The 9 Best Dog Flea Treatments

Updated January 29, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

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We spent 46 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Keep your dog safe and comfortable all year round with one of these flea treatments, some of which will even rid your pet of ticks and mosquitoes, as well. They come in a variety of application methods, such as pills, sprays, and spot treatments, as well as chemical and all-natural formulations to suit every dog owner's needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best dog flea treatment on Amazon.

9. Sentry Capguard

Sentry Capguard is an affordable over-the-counter solution to save you from costly veterinarian visits. Each pill is administered orally and contains the recommended active ingredient nitenpyram, but it doesn't seem to be as potent as other brands.
  • safe for nursing dogs to take
  • mess-free application
  • doesn't kill flea eggs
Brand SENTRY Pet Care
Model 469022
Weight 0.8 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

8. Promika Adventure Plus

Promika Adventure Plus is an effective American-made product that gets rid of fleas without breaking the bank. It comes in different sizes, depending on your dog's weight, and the four-dose package can last up to four months.
  • also available for cats
  • recommended by veterinarians
  • applicator can be a bit hard to use
Brand Promika
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Petarmor Pro Advanced

Give your pooch top-notch protection at a superb value with Petarmor Pro Advanced. It is a topical, once-a-month solution that kills adult fleas and all stages of ticks. Plus, it works to repel mosquitoes, reducing the chance of your dog getting heartworms.
  • starts working within one day
  • comes with three applicators
  • may cause a rash on some dogs
Model pending
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. Vet's Best Pet and Home Spray

Vet's Best Pet and Home Spray is made from healthy ingredients, such as eugenol and peppermint essential oils. Because it does not stain upholstery, this can be used directly on carpets or bedding to put an end to those critters fast.
  • begins working quickly
  • kid-friendly formula
  • made in the usa
Brand Vet's Best
Model 3165810348ONL
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. PetArmor FastCaps

PetArmor FastCaps are capsules that work to kill fleas internally, so you don't have to worry about messy oils. One dose should be all you need; however, if any fleas reappear, you may give another pill in as little as one day.
  • manufactured in france
  • safe to use with other medications
  • can be chewed or swallowed
Model 02389
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Frontline Plus

Frontline Plus is a staple for many dog owners. Its fast-acting, waterproof formula kills not just fleas and flea eggs, but also ticks and lice, for one month per application. This helps it to aid in the prevention of Lyme disease, as well.
  • applied in three easy steps
  • comes as a six-month supply
  • kills all fleas in 18 hours or less
Brand Frontline
Model P004FLTSP6-23-44
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

3. Bayer Advantage II

Bayer Advantage II offers a powerful way to fight off fleas on puppies or adult dogs. This topical treatment comes in a convenient tube and needs to be applied only once a month, which is ideal for owners who don't have a lot of time on their hands.
  • odorless formula
  • kills fleas at all stages
  • also helps to control lice
Brand Bayer Animal Health
Model 81520321
Weight 3.2 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

2. Novartis Capstar

Novartis Capstar is an easy-to-use oral treatment for both dogs and cats. Once administered, the medication starts to work within 30 minutes and kills off adult fleas completely within hours. It's a great quick fix solution.
  • safe to use with pregnant dogs
  • comes as a 6- or 60-count box
  • can be mixed in with food
Brand Novartis
Model 004CG-61011
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Bayer K9 Advantix II

A treatment of Bayer K9 Advantix II kills all fleas effectively through direct contact, no matter what stage they're in. In addition, it prevents fleas from hatching, breaking their overall life cycle to help prevent future reinfestation in your home.
  • also kills mosquitoes
  • doesn't degrade from sunlight
  • available for dogs of all sizes
Brand Bayer Animal Health
Model 81520429
Weight 3.2 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

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 on January 29, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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