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Have one of these best flea and tick treatments for dogs on hand to help prevent or treat your dog for fleas and ticks because, let’s face it, picking up pests is a pretty common occurrence for dogs. And all that scratching can seriously irritate them and you! Among these top-rated flea and tick treatments for dogs, you’re sure to find the perfect option to rid your furry friend of fleas and ticks and relieve their itching quickly.
But before you just throw a random option in a cart, there are a few things to consider when shopping for flea and tick treatments. First, decide whether you’d like to use a topical option that’s often applied between the shoulders or an oral option that makes dosing as easy as tossing them a treat.
Know how much your dog weighs because that’s an important factor in getting the correct dosages. If you opt for topical treatments, look for products with fipronil and methoprene as their active ingredients, as both are highly effective in treating fleas and killing flea eggs. Plus, you can always get advice from your veterinarian if you’re just not sure. But chances are, their recommendation is already included in our list of the best flea and tick treatments for dogs!
Buyer’s Guide: Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Flea & Tick Treatments for Dogs
When choosing flea and tick treatments for dogs, consider these factors:
Look for products that are known to be highly effective against fleas and ticks. Check for positive reviews, recommendations from veterinarians, and the presence of active ingredients that target and kill these parasites.
The safety of the treatment is paramount. Consider the potential side effects and any known allergies or sensitivities your dog may have. Consult with your veterinarian to ensure the chosen treatment is safe for your specific dog breed, age, and health condition.
Different treatments have different application methods, such as topicals, oral tablets, collars, shampoos, or sprays. Consider your dog’s temperament and preferences. Some dogs may be more receptive to certain application methods, making the process easier and stress-free for both of you.
Determine the duration of protection provided by the treatment. Some products offer a month-long protection, while others may last longer. Choose a treatment that fits your lifestyle and offers adequate coverage for the specific flea and tick season in your region.
Look for products that not only kill adult fleas and ticks but also target their eggs, larvae, and nymphs. This helps prevent infestations and interrupts the life cycle of these parasites.
Consider the impact of the treatment on the environment. Some products contain chemicals that may have potential risks for aquatic life or other non-target animals. If eco-friendliness is a priority, explore natural or organic options.
Cost is another factor to consider. Compare prices of different products and weigh the cost against their effectiveness and duration of protection. However, it’s important not to compromise quality and efficacy for the sake of saving money.
Remember, it’s always advisable to consult with your veterinarian before selecting a flea and tick treatment for your dog. They can provide personalized recommendations based on your dog’s specific needs and health history.
To bring a bit of simplicity to your life, we’ve combed through the competitors to bring you this list of the best flea and tick treatments for dogs.
The 10 Best Flea and Tick Treatments for Dogs
#1 – Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Treatment for Dogs – Best Flea and Tick Treatment for Large Dogs
If fleas and ticks have infested your big furry baby, Frontline Plus is one of your best bets with its waterproof topical treatment. Even if your dog gets wet, the treatment doesn’t wash away or end. This fast-acting and highly effective option kills fleas, ticks, flea eggs, and larvae. Thus, it breaks the flea cycle and provides lasting comfort and relief. And as a bonus, Frontline Plus kills deer ticks responsible for spreading Lyme disease. Additionally, it uses fipronil and methoprene as active ingredients, some of the most effective treatments for treating and preventing fleas and ticks. Application is easy, and this box comes with three treatments for three months of protection.
- Waterproof formula
- Kills adult fleas as well as eggs and larvae
- Easy application
- Not for small dogs
#2 – PetArmor for Dogs – Best Value Flea and Tick Treatment for Large Dogs
Another option for protecting large dogs, PetArmor makes our list of the best flea and tick supplements thanks to its fast action. After just one quick and easy application of this waterproof formula, adult fleas, ticks, and chewing lice will meet their end, and that means no more chewing, licking, and scratching for your dog! With the active ingredient fipronil included, it is one of the most effective flea treatments on the market for bigger dogs. Plus, this topical solution kills brown and deer ticks, protecting your dog from tick-borne illness. It’s a long-lasting solution against fleas and ticks.
