Have you noticed your dog scratching frequently? While there are many possible culprits, fleas are by far one of the most common causes of itchy skin for dogs.
While you might think your well-groomed canine companion is not a likely target, these tiny pests don’t care how clean your dog is. Fleas are notorious for their ability to easily jump from one host to another. Dogs can catch fleas from playing outside, contact with other dogs, or even from a run-in with a wild animal. And your pooch can come down with a full-on flea infestation of these blood-sucking parasites from the presence of only a single flea.
Thankfully, there are many readily available and effective flea treatments for dogs. Outlined here, you’ll find details on five of the best flea treatments on the market.
Best Flea Treatments For Dogs In 2020
Flea control products have come a long way in the last few decades. After a questionable history of dangerous chemicals, uncomfortable flea collars, and ineffective shampoos, there are now many far better options. Variety, safeness, and effectiveness of more recent products make it easy to find a suitable flea treatment for your dog.
Frontline Plus Flea & Tick
Got a major pest problem? This fast-acting flea and tick treatment from Frontline is formulated with two powerful, fast-acting insecticides. The broad-spectrum insecticide ingredient, Fipronil, works to neutralize and kill adult fleas while the hormone analog ingredient, Methoprene, interferes with the development and growth of flea eggs, larvae, and pupae.
This long-lasting, powerful dog flea treatment is designed to break down all four stages of the flea lifecycle, completely ridding your pooch of fleas and ticks, and even lice, and protecting against future infestations.
This waterproof, topical formula works by adhering to the skin and depositing the active ingredients into the skin glands responsible for secreting sebum, the oily substance that lubricates your dog’s skin and hair. Applied to the skin in one spot, under the coat, from a single-use applicator, Frontline Plus Flea & Tick is easy to use, convenient and effective for a full 30 days.
You will notice more fleas after you use this treatment. But don’t worry, this simply means Frontline Plus is working. When you use topical treatments, dead fleas will rise to the surface and drop from your dog’s coat as the insecticides take effect.
Be aware that it may take up to 30 days to fully break the flea life cycle. You may continue to notice live insects through the first 30 days. This product is designed to be a continual, monthly treatment.
A Few Precautions
While this product is designed for safe and effective flea treatment for dogs, a few dogs may experience irritation or allergic reactions. Be sure to follow the enclosed manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions for proper use of the product and only use as directed.
If you notice that your dog seems to be irritated after the application, scratching, or rubbing more at the site of the treatment, in particular, you should contact your veterinarian. Only use as directed, and remember that Frontline Plus canine formulas should never be used on cats and should be kept out of reach of children.
- Fast-acting formula works quickly to kill adult fleas, eggs, larvae, and pupae as well as lice and ticks.
- Two different powerful insecticides, Fipronil and Methoprene, work together to eradicate all stages of the flea’s life cycle.
- Waterproof treatment deposits into the oil glands and lasts for 30 days.
- Easy-to-use applicator makes applying treatment fast and efficient.
K9 Advantix II Flea, Tick & Mosquito Prevention
Can’t stop the itch? This veterinarian-recommended product is specially formulated to kill a variety of biting insects on contact. Suitable for treatment of existing infestations and prevention, K9 Advantix II kills many adult fleas, ticks, and mosquitos before they even bite.
Three fast-acting broad-spectrum ingredients, Imidacloprid, Permethrin, and Pyriproxyfen, are combined in this complete treatment, showing visible results within the first 12 hours of application. While killing many adult fleas, ticks, and mosquitos on contact, in addition, a single monthly application of K9 Advantix II inters with all stages of the flea lifecycle to stop an infestation in its tracks. As an added bonus, this formula also works as an effective repellent for lice and biting flies.
From the makers of Bayer aspirin, this effective formula continues to work for up to four weeks, and the waterproof quality makes it last through baths, swimming, rain, or puddle-play, so you never have to reapply until the next month.
Watch It Work
Many people notice more fleas within their dog’s coat after using K9 Advantix, but this does not mean the product isn’t working. In fact, dead fleas rise to the surface of your dog’s coat as the flea treatment takes effect.
