There are thousands of flea species, but the most common problem causer for dogs is the cat flea. Cat fleas will set up a home on the dog (the host), and lay eggs to continue infestation long after the original flea is gone.
Preventing fleas is more important than trying to get rid of them after your dog has been infested, and best flea collars for dogs remains the most popular method.
Why and When to Use a Dog Flea Collar?
The key of using dog flea collars is prevention of parasites on the dog. While these collars do in fact work as treatments on already infested dogs (as indicated by below studies), they're far more effective as a preventative method.
It's already established that fleas are dangerous for dogs for a number of reasons. They aren't only a nuisance causing itchiness in dogs, but fleas spread diseases and pose fatal danger to pets. Vets agree that it's important to prevent fleas on a dog in the first place, but if that failed, then you must focus on breaking the flea's cycle ASAP.
“The best way to control fleas is to break the cycle. More fleas lay more eggs. The best treatment either kills the adults or kills one of the juvenile stages,” says Dr. Alison Diesel, DVM (source)
There are several different types of flea collars, and they mostly differ on the type of chemical used to discourage parasites from setting up home-base on your pooch. Some are more effective than others, and we've ranked and reviewed those below.
Here are the four top rated options of best flea collars for dogs, in that order:
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Are Flea Collars for Dogs Actually Effective?
Yes. Among many different options, studies have shown how the use of a dog flea collar remains the most effective way to fight these parasites. Several specific brands, including some listed as the best flea collars for dogs below, have been scientifically studied and tested to assess their success rate.
Here's a breakdown based on chemicals used:
Dog flea collars with imidacloprid/flumethrin will reduce flea count by 95% and tick count by 90% during a period of 7-8 months (1).
Dog flea collars with deltamethrin have been shown the effectiveness of 85% to 97% (2).
Propoxur injected dog flea collars were effective at about 80% to 90% range (3).
Most flea collars for dogs will start working at about 48 hour mark (4).
The rate of success is very similar among different types of flea dog collars, going around the 80% to 95% range. To pick the best flea collar for a dog, this should be taken into account along with a discussion with a veterinarian.
There are several factors that will matter in deciding which is the best dog flea collar for your individual pet. For example, your dog's breed and their fur will matter, as well as the dog's behavior; it also matters what region you're based in. Some areas have a larger tick and/or flea population than others, mostly depending on the climate.
Other Alternatives to the Best Flea Collars for Dogs
Below we're discussing and reviewing the best flea collars for dogs and how they work. However, because flea and tick infestation on dogs is very common, there are other ways to fight these parasites or prevent them in the first place.
Here are a few common alternatives (or additions) to dog flea collars:
- Dog flea pills – another very effective solution that's been proven to work.
- Dog flea shampoo – a good way to supplement other flea and tick treatments.
- Homemade flea solutions – there are many natural, homemade flea and ticks solutions that also work, but research shows that they aren't as effective.
Finally, if your dog already has fleas, you'll need to begin by removing existing fleas from your pooch, and then treating potential infestation in your home with flea bombs, flea sprays, flea traps or any other available tools.
Top Best Flea Collars for Dogs
1Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs
The first product to be mentioned is the popular collar made by Seresto. Created for dogs and puppies 7 weeks of age and older (under 18 pounds), Seresto collar provides an 8 month protection from the time it is put on.
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This collar is fully odorless, non-slippery and non-greasy. It's also simple to use: remove the collar from the protective bag and adjust it to fit a dog's neck. It closes similar to a buckle on a belt, and you can cut off any excess length. We aren't the only ones that rank this as one of the best flea collars for dogs after we've seen its effect within the second week – Seresto collar has also been given great reviews by a large number of other pet owners, and remained Amazon best seller for the last few years.
Unlike some other brands, this one works faster because it's through contact, which is great for prevention – fleas or ticks do not need to bite the dog before they will get eliminated. When using this dog flea collar on an already infested dog, you'll be able to tell a difference simply by looking at a dog's fur – within about a week your pet will seem more comfortable with no irritating rashes causing a nuisance on their skin.
Additionally, what solidifies this as the best flea collar for dogs is that it also works on lice and due to the chemicals used, Seresto helps in prevention, control and management of sarcoptic mange on dogs. This is one of the most popularly vet recommended tick and flea collars for dogs.
It's not without disadvantages, however. While we haven't witness anything with our pets, after browsing through Seresto dog flea collar reviews, owners have reported some dogs getting slightly sick. There were also a few reports of seizures. Unfortunately, this is to be expected due to the chemicals used, and this has also been observed in studies (though instances are very rare). Another disadvantage is that if you're looking to use it as a dog tick collar too, then it only repels certain types of ticks.
2Scalibor Protector Band for Dogs
This collar is a one-size-fits-all option and provides 6 months of protection for dogs 12 weeks of age and older. Already you can see that these parameters aren't as good as Seresto collar; however, this is also a less expensive option. We've noticed the Scalibor collar to take maximum effect sometime between two and three weeks from putting it on our dog.
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As most other best flea collars for dogs, the instructions are simple to follow. A list of ticks that can be eliminated by use of this collar is included on the package. You're likely to notice the reduction in fleas and ticks on your pooch even in the most flea and tick infested parts of the country.
A useful tip: because the Scalibor dog flea collar isn't completely odorless, take it out of the package and let it air out for a few days – this will reduce a potentially strong reaction in your pet.
