Table of Contents
- Should you use flea medicine for your dog?
- Type of flea treatments for dogs
- Do you need a vet prescription?
- Best Flea Medicine for Dogs – Buying Guide
- Best Flea Medicine for Dogs – Top 5 Options
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final words
Fleas are one of the most common parasites to infect a dog. It can cause a big problem, not just for the canine, but also for the entire household. So when you spot an infestation, you should get the best flea medicine for dogs right away. This way, your pooch won’t suffer from the skin problem and you won’t have to deal with massive cleanup at home.
Should you use flea medicine for your dog?
If the flea infestation on your dog is advancing, you need a flea medicine to get rid of it. Aside from flea shampoos, medicines – either topical or oral – will boost its effect. Flea medicines prevent the parasites from spreading, not to mention saving your dog’s coat from injuries.
Take note that fleas can cause severe dermatitis, Bartonella, and even anemia. This is why you have to act fast before the parasite compromises your dog’s health.
Type of flea treatments for dogs
Take note that there are different types of flea treatment. Not each one is suitable for every dog, so it’s important to know each one and to ask the opinion of a veterinarian. To give you an idea, here’s a quick look at each one:
Flea pills, tablets, or chews are one of the most popular solutions for fleas. This is packed with medication that spreads through your dog’s bloodstream. So when the flea bites, they will suck the blood with medication. This will either kill them or stop their reproduction.
Aside from exterminating fleas, some of these pills are combined with other substances that treat other parasites like heartworm, whipworms, and roundworms.
Moreover, flea pills may have different active compounds. Here’s a quick look at the most common types:
–Nitenpyram. This is an over-the-counter pill with a fast-acting nature. It starts to work within 30 minutes upon ingestion and will keep working for a maximum of 48 hours. Within 4 hours, nitenpyram can kill up to 90% of all the fleas on your dog’s skin.
–Fluralaner. This new pill can kill both adult and juvenile fleas within 8 hours. Unlike nitenpyram, fluralaner lasts for up to 12 weeks for every ingestion.
–Spinosad. This is another popular flea medicine that has the same effect as nitenpyram. However, some dogs experience vomiting as the side effect of this drug.
–Afoxolaner. This pill kills adult fleas and lasts for up to 30 days.
Aside from pills, you can also opt for a topical treatment for fleas. These are liquid-form agents that you have to apply at the back of your dog’s neck and shoulder blades. This can be used to exterminate a current infestation or as a preventive treatment.
Take note that topical flea treatments will have different active compounds. Also, the choice would be dependent on your dog’s size and overall health.
For minor flea cases, pet owners have the option to use flea sprays instead of giving their dog oral or optical medicines.
Flea sprays are usually made of natural extracts made to repel fleas on your dog’s coat. Also, it’s safe to spray all over your dog’s torso, neck, and legs. However, it offers the least coverage as compared to the best flea medicine for dogs.
Lastly, there are flea collars. This isn’t your typical dog collar as the band is infused with slow-acting medicine that will kill the fleas all over your dog’s coat in several days. Take note, however, that flea collars aren’t meant to be used on a leash.
Overall, flea collars are economical and can last for months.
Do you need a vet prescription?
For the oral flea medications, you don’t necessarily have to secure a vet prescription. However, it’s always best to consult the dog doctor first before giving the pill to your pooch.
Each dog will have varying reactions to a specific drug. To prevent any potential side effects, you should seek the supervision of a veterinarian.
Best Flea Medicine for Dogs – Buying Guide
*Period of protection
The first thing you have to consider for the best flea medicine for dogs is its period of protection. Usually, flea pills have the shortest coverage, though it acts within minutes. On the other hand, topical flea medicines have a better coverage period. A slow-acting flea medicine usually offers a longer coverage.
*Waterproof features (for topical solutions)
For topical treatments, waterproof formula is the ideal choice. This way, the efficacy of the treatment will remain intact even as you bathe your pet.
*Dosage (for oral solutions)
If you’re using an oral flea treatment, you have to be specific with the dosage to prevent any harsh side effects. Pups need a lower dosage, while older and larger breeds will require a higher dose so it will be effective in killing the fleas.
*Types of parasites covered
Aside from fleas, most flea medications can also get rid of other parasites like ticks, mosquitoes, lice, and worms. This way, you only need to use one product to cleanse your dog of parasites and to provide a complete parasite coverage.
No matter how potent the flea medicine is, you should always prioritize the safety of your dog. This is only possible through vet supervision and careful selection of the medication.
*Ease of application
This may not be a big deal, but it’s worth finding a flea medicine that’s easy to apply. With this, you won’t have to deal with the mess and no flea medication will be wasted.
For topical medication, the best flea medicine for dogs is one with a subtle to no smell. Remember that dogs have a very strong sense of smell and a pungent odor from the medication may cause irritations.
Best Flea Medicine for Dogs – Top 5 Options
OUR #1 CHOICE
OUR TOP PICK: Bayer K9 Advantix II Flea Prevention Treatment
Product Name: Bayer K9 Advantix II Flea Prevention Treatment
Product Description: For us, the best flea medicine for dogs is the Bayer K9 Advantix II. This topical treatment can kill fleas, mosquitoes, and ticks upon contact. Take note that there’s no biting required for this treatment to work. Also, it will start working within 12 hours upon application and will provide coverage for up to 30 days. Each pack of the Advantix II contains six doses good for half a year. However, if you don’t want to risk a lot of money at once, you can purchase one, two, or four-dose packs.
- Formula Quality
- Protection Period
- Value for Money
This is very potent and one dose is more than enough to cover a Mastiff! Just take note that you should only use this for dogs and not for cats. Overall, this is a powerful flea treatment that will get fleas dropping on the floor.
✔️Works for up to 30 years
✔️Potent but very safe
✔️Works within 12 hours
❌Not for dogs under 12 pounds
Capstar Nitenpyram Oral Flea Treatment
If you’re looking for an oral flea medication, the most popular option is Capstar. It’s a nitenpyram drug with 11.4 mg per dosage. This works in as fast as 30 minutes upon application, not to mention that you can get this pill without a vet prescription.
Each pack of Capstar contains 6 doses that you can re-administer if your dog gets re-infected with fleas. This is a safe drug that you can administer one pill a day, depending on the weight of the dog.
Moreover, Capstar is effective in killing all adult fleas within 4 hours. It works in cats and will take effect in just 6 hours. Just make sure that you use this in dogs that are at least four weeks old.
Frontline Plus for Dogs Topical Flea Treatment
Another topical treatment that you can consider for your dog is Frontline Plus. This is a waterproof, fast-acting, and long-lasting flea medication that helps you get rid of fleas on your dog.
Just take note that this is only suitable for dogs that weigh 45 to 88 pounds. Once applied, Frontline Plus will act by killing adult fleas, larvae, and eggs. With this, re-infestation is less likely to happen. Aside from fleas, this medication also works in exterminating lice and ticks.
The Frontline Plus topical medication has (S)-methoprene and fipronil as its killing ingredients. This is suitable for dogs that are at least 8 weeks old.
Each application of this flea medicine will last for 30 days and will start working within hours.
SENTRY Capguard Nitenpyram Oral Flea Medication
Another nitenpyram option for our dog is this one from SENTRY. It’s effective in killing fleas for as fast as 30 minutes upon ingestion. Just like the one from Capstar, each SENTRY tablet contains 11.4 mg of nitenpyram.
Unlike topical medications, tablets like these save from you from the mess and the need to rub the medication into the dog’s coat.
What we really like about the SENTRY is that it’s FDA-approved. Just make sure that you give it to pooches that are not younger than four weeks old.
This is available over the counter and doesn’t require the supervision of a veterinarian. However, if your dog has a lingering health condition, you should consult first.
Only Natural Pet Brewer’s Yeast and Garlic Flea Tablet
If you’re looking for a natural way to get rid of your dog’s fleas, you can consider the Only Natural Pet Brewer’s Yeast and Garlic tablet. This has garlic, brewer’s yeast, and Vitamin B-complex to boost the overall wellness of your dog. Take note that this isn’t suitable for all dogs, especially those with blood clotting issues.
Nevertheless, if your pooch is healthy and has fleas, this could be a great alternative to other topical options. For dogs that weigh less than 10 pounds, give only half of the tablet each day. On the other hand, dogs that are over 20 pounds can take one tablet a day.
Aside from repelling fleas, this tablet will also improve the coat health of your doggo. Each bottle has 300 pills that will last for months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can you drown fleas off a dog?
A: While water may wash away a few fleas, it’s not enough to kill all of it. You still need the best flea medicine for dogs to remove the parasite off your pooch.
Q: How many fleas on a dog are considered an infestation?
A: The fact that there’s one flea present in your dog is already a sign of an infestation. Fleas don’t live alone. Even if you can only see a few adult fleas, there’s a larger larvae and egg population brewing around your home or your dog’s coat.
Q: Do fleas live on hard surfaces?
A: Fleas prefer hidden crevices and cracks since it offers better protection. Just because you can’t see fleas doesn’t mean it’s not present in your home.
Q: Is there an over the counter flea pill for dogs?
A: Yes, nitenpyram is one of the OTC options you can get for your dog. It’s fast-acting and can be administered without the supervision of a veterinarian. However, it also offers a shorter coverage time. Above, we reviewed nitenpyram options that you can get for your pooch.
Q: Where do fleas like to hide on dogs?
A: Fleas like hiding on your dog’s armpits, ear flaps, and other skin flaps. This is why this parasite is quite challenging to spot. Every time you groom your pooch, see to it that you check for these hidden parts to identify a potential infestation.
The best flea medicine for dogs will help you get rid of the pest even before it causes intense irritation on your pooch. However, you should be careful with the medication that you choose. And above all, always consult the vet before giving or using any medicine to your pet.