7 Best Dog Flea Treatments | March 2017

Keep your dog safe and comfortable all year round with one of these dog flea treatments. They will rid your pet of pests including fleas, ticks and even mosquitoes, and come in a variety of application methods, such as pills, sprays and spot treatments, as well as chemical and all-natural formulations. Skip to the best dog flea treatment on Amazon.
7 Best Dog Flea Treatments | March 2017

Overall Rank: 5
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 2
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 3
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A bottle of Bug & Pest Pet Relief should provide enough treatments for the family with multiple pets. The formula is natural and safe for all healthy dogs, and should deal with a flea problem today and prevent one tomorrow.
Don't worry about trying to cajole your pet into taking a pill; just grab a tube of PetArmor Squeeze On Dog flea and tick repellent, apply it to your dog's skin, and let its formula work through their system on its own.
In most cases, a single dose of Novartis Capstar Flea Tablets will be all that's needed to kill all the fleas plaguing your dog, and will serve to prevent new pests from trying to set up shop in their fur.
Give your pet their daily dose of Flea Away All Natural flea repellent for dogs or cats and most fleas will be repelled before they even bite your pet, and you can rest assured most will flee or perish after they bite.
  • tablets are like treats for pets
  • very low cost option
  • larger dogs need 3+ tablets
Brand Flea Away
Model FLA03933
Weight 3.2 ounces
A bottle of Vet's Best Flea Tick home spray is the natural way to rid your pet of his or her pesky pests. It kills fleas and ticks on contact and can help to repel mosquitoes as well, making it a must-have for dogs that play outside.
  • can be used on home surfaces
  • safe for use on puppies and around kids
  • can be dangerous for cats
Brand Bramton
Model 3165810348
Weight 2.2 pounds
A treatment of Bayer K9 Advantix II flea and tick control treatment should effectively kill fleas in their adult, larval, and egg states of life, ensuring your dog is pest free now and for weeks, or even months, to come.
  • remains effective after bathing
  • kills over 98% pests in 12 hours
  • easy-to-use applicator tubes
Brand Bayer
Model 4461650
Weight 2.4 ounces
Millions of pet owners and veterinarians alike turn to Frontline Plus Flea and Tick as their go-to option for both preventing and treating pest outbreaks. This formula treats larger dogs weighing in between 45 and 88 pounds.
  • three-step application process
  • provides multiple months of relief
  • comes with satisfaction guarantee
Brand Merial
Model P004FLTSP-45-88
Weight 0.8 ounces

Why Do Dogs Get Fleas?

The small, brown insects found on the skin of many canines in warmer months are only one species of the Siphonaptera order of insects. Fleas are preferential creatures; so much so that different species feed off of different animals. For instance, Ctenocephalides felis is the flea most attracted to both domestic and wild felines, whereas the Pulex irritans species prefer to feed off of humans. The canine flea is properly known as Ctenocephalides canis. In all, there are over two thousand known species of flea.

While all fleas have their preferred host; they will happily jump from one species to another. It is just as common for a canine flea to bite a human or a feline. The anatomy of the common canine flea is such that the legs are nearly as long as the body; which is relatively flat and aerodynamic. Fleas propel themselves from host to host using these long legs; constantly seeking their perfect habitat.

Fleas prefer temperatures of 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels of close to 80 percent. For the Ctenocephalides canis species; the perfect habitat is the warm, humid area on a dog's skin and fur. Canine fleas are most likely to congregate in the dog's armpits, under their ears, and just above their tail.

Infestations are not solely due to poor canine hygiene, as is commonly thought. Unless the dog is washed using only medicinal shampoos and flea-repellent conditioners, the average adult flea pays little attention to the personal hygiene of their host. As one of many common canine ectoparasites, they only survive by feeding on the blood of their hosts. Because of this, the only consideration in a flea's mind is where the next meal comes from. Flea infestations simply occur through contact with other animals or contact with fleas in the animal's environment.

Do Fleas Pose A Real Threat?

When pruritus first appears in dogs, it may be difficult to ascertain a definite cause. Dietary factors should be considered, as well as the possibility of allergic skin disorders which have little to do with ectoparasites. When the symptoms do appear, there are very typical signs to look out for. One benefit of pruritis caused by Ctenocephalides canis is that the fleas themselves may be observed on the dogs skin. Another definite sign of a flea infestation is known as flea dirt; the fecal matter of fleas which resembles black pepper granules scattered across the epidermis of the animal.

Aside from simply annoying their domestic hosts, fleas may actually pose a threat to the well-being of the animals they bite. The flea’s bite is most commonly associated with the pruritis experienced by both humans and animals; severe itching of the skin disproportionate to the size of the small wound. For sensitive dogs, the experience can be quite severe.

Some domestic pets are hypersensitive to the flea's saliva. The condition is known as flea allergy dermatitis; and causes canines to itch over a broad area of the body due to one single flea bite. Over time, this can lead to hair-loss, inflammation and even secondary skin infections. Fleas may also transmit tapeworms and diseases to their canine hosts.

The easiest way to ameliorate symptoms of a flea infestation is through the use of various dog flea treatment options. As science has explored novel treatment methods and identified ways to target multiple species of fleas; dog flea treatment options provide safe and effective ways to reduce flea populations both on the animal and in their surrounding environment.

Why Are Regular Dog Flea Treatments Necessary?

In large part, dog flea treatments only work for a predetermined amount of time; and this has much to do with the strength and safety of medications and the life cycle of the fleas themselves. The life cycle of a flea varies by species; and plays an integral role in treatment methods.

There are four developmental stages in a flea's life cycle. An adult flea lives its life entirely on a host; feeding off of the host's blood and laying eggs on its skin. These eggs, up to 2000 of them, may start out on the host, but they readily fall about the environment as the host moves around. The process begins just two days after inhabiting the host. An egg can take up to ten days to hatch, giving plenty of time for many effective dog flea treatment medications to lose potency and need reapplication.

The hatched larvae are the only free living versions of fleas; as they feed off of organic material and flea dirt found in their environment. At the end of the larval stage, a flea will wrap itself in a cocoon for its pupal stage; lasting for a month on average. When it emerges it is an adult flea, ready to look for a host to live out the rest of its days upon. However if left undisturbed, flea pupae can survive for five or six months before emerging as an adult. For this reason alone, reapplication of dog flea treatments is necessary to avoid re-infestation.

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Last updated: 03/24/2017 | Authorship Information