How Do I Choose the Best Dog Flea Treatment?

Jami Yontz

Choosing the best dog flea treatment can be difficult for many pet owners, and there are numerous different flea products in a wide variety of price ranges. The dog’s disposition and the severity of the flea infestation will be the deciding factor when choosing a dog flea treatment. Getting rid of fleas is essential for every pet owner because flea bites are dangerous to dogs and humans if left untreated.

Oral flea medications are a type of dog flea treatment.
Oral flea medications are a type of dog flea treatment.

Fleas are insects that feed on animal or human blood. They attach themselves to dogs, and the females feed and eventually lay eggs in the animal's fur. One female can lay up to 4,000 eggs, and these eggs can spread throughout a person’s house when the dog scratches itself or lays down. Some dogs are more sensitive to flea bites, and the animal could have an allergic reaction to the insect, causing hair loss, inflammation of the skin, or infections.

Flea eggs can be spread through a house when a dog scratches.
Flea eggs can be spread through a house when a dog scratches.

One of the most popular types of dog flea treatment are flea collars. The collars contain insecticide, which gets into the dog’s fur and onto its skin. This type of treatment is more of a preventative method, and it usually will not kill fleas that attach to the dog’s hindquarters or tail. The collars are inexpensive and easy to apply.

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Oral flea medications are another type of dog flea treatment. The pill or liquid can be combined with the dog’s food, but many people still have trouble getting their pet to swallow the medication. Oral treatments won’t kill adult fleas, but they will stop the flea larva from hatching and becoming adults.

Many owners use flea shampoo to prevent a flea infestation or to kill adult fleas on a dog. Shampoo treatments will not kill fleas in the larva or pupa stage. This treatment only lasts a few days, so other methods of flea control or prevention should be used. Some dogs’ skin can be irritated by the chemicals in flea shampoos, so owners should monitor their pet after bathing.

Topical dog flea treatment is another method to try. The chemical is applied between the shoulder blades of the dog, but it does not have to be rubbed throughout the animal’s fur. A pet owner can apply the treatment once a month, making it a convenient method of flea removal. There are topical treatments, also known as spot-on treatments, that kill adult fleas and may also prevent the larva from hatching. Dog owners should consult a veterinarian about the best type of treatment for their pet.

Flea collars and dog shampoos are two good treatments for fleas.
Flea collars and dog shampoos are two good treatments for fleas.

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