour
  • 98-100% are killed within 12 hours

Features

Advantage II has two ingredients—one kills fleas, and one prevents immature fleas from becoming adults. Advantage II is a single-dose tube that you squeeze onto your dog's skin. Dog owners say the treatment works better than other topical treatments and side effects are rare. This product doesn't kill ticks. Only on rare occasions does this treatment cause vomiting and diarrhea in your dog.

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $27 for a pack of two.

Pros  

  • Kills adult fleas, eggs, and larvae
  • Highly effective
  • Side effects are rare
  • No prescription required

Cons  

  • Leaves greasy residue
  • Doesn't kill ticks

​The Verdict

The best flea treatment for dogs is the one your dog will tolerate. If you take your dog hiking every weekend, then Seresto is a good option—especially if your dog hates baths. These are all solid bets to rid your dog of fleas and ticks and keep them away. You might find that your pooch loves taking an oral medication, but despises the spray. While we can recommend some of the best flea treatments for dogs, it's up to you to try the option you think will work best.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply