Fleas don't just cause itchy dogs and annoyed owners, they can also carry diseases and cause some serious health issues. Fleas also infect your dog with tapeworms, which are another parasite that can cause a lot of problems. That's why every pet owner needs to have the best flea and tick treatment for dogs on hand at all times.
Trust me, with over 20 years of dog ownership under my belt I've had a few run-ins with these little buggers. It is much easier to prevent fleas than it is to get rid of them once your pet is infested. And preventing ticks is a lot cheaper than dealing with the health issues that they can lead to.
Another thing I've learned over the years is that there are many of the best flea and tick treatment for dogs and each claims to be better than the rest. Unfortunately, our country doesn't have high standards for these types of products. This has lead to a number of commercial flea and tick treatments that are not safe for pets or humans.
There are also many different types of flea and tick products that you can choose from. Oral preventatives are becoming very popular, and we are all familiar with flea collars and topical preventatives. Let's not forget about the flea sprays and powder treatment options.
You need to find a treatment that will be both safe and effective, but you also have a budget to stick to. That's why I've chosen three of the best flea and tick treatment for dogs that meet these three criteria. These products have been highly reviewed by thousands of dog owners and won't break the bank.
I've tried all three with my dogs, and while I can say that they are all effective, they all have their drawbacks as well. I did a lot of research and finally settled on these brands to include my final test review and video.
Three best flea and tick treatments for dogs I'm testing today
By now you're probably curious as to which three products I chose. I wanted to choose three different types of the best flea and tick treatment for dogs to pick the one as the most effective and safe for canines. I started with selecting a topical treatment, as those are the most popular amongst dog owners.
Here are the three top of the line dog tick and flea aids used for the final review:
Frontline. I wasn't surprised to find that Frontline was one of the most popular brands chosen by pet owners and also one of the most highly recommended by veterinarians. While topical treatments have been widely criticized because of their toxic ingredients, it's no secret that they are extremely effective and very easy to use.
Seresto. I also wanted to select a flea and tick collar, because I know a lot of pet owners prefer to use those instead of, or in conjunction with topical dog flea and tick treatments. Seresto flea/tick dog collars are known for being very effective, and when tried on one of my dogs that claim did seem to hold true.
Vet's Best. It was important to also select a natural dog flea and tick treatment, and the company Vet's Best makes top flea and tick spray that is made with natural ingredients. You'll be able to recognize every ingredient on the label, and it leaves a pleasant smell behind. Also, this spray will not only be safe for your dog, but also for you, your children and any other animals in your home.
In my opinion, the best flea and tick treatment for dogs is not a product that is full of chemicals but that may not always correlate with effectiveness of the flea and tick treatment for dogs. I wanted to ensure that we test different options so that pet owners like me that are concerned about the safety of the products can get a full picture. While some of these products may be okay to put on your pet, they could sometimes be toxic.
So which of these best flea and tick treatment for dogs made the top of my list? Let's see!
MY PREVIOUS TEST: Best Dog Ear Cleaning Product Comparison
Top 3 Best Flea and Tick Treatment for Dogs
Frontline vs. Seresto vs. Vet's Best Review
Similarities of 3 Best Flea and Tick Treatments for Dogs
Well, it's pretty simple to see the differences between these products, but what do they have in common? It's safe to say they are all effective. Not only did they work on our dogs, there are reviews from happy costumers all over the internet that use these products to keep fleas and ticks off their dogs.
The Seresto collar can be used on dogs over 7 weeks, Frontline on dogs over 8 weeks, and the Vet's Best spray can only be used on or around dogs that are over 12 weeks old.
One of the best benefits of the Seresto collar and the Frontline topical treatment is that they are water resistant. If you have a dog that spends a lot of time swimming in the summer, you won't have to worry about reapplying treatment frequently.
Differences of These 3 Best Dog Flea and Tick Treatments
I've been testing these products with my dogs for the past few months. Since I live in the great state of Maine, I've been testing these products during our state's transition from fall to winter. This is one of the worst times of the year for fleas and ticks in our region.
As the weather gets colder, parasites begin to look for hosts that will keep them warm and fed through the winter. I thought this would be the perfect time to test the effectiveness of these products.
While they were all effective, they also all have their faults. I did choose my favorite, which I'll discuss in just a moment. Before that, let me discuss the other two products.
Merial Frontline Plus for Dogs Review
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've certainly heard of Frontline. They are one of the most popular brands of flea and tick treatments and preventatives for both dogs and cats. Frontline is highly recommended by pet owners and veterinarians alike, so I knew it needed to be included in this comparison.
I've used Frontline with our animals in the past. It is absolutely effective and works equally well for both fleas and ticks. It is specifically formulated to kill fleas, flea eggs and larvae, as well as lice. It also kills all life stages of ticks.
The great thing about this best flea and tick treatment for dogs is how quickly it works if your dog is already infested with fleas. In the past, I've used it to get rid of fleas and I noticed a difference within just a few hours after application.
The problem with fleas is that once your pet gets them, it's extremely difficult to completely get rid of them. Once Fido has brought the parasites into your home, they begin spreading throughout your house and multiplying at an alarming rate.
One the advantages to Frontline is that it kills fleas for 30 days. Even if they are in your home, they won't be able to feed on your pooch. You'll still have to treat your home, as they can live without feeding on a host for many months.
While it may be a very effective product, it's also very messy. As with most topical flea and treatments for pets, Frontline is applied in between your dog's shoulder blades. In the video review above, I show you how to open the applicator and apply it to your dog.
It's an oily liquid that works its way into your dog's system via his skin. This oily liquid also coats your dog's fur and leaves a mess behind. The oil is then transferred from his coat to your furniture, bedding and anywhere else Fido takes a nap. It also gets on your skin and the skin of anyone else that pats him.
You may be thinking, “What's the big deal? Just wash your hands.” While it's a quick fix, I don't like the idea of this product getting on my skin, my dog's skin or onto my children. The list of warnings that come with Frontline is unbelievable and gives you an indication of just how toxic this flea and tick treatment is.
Warnings include not letting your dog ingest the product, which baffles me because it's going to leech into his system through his skin anyway. You are also supposed to keep this treatment away from children and all other animals.
The packaging states that it could cause irritation and redness of the skin, and this is just the information provided by the manufacturer. The list of complaints from buyers of this product are quite lengthy as well.
While it has proven effective on thousands of pets, there are also a long list of complaints of nasty side effects. Some owners claim that Frontline made their dog ill, gave them a terrible rash and a few even claim that their pet suffered seizures after being Frontline.
The active ingredients in this product are Fipronil and (S)-methoprene. Those are just two in a long list of ingredients that I cannot pronounce. I can't argue with its effectiveness, I'm not comfortable treating my dogs monthly with a formula that is filled with unsafe, toxic ingredients.
Frontline is more expensive than other topical treatments, but it is much safer. Similar products sell at cheaper price points, but their ingredients are even more dangerous. Some of them have even been linked to canine deaths!
There are a lot of options when you purchase Frontline. First, you'll need to know your dog's exact weight, because that's how you'll get the proper dosage applicators. Depending on the size of your dog and the quantity that you purchase, the price will vary.
The 3-pack that I show you in the video review above is for dogs weighing 45-88 pounds and it sells on Amazon for about $37. This is a 3 month supply for one dog. While it may seem a bit expensive, it's much less expensive than having to deal with a flea infestation.
SEE ALSO: The 5 Best Tick Remover Tools for Dogs
Bayer Seresto Flea and Tick Collar Review
Seresto collars are another widely acclaimed product by both pet owners and vets. Like Frontline, these collars protect your pet from ticks and fleas in all stages of life and lice. It's also water resistant, which is great for water-loving dogs.
This is also another product that I've used with my dogs in the past. I like these collars because they don't carry the odor that other similar products do. They also don't have a powder coating like other flea collars.
Just one of these collars will provide 8 months of protection, which is much better for your budget than having to buy a topical treatment, like Frontline, every month. I also love that you get the flea and tick protection that your dog needs without the greasy mess of topical treatments.
One thing to keep in mind is that if your dog swims once per month or more, it will reduce the effectiveness of his collar. This is not something that is widely advertised by the company, but I found the information in the insert that comes with the collar. For dogs that swim at least once per month, flea protection is reduced to 5 months and tick control is reduced to 7 months.
As you'll notice in my video review above, this collar is equipped with a quick release feature. If your dog happens to get caught up while playing with a canine friend or hooked on a tree branch while running around outdoors, the break away collar will release so he won't get injured.
This quick release feature is an important safety feature – you should not buy a flea collar that doesn't offer it!
While it is certainly one of the best flea and tick treatment for dogs, this collar also uses dangerous chemicals to control pests. The active ingredients are flumethrin and imidacloprid. Again, you'll find a long list of ingredients in this collar that you can't pronounce.
Another drawback to this collar is its cost. You need to remember that it offers months of protection, not just weeks. One Seresto collar for a dog weighing more than 18 pounds, you'll spend $74.78 at online retailers like Amazon. This is pretty expensive for a flea collar, but if you do the mat it's just over $9 per month for flea and tick prevention.
Frontline and the Seresto collar don't make the top of my list because of the chemicals they contain and the health risks they pose to dogs. So, which product did I choose as the best flea and tick treatment for dogs? Let's find out!
Vet's Best Flea and Tick Home Spray Review: My Personal Favorite
By now you can probably see that safety and health are two of my biggest concerns when purchasing products for our pets. Cancer, liver disease, heart problems and so many other serous health conditions in pets are on the rise, and I believe that a good deal of these issues are linked to unsafe products that we use on our pets and around our homes.
Two years ago I stumbled onto Vet's Best Flea and Tick Home Spray and I fell in love. Not only is this product safe, it's effective too! I tried making homemade flea and tick spray, but buying this is so much more convenient and it doesn't cost much more than the ingredients I was buying when I was making the homemade stuff.
The active ingredients in this spray include peppermint oil and clove extract. While most of the ingredients are natural and safe, this product isn't perfect. It also contains sodium lauryl sulfate (commonly known as SLS). SLS is used to create a lather, but there are some concerns as to the chemicals safety.
There has been a lot of testing, but so far there is no proof that this chemical is linked to serious conditions like cancer. However, it has been shown to irritate skin on occasion.
One thing is for sure, this spray is certainly safer for pets and humans than most topical treatments or traditional flea collars.
If your pup has ever been infested with fleas, you know how much work it can be to get rid of them. Once they are in your home they quickly spread to your carpeting, furniture, bedding and any other cloth surface in your home.
When using topical treatments or collars, you get rid of the fleas on your dog but they do nothing for the fleas around your home. Vet's Best Flea and Tick Home Spray can be used to completely get rid of fleas. You can treat your dog, your carpets, your furniture and Fido's bedding.
Anywhere that needs to be treated can be with this spray! You can also treat any animal in your home. This is a huge benefit if you have a multi-pet household like ours. Collars and topical treatments can only be used on pets of a certain size and species.
You can use Vet's Best spray on cats, dogs and even bunnies! It's safe for all animals of any size, and can be used on dogs and cats over 12 weeks of age.
It's also much cheaper than the other two best flea and tick treatment for dogs that I've discussed. You can purchase a 32-ounce bottle of this spray for just $6.89 from online retailers like Amazon. Of course, you're going to use more of this since you'll be spraying it all over your home. But, it's definitely more affordable than the other two options.
Because it is affordable, safe, easy to use and effective at killing fleas, flea eggs and ticks, Vet's Best Flea and Tick Home Spray is the best flea and tick treatment for dogs in my opinion. Factor in it's natural smell of clove and peppermint and the fact that it repels mosquitoes, and it's easy to see why other pet owners rave about it too!