In terms of disadvantages, we've checked Scalibor dog collar reviews from other pet owners and, while this wasn't the case for us, some reported irritated skin on dogs, while others saw their pets twitching and become restless when wearing it (in rare cases).
Note that the chemical is different, and some dogs may have a negative reaction to the active ingredients, so be sure to check the list before ordering to ensure this collar will be both safe and effective for your pooch. If need be, consult with a veterinarian. Keep a close eye on your pet for a day or two after putting on the dog flea collar to ensure they does not have a too strong of a reaction to it.
3BioSpot Active Care Flea and Tick Collar
The third product to make the list of the best flea collars for dogs is made by BioSpot. They used to be very popular, but new improvements made to Seresto collar have almost pushed BioSpot out of market. This one is available in several sizes, it's adjustable, and you can get it separately either for large breeds (necks up to 25″) or small breeds (necks up to 15″). We've found it effective at killing fleas, flea eggs, and flea larvae, but haven't tested on ticks. Others report its success with ticks, tick nymphs, and tick larvae, however.
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It provides a full 7 months of protection for dogs and puppies over 6 weeks old. This collar is easy to put on and works quickly and effectively. Within about 6 to 8 days of putting the BioSpot collar on the dog the results were noticed, having the dog scratching far less and being seemingly more content. Similar to the second best flea collar for dogs, this one also is not odorless and have a very slight chemical smell; however, it's really not strong enough to be a nuisance.
We've looked through other BioSpot dog flea collar reviews to see what other pet owners though, and most reviews are positive. Even dogs with sensitive skin seemed to be fine with this collar, and pet owners who have tried multiple brands and products claim this as the most cost-effective option.
Other than the comparisons you see with the other flea collar for dogs brands, there aren't any disadvantages. It's an affordable option and a good alternative to the more expensive products. It's important to note that some owners did say that their collar had no effect on fleas and ticks for the whole period, but such reports are rare.
4Hartz 3-in-1 Control Flea Collar for Dogs
The Hartz collar kills fleas, flea eggs, and ticks with a 7 month protection period that's similar to Seresto, suitable for adult dogs or puppies of 12 weeks and older. It's waterproof, and getting it wet will not affect the parasite control it provides, which makes it a better option for dogs that live near bodies of water or have pools. It's adjustable so that it fits a large variety of neck sizes.
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You will notice a larger number of negative reviews for this collar, and that's to be expected for something significantly cheaper than the first two best flea collars for dogs mentioned above. However, we did find it to be effective enough, and so did other pet owners after we've read through a number of Hartz dog collar reviews. Given the price tag, many reported it to be cost-effective.
A useful tip: Be sure to trim the excess length so that your dog does not chew the extra piece off and ingest toxic ingredients.
As with the other flea collars for dogs, some dogs may have a negative reaction to this collar with varying degrees. However, this one seems to be far less safe than the other two options. While we didn't have the time to notice this, there are some reports of specific cases where patches of hair were falling out on a dog, and chemical burns and rashes seemed to be the most common issue. Every dog may react differently to this collar, as will be the case with all similar products, but it's important test this first.
SOBAKEN Natural Flea Collar for Dogs
Here's something a little different and something that does NOT work. Unlike the above products, this is a hypoallergenic and natural dog flea collar that claims to provide three active ingredients: spearmint oil, clove oil, and citronella essential oil. It supposed to give your pup 8 month protection, and it's a one-size-fits-all type of product which you can safely use on any dog over 3 months old.
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This may sound like a good choice for owners who've had negative reactions with chemical flea collars. However, after testing it, the collar does not to be effective at all. It was ineffective as a repellent for ticks, and it was ineffective for existing infestations, too.
The company claims the collar to be completely waterproof, which means you don't have to take it off during bathing or letting your pet into a pool. The size is adjustable and you can use it on small, medium and large breeds. The company also donates part of the profits to charity, which may be an important deciding factor. However, all of this is moot point when the collar doesn't appear to work.
To see what others thought, we've also scanned through Sobaken dog flea collar reviews and many pet owners appear to be glad to have chosen this brand; however, it seems to us that all positive reviews, particularly on Amazon, have been bought (fake), thus it's difficult to assess how many customers have actually found this helpful. A large number of negative verified reviews claim that the collar in fact does not work, and some have even reported vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.
Virbac Preventic (Tick-only Collar)
The last “bonus mention” on our list claims to be the only tick collar that detaches and kills ticks effectively. It is effective for three months, at which point it must be replaced to continue working effectively. This collar by Preventic is recommended for dogs and puppies three months and older.
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This collar measures 25 inches but is adjustable and sure to fit your dog with no problem! The collar must be worn tight enough that it makes contact with the skin, but not so tight that it is uncomfortable for your dog. Some customers say that this is the only brand they have found that truly works against both fleas and ticks.
Many customers have been using the Preventic Tick Collar for over 10 years! Although it may take a week or two to reach full effectiveness, many customers say they are very happy with the results and plan to order this product every couple of months so that they can keep their pet flea and tick free forever.
Unsatisfied customers claim that this last of listed best flea collars for dogs works effectively but is very toxic to pets (however, most flea and tick collars must be so that they successfully kill pests). If your pet chews on this product or consumes it, there is a good chance he or she will become very ill; therefore, it is very important to make sure it is safely and securely fastened and the excess is cut off as explained in the instructions.