- Fast acting
- Contains fipronil as an active ingredient
- Available in a 3-dose pack for 3 months of protection
- For large dogs only
#3 – Hartz UltraGuard Dual Action – Best Topical Flea & Tick for Small Dogs
If you’re on the hunt for the best flea and tick topical for smaller dogs and puppies, look no more! Hartz Ultra Guard kills fleas, brown ticks, and deer ticks for thirty days and prevents reinfection. It offers rapid relief from irritation and protects the skin from allergies. A fast-action formula your dog will love, these squeeze tubes make application a breeze. And, available in a six-pack option, you can protect your dog for six months.
- Works on dogs of all ages
- Prevents re-infestation
- One package lasts 6 months
- Not suitable for large dogs
Related: 10 Best Dog Shampoo Products
#4 – NEXTSTAR Flea and Tick Prevention for Dogs – Best Overall Topical Flea Treatment for Dogs
An obvious choice for our list, Nextstar starts to kill fleas and ticks in just five minutes! And one application kills fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and chewing lice for up to thirty days. One of the best flea and tick treatments for your small dog, its waterproof formula is easy to apply and uses methoprene and fipronil as active ingredients for instant relief from your dog’s constant scratching and chewing. From the makers of Capstar, Nextstar is recommended by vets and doesn’t require a prescription.
- Kills fleas instantly
- Easy application
- Rids dogs of fleas, flea eggs, ticks, mosquitoes, and chewing lice
- For small dogs only
#5 – CAPSTAR (nitenpyram) Oral Flea Treatment for Dogs – Best Oral Flea and Tick Prevention for Dogs
Talk about relief! Capstar starts killing fleas within thirty minutes of dosing. But this highly-effective flea and tick treatment doesn’t involve messy tubes. Capstar is an oral treatment your dog can simply eat. And don’t worry, these tablets are as potent against fleas and ticks as any topical solution, containing nitenpyram as its active ingredient, a powerhouse option for getting rid of fleas. Just one tablet, and you’ll see the dying fleas falling from your dog’s fur. One of the best flea and tick treatments for dogs, it’s suitable for all breeds and requires no prescription.
- Starts killing fleas within 30 minutes
- FDA-approved oral formula
- No messy application; just feed it to your dog
- May not kill flea eggs
- Only lasts 24 – 48 hours
- Must be followed up with a monthly preventative
#6 – Simparica Chewable Tablet for Dogs – Best Chewable Flea and Tick Treatment for Dogs
Simparica for dogs offers a highly effective and convenient oral flea and tick treatment that provides comprehensive protection against these pesky parasites. The chewable format makes administration a breeze, and most dogs readily accept it as a treat. The active ingredient in Simparica, sarolaner, acts quickly to kill fleas and ticks, preventing infestations and reducing the risk of vector-borne diseases. It’s reliable and long-lasting, keeping dogs protected throughout the month.
- One a month treatment
- Easy to feed treat-like chew
- Tasty liver flavor
- Requires vet prescription
#7 – Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Treatment – Best Flea and Tick Prevention for Small Dogs
If your cute little dog is suffering from dreaded fleas and ticks, Frontline provides a perfect option with a whopping 9.8% of fipronil as the active ingredient in their topical flea and tick treatment. To say it works well is an understatement, as it has an almost perfect five-star average on Amazon from more than 36k buyers. A fast and effective favorite, Frontline is recommended by vets and sold in options of 3, 6, or 8 doses.
- Kills fleas and their eggs
- Long-lasting and fast-acting
- Features 9.8% fipronil as an active ingredient
- Odor can be strong
#8 – PetArmor CAPACTION Oral Flea Treatment for Dogs – Best Fast Acting Flea Treatment For Dogs
If you’re sick of messy topical solutions, try an oral treatment for fleas and ticks. PetArmor Capaction tablets go down easy for fast-acting relief that works within thirty minutes of dosing. This oral solution is safe for pregnant dogs and puppies over four weeks old or more than 2lbs. And because it’s veterinarian recommended, you can feel confident in this choice for ridding your pup of itchy fleas and ticks.
- No messy application, just a quick snack instead
- Starts working within 30 minutes
- Safe to use with breeding dogs
- Only treats for fleas
- Only lasts for 24 – 48 hours
- Must be followed up with a monthly preventative
#9 – Flea Away All Natural Supplement for Fleas – Best Natural Flea Repellant for Dogs
An oral option in treating fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, Flea Away contains an all-natural vitamin complex made to FDA human standards and specifically formulated for dogs and cats. These chewable liver-flavored tablets create a safe barrier from pests with no toxic chemicals. It’s suitable for all dogs and safe for pregnant and nursing dogs. And thanks to the included vitamin boost, you’ll notice added benefits such as healthier skin, reduced shedding, stronger joints, and a shinier coat. Be sure to follow dosing instructions, as it takes roughly thirty days to build up flea-killing power. Flea Away is sourced and manufactured in the USA.
- Promotes healthier skin and coats
- Easy oral administration, no messy tubes
- Safe for all dogs, including pregnant ones
- Takes 30 days to build up power
#10 – SENTRY Fiproguard Plus for Dogs – Best Value Flea & Tick Treatment for Dogs
The Sentry Fiproguard Plus for Dogs is a topical treatment that instantly rids your dog of fleas and ticks and kills eggs and larvae. It uses high-quality ingredients like fipronil and methoprene to kill pests and eliminate the chance of re-infestation. The waterproof formula squeezes easily into your dog’s fur with no mess. And, since Sentry has proven effective on deer ticks, Lyme disease will also be less of a worry.
- Available in 3 or 6-dose packs for multiple weights
- Active ingredient fipronil kills fleas fast
- Long-lasting and waterproof
- Users report a strong odor
Frequently Asked Questions About Flea & Ticks Prevention For Dogs
Fleas and ticks are nasty bugs that plague pets and their parents, but if you’ve never dealt with these little bloodsuckers, here are a few things to know about them and the treatments to get rid of them.
How Will I Know If My Dog Has Fleas And Ticks?
To check if your dog has fleas or ticks, rub your hands through their fur, making contact with the skin, and feel if there are any bumps and if the skin looks red or irritated. Check for “flea dirt,” black, flaky specks on the skin that are left behind after a flea takes a blood meal—yuck! Fleas are often easiest to spot around the dog’s tail base, while ticks are trickier. They like warm, dark spots such as in the ears, under the joints, and between the toes.
Another sign of fleas and ticks is constant scratching, licking, and chewing. Also, when you see your dog concentrating their efforts on a particular spot, jump in real quick and comb through your pup’s fur to find the offender. Fleas can be easy to spot on lighter color fur or in spots where hair is thinnest.
Are Fleas And Ticks Dangerous For Dogs?
Fleas and ticks may look tiny, but they can irritate and annoy your furry friend. The constant licking and scratching can create sore hotspots and even broken skin. Plus, fleas can cause terrible allergies, while ticks carry diseases like Lyme and Ehrlichiosis. And the longer your dog has fleas, the bigger chance you’ve got for a household infestation that can see fleas nesting and burrowing in blankets, carpets, beds, or linens. Then you’ve got an even bigger problem.
Can Humans Get Fleas From Their Dogs?
Yes, humans can pick up fleas from their dogs, but it’s not as critical for us as it is for our pets. We don’t have fur for fleas and ticks to hide in, so they’re easier to spot when we feel their bite. Though we don’t have fur, we do have hair, so ticks can hide amongst the follicles and even attach to the scalp. Got the heebie jeebies yet?
“There are a number of tick-borne diseases that affect both dogs and humans, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, and Babesiosis,” says veterinarian Dr. Terry Fossum. “Thus, it is a good idea to regularly check your dog for ticks. Quickly remove any ticks that you find and don’t forget to check between the digits and in and behind the ears.”
What If Fleas Are Left Untreated in Dogs?
If fleas are left untreated, they can cause damage that results in severe skin problems. Unencumbered, fleas will keep breeding and hatching in your dog’s fur, getting fat and strong off their blood. Such an infestation will make your dog miserable. Fleas can also cause serious allergies in some dogs, and all the scratching and chewing can lead to painful hotspots and skin infections. Ticks carry a wealth of diseases, most notably Lyme disease, and when your dog is left to be a buffet for these creepy crawlies, they’re at greater risk of catching one. But flea and tick treatments can rid your pup of these irritating invaders and reduce their chance of illness.