Keep in mind that it may take a full 30 days for K9 Advantix to completely eradicate an infestation. Treating particular areas of your home, such as carpets and furniture, with a flea product designed for soft furnishings, may also help prevent future infestations.
A Few Precautions
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions provided with the product, and do not use K9 Advantix products on cats. Only use this product as directed and keep out of reach of children. Consult your veterinarian before using on senior dogs, pregnant or nursing dogs, dogs taking medication, and dogs with injuries or chronic illnesses.
While most dogs do not experience irritation from K9 Advantix II Flea, Tick & Mosquito Prevention, individual animals may have different sensitivities. If your dog becomes irritated, especially at the site of application, consult your veterinarian.
- A single, easily applied monthly dose of K9 Advantix II lasts for up to 4 weeks and begins working within the first 12 hours of application.
- Kills many fleas, and a large percentage of ticks and mosquitos, on contact, before they even bite.
- Powerfully formulated to eradicate all four stages of the flea’s lifecycle, including adult fleas, eggs, larvae, and pupae.
- Waterproof formula will not wash off in the bath and does not need to be reapplied after swimming or exposure to rain.
Nexgard Chewable Tablets For Dogs
Battling something you can’t see? With this oral flea treatment, it’s easier than ever to provide year-round flea prevention for your dog in one simple monthly dosage. Chewable tablets are a great option for fidgety and nervous dogs that sometimes make topical flea treatment frustrating.
These beef-flavored tablets are safe and tasty for dogs, formulated to kill fleas before they even have time to begin laying eggs. After the tablet is ingested, the insecticide part of the active ingredient, Afoxolaner, is transmitted to fleas via the bloodstream as they bite your dog. Each tablet contains enough of the insecticide to keep your dog free of fleas for an entire month.
While you’re treating for fleas, Nexgard Chewable Tablets will also kill ticks and mites. Because ticks and mites are arachnids, not insects, Afoxolaner also contains an acaricide property specifically designed to target and kill various members of the arachnid subclass Acari. This extra part of the chemical compound makes it easy, with just a single chewable tablet, for pet owners to not only rid their dogs of fleas, but also of mites and all kinds of ticks, including black-legged tick, American dog tick, Lone Star tick, and brown dog tick.
You May Notice
You may start to notice more fleas after you’ve administered the tablet. But don’t worry, this fast-acting treatment can have fleas and other pests dropping off your dog’s coat–well, like flies–in a matter of hours. Seeing more fleas or ticks throughout your dog’s coat simply means they are dying and rising to the surface of the hair.
A Few Precautions
Always follow the manufacturer’s included instructions for Nexgard Chewable Tablets and never give any dog-specific flea treatment to a cat. Keep these tablets out of the reach of children.
Most dogs have no serious side effects from Nexgard tablets. Some may experience vomiting, decreased appetite, diarrhea, or dry skin. These side effects are usually not serious or prolonged. However, if your dog exhibits constant vomiting, complete loss of appetite, shaking or tremors, seizures, or wobbling or difficulty walking after ingesting the Nexgard tablet, immediately consult a veterinarian.
Nexgard Chewable Tablets should not be given to dogs with a history of seizures or dogs that are pregnant or nursing.
- Tasty beef flavor makes these chewable tablets easy to administer to your dog as a treat or by concealment in their regular food.
- Powerful dual-action chemical compound works as an insecticide and acaricide to kill fleas, ticks, and mites.
- Highly effective treatment can kill all present fleas in as little as 24 hours after your dog consumes the tablet.
- Formulated to kill adult fleas before they have a chance to begin laying eggs in your dog’s coat.
Trifexis Chewable Tablets For Dogs
Note: Dogs must have current heartworm test results on file to get a prescription for heartworm medication.
Here a pest, there a pest, everywhere a pest, pest? It can be hard to stay on top of all the different parasites that affect dogs, but Trifexis Chewable Tablets make it easy to prevent and treat flea infestations, heartworm disease, and infections from hookworm, roundworm, and whipworm all in one product.
With two powerful ingredients, Trifexis works as both an insecticide and an antiparasitic medication. The active ingredient Spinosad works as an insecticide and kills adult fleas before they begin laying eggs. The active ingredient Milbemycin Oxime acts as a broad-spectrum antiparasitic, preventing the development of heartworm disease and killing a variety of intestinal parasites.
Designed to be administered once a month, these tablets are an ideal solution for quick and efficient treatment of both fleas and all kinds of intestinal worms that can cause infections and heartworm disease.
Things To Watch For
As fleas are exposed to the Spinosad, they often rise to the top of your dog’s hair, so you may notice more fleas after administering Trifexis. However, visible fleas in your dog’s coat mean the medication is working, and dead fleas are exposed.
You may also need to treat your home for fleas in some cases to prevent re-infestation due to flea eggs and pupae present in the environment, such as carpets and furniture.
A Few Precautions
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct use of Trifexis and never use Trifexis on your dog without a prescription from your veterinarian.
Most dogs do not experience serious side effects, but some may experience vomiting, diarrhea, overtiredness or weakness, loss of appetite, itching, hives, and swelling or reddening of the skin. If your dog experiences any of these, consult your vet. Other more serious side effects may result if your dog is allergic to Trifexis. This may include: swelling in the face, pale gums, cold limbs, hives, excessive scratching, sudden onset of severe diarrhea, excessive vomiting, shock, seizures, and coma.
- Dual-action chemical compound works as an insecticide and antiparasitic to kill and prevent both fleas and intestinal parasites.
- Powerful, broad-spectrum Milbemycin Oxime antiparasitic kills adult hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms.
- Spinosad insecticide begins killing fleas in as little as 30 minutes and may eradicate infestations in as few as four hours.
- Easily administered, these tablets only need to be given once a month to fully protect your dog against heartworm disease.
Sentinel Flavor Tablets For Dogs
Note: Sentinel Flavor Tablets can only be given by prescription from a veterinarian.
Roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms, oh my! What’s a dog owner to do to prevent a multitude of possible intestinal parasites?
Sentinel Flavor Tablets For Dogs is an easy-to-use antiparasitic treatment and preventative medicine designed both to prevent infestations of roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms and to prevent your dog from contracting heartworm disease. Even better, this single-dose tablet also aids in controlling fleas by interfering with flea egg development.
The insecticide ingredient, Lufenuron, is a common insect growth regulator that works by inhibiting the correct development of flea eggs through interference with proper enzyme growth.
The broad-spectrum antiparasitic ingredient, Milbemycin Oxime, works to kill adult intestinal parasites by manipulation of cell membranes, opening nerve channels to allow interference with movement, feeding, and sensation.
Tips For Success
If you notice a few adult fleas, you may need to occasionally give your dog a topical treatment that targets adult biting insects. However, this usually only occurs when your dog picks up an adult flea from a foreign environment.
Treating your home, such as your carpets, with flea products for soft furnishings can also help prevent adult fleas from developing.
A Few Precautions
Always follow the included manufacturer’s instructions for using Sentinel Flavor Tablets. Only give this medication with a prescription from a veterinarian, and never administer Sentinel Flavor Tablets For Dogs to a cat.
Most dogs have no problems tolerating Sentinel Flavor Tablets, however, some may experience side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, excessive salivation, hives, scratching, clogged pores, stumbling or weak limbs, overtiredness or weakness and convulsions. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult a veterinarian immediately.
- Tasty beef and bacon flavored chewable tablets make it easy to administer flea and heartworm medication to your dog.
- Powerful, dual-action ingredients treat and prevent infestations of fleas and a wide variety of intestinal worms, including heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms.
- Lufenuron insecticide stops flea eggs from developing correctly, interrupting the lifecycle, and preventing infestations.
- One single-dose tablet per month can easily be administered in your dog’s food.