How Do I Get the Best Flea Protection?

Lori Kilchermann

There are several factors to consider when choosing the best flea protection, such as the type of pet you have and the extent of flea infestation. Flea protection comes in a variety of forms to choose from, including shampoos, powders and topical applications. Different types of flea treatments treat fleas at various stages of their lives, so it's best to select an all-encompassing flea protection option rather than one which only kills adult fleas and not their larvae or eggs.

A flea.
A flea.

Choose a flea protection best-suited for you and your pet. Applying some treatments on difficult-to-control dogs or cats may result in improper application, meaning your battle with the fleas may be lost. If your pet is difficult to bathe, a flea shampoo may not be the best choice. If, however, your pet enjoys the water, it could be the best choice.

Cat with fleas.
Cat with fleas.

Spray-on flea protection typically kills the fleas on contact and often may be used on furniture and pet bedding as well as the pet itself. Care needs to be taken when applying the spray-on treatment near the animal's face. It often requires the animal to remain still while the spray is rubbed on by hand rather than sprayed on.

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Natural, chemical-free dog flea collars are a great option for treating fleas.
Natural, chemical-free dog flea collars are a great option for treating fleas.

Flea powder treatments are a good choice if your animal can be powdered outside rather than indoors, as the excess powder will be messy. If you need to powder the pet's bedding area, consider choosing a powder that works on your pet as well as bedding, and powder him in his