What active ingredients are used in flea and tick prevention for dogs?
According to Chewy, these are some of the most commonly used active ingredients in flea and tick treatments for dogs:
- Fipronil – kills fleas by interrupting a key neurotransmitter in the central nervous system
- Afoxolaner – kills insects by overstimulating the nervous system
- Deltamethrin – kills fleas by disrupting the nervous system
- Nitenpyram – kills insects by overstimulating the nervous system
- S-methoprene – interferes with insect growth and development to prevent reproduction
- Selamectin – Kills adult fleas by interfering with the nervous system; stops eggs from hatching
- Permethrin – kills insects by overstimulating the nervous system; highly toxic to cats
- Pyriproxyfen – interferes with insect growth and development to prevent reproduction
- Tetrachlorvinphos – kills insects by overstimulating the nervous system
As some of these ingredients can cause severe side effects if used incorrectly, following the dosage instructions for your chosen treatment is extremely important. Talk to your veterinarian if you’re concerned about an ingredient in your dog’s flea and tick treatment.
Can I get flea and tick preventatives without a vet prescription?
Yes, there are many flea and tick prevention options available without a prescription. You can find them in-store or online at your favorite retailers that sell dog supplies. But do these over-the-counter flea and tick preventatives work? For most dogs, they’re plenty effective in removing fleas and ticks. When they fail, it’s typically because these OTC treatments often only kill adult fleas, leaving behind all those nasty little flea eggs just waiting to hatch and drive your pup crazy. The power of a prescription may be needed to eliminate all pests if fleas persist.
What’s the difference between OTC flea and tick treatments and prescription options?
According to Preventive Vet, OTC flea and tick preventatives are typically topical and fall into a pesticide category. These topical insecticides don’t absorb into the bloodstream the same way prescription drugs do. Rx options can be administered as oral medications, injections, and sometimes topical. They’re formulated with pharmacological ingredients that require vet supervision to ensure correct usage.
And because OTC preventatives are considered pesticides and not medication like their prescription counterparts, they’re regulated by different agencies.
“If the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the product, you won’t need a prescription from your veterinarian as this product is just a pesticide,” explains Dr. Stephanie Austin. “If the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the regulator, you will likely need a prescription as this product is considered an animal drug.”
Another difference is cost, with nonprescription options typically proving less expensive. Prescription flea meds may cost more, but they could potentially require fewer doses and also treat against other parasites. Talk to your vet to learn more about the difference between OTC and prescription treatments.
Can flea and tick treatments cause side effects in dogs?
When used correctly, flea and tick preventives should cause no problems. But sensitivities can arise, and accidents in dosing can happen, both of which can lead to adverse reactions. The EPA lists adverse reaction symptoms as:
- Irritation or redness of the skin
- Depressed appearance
Call your veterinarian or ASPCA Animal Poison Control immediately if you suspect your dog is suffering from flea and tick medicine toxicity.
Can flea treatments be used on puppies?
Flea and tick treatments should not be used on puppies until they’re at least seven to eight weeks old. Talk to your veterinarian about when to start your puppy on flea and tick prevention and what options are safe for your little one.
When choosing the best flea and tick medicine for your dog, consider your dog’s age and size to ensure the correct dosage. Also, think about any sensitivities or allergies they may have and read over ingredient lists carefully. Duration of treatment and delivery method are two more factors worth considering too. Many flea and tick treatments are often available as topical liquids, powders, sprays, and collars. A few nonprescription brands even offer a chewable option.
If your dog plays outdoors, then you’ve likely dealt with fleas and ticks before. But you can head off itchy infestations before they start with any of these reputable choices on our list of best flea and tick treatments for dogs. And if your dog is already in the throes of a scratching and chewing nightmare, this list has you covered too. Now, hurry and make your choice, so your treatments can arrive before the fleas and ticks drive you both crazy!
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