It's not always easy to get rid of fleas on a dog, but with the advancement in all different types of commercial products, pet owners are getting a better handle on this. There tons of solutions to remove fleas and prevent them from attacking your dog, so we picked the best dog flea treatment and prevention below.
As always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially when it comes to removing fleas from a dog. This means that the best defense against dog fleas is to not let them settle in your dog's coat in the first place. Dog flea prevention products have actually been shown to work very well for this, and we mention some of them below.
If your dog did get fleas, then there are other dog flea treatment solutions that will help you get rid of them, but it'll take a little time, and you will also need to treat your house for fleas, just in case they have already started to spread. For more tips on this, I recommend you scroll all the way down below in this article and watch our video on how to remove fleas on dogs and read the attached article there on fleas.
10 Best Dog Flea Treatment and Prevention
1. Dog Flea Powder
30 years ago, flea powders were the cutting edge in flea eradication technology. Today, they aren't considered to be even close to being the best dog flea treatment. Newer flea control medications are easier to use, more effective, and last longer.
For a complete science-based breakdown, there's a good page on dog flea and tick prevention methods with studies on what works and what doesn't to prevent ticks and fleas in dogs.
Either way, flea powders are still really cheap, though, which is why they get a mention on the list. If you feel inclined to give them a shot, they can be used to provide some relief to your dog for 2-3 days at a time.
Zodiac Flea & Tick Powder is one of the better-known flea powders for dogs that works well.
Note that other flea-fighting methods discussed later in this list are effective for a month at a time, so a long-term repeated application of flea powder may well end up being more expensive than a one-time application of something that actually works.
2. Dog Flea Collars
Dog flea collars only do a great job against fleas that are close to the collar, so if your dog has a fully-fledged infestation, you are better off using something else. These collars might be useful as a first preventative method, too, before your pooch even has a flea problem, to begin with.
Bayer Seresto Flea and Tick Collar have long been one of the leaders in this category.
Keep in mind that flea collars contain some pretty nasty poisons. As long as the collar stays on your pooch, chances are he won't be able to ingest them. However, other pets in your household can easily be exposed while playing or grooming.
Some of them work, and some of them don't. The best thing you can do is look at what other customers have to say about some of the best dog flea collars or give it a try and decide then (or both).
3. Flea Shampoo
Basically, you lather up your dog with flea poison, and any fleas on your dog will die. Simple enough, although that may be easier said than done depending on how easy it is to bathe your dog.
Vet-Kem Ovitrol Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo has been well-reviewed by many pet owners and appears to be very effective.
Flea shampoos don't provide anything to protect your dog from re-infestation. In a real flea infestation, your entire house will be hiding the little buggers, so they will get back on your dog in no time.
Use dog flea shampoos for immediate relief if your dog is really riddled with tons of fleas. Meanwhile, use one of the other methods on this list to prevent the fleas from coming back.
4. Frontline Plus
Frontline Plus is the first so-called spot-on flea control medication. It's called spot-on because you apply it to a single spot between your dog's shoulder blades, which was found to have the most effective against fleas.
Spot-on medications are considered one of the best dog flea treatments as they are far more effective than outdated flea collars/powders/shampoos.
However, Merial Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Control is one of the older spot-on options, and some dog owners claim it just isn't as good as it used to be. Whether this is because fleas have evolved an immunity, or because Frontline has changed their formula, you are probably better off with one of the other spot-on medications later in this list.
That is the same outcome as you get from using a flea shampoo bath with your dog, so unless bathing your dog is easier than feeding him a pill, you should probably consider Capstar for Dogs Tablets as the superior option. The pills are cheap, too.
Unfortunately, similarly to dog flea shampoos, Capstar doesn't provide any lasting poison for your dog's fleas and is definitely not the best dog flea treatment you can buy.
However, if your house is infested, you can combine Capstar with one of the other methods on this list; otherwise, your fleas will be re-infested in a matter of days.
6. Sentinel Spectrum
The Sentinel Spectrum pills are essentially the opposite of Capstar. This product will clear up the itching caused by fleas, and it will prevent flea babies from growing on your dog (thus stopping re-infestation).
The problem with Sentinel Spectrum is that this product does not kill adult fleas currently living on your dog, which is naturally unusual for the best dog flea treatment. Every dog owner wants to exterminate currently living fleas.
Therefore, the best way to relieve your pooch from fleas and provide lasting protection for her is to combine Sentinel Spectrum with something that will have immediate relief (some of the products mentioned next will do the trick). This is an easy, proven, and effective method.
7. Adams Plus Flea & Tick Spray
Adams Plus Flea & Tick Spray uses three active ingredients to eliminate fleas at all life cycles.
First, it utilizes an effective pesticide alongside an insecticide synergist. Those, combined with an insect growth regulator, allow Adams Flea and Tick Spray to break up pest life cycles for up to two months.
Adams also works to repel mosquitoes which can help prevent the transmission of heartworms.
Note that Adams may cause some initial skin irritation on more sensitive pets, though it will likely be mild. For puppies and kittens that are between 8 and 12 weeks of age, ask a vet before use. Adams is not safe to use on puppies or kittens that are under eight weeks of age.
They all use the same flea poison, but each has different additional poisons that treat other parasites (like mites or ticks). If you only care about fleas, these are all basically the same.
The Bayer products are easy and very effective. They aren't the cheapest option on this list, but 9 times out of 10 they will get the job done right the first time.
K9 Advantix II is especially effective against a wide range of parasites, so it's a great option if you aren't exactly sure what's eating your dog.
Honestly, choosing Revolution over one of the Bayer options will come down to brand loyalty. Both companies make excellent and effective dog flea treatments.
It's worth noting that Bayer's Advantage Multi will treat your dog's mange (demodex), whereas Revolution will not.
What is puppy mange? It's an extremely annoying disease, and you can read more about it here and here. If your dog is losing major amounts of hair on his face and maybe other parts of his body, go see your vet ASAP.
10. Comfortis and Panoramis/Trifexis
Comfortis treats the fleas, the whole fleas, and nothing but the fleas. It provides relief from symptoms while eradicating adult fleas and preventing re-infestation.
Panoramis is newer than Comfortis, and treats a host of other bugs. It doesn't provide as much targeted symptom relief as Comfortis, though.
These two medications are the newest comers to the flea killing business, and have quickly proven to be some of the best. They can be a little overpowering for some dogs' stomachs, though. Watch for vomiting after administering the dose, and give a second pill if the first comes back up. Obviously, remember to consult with the vet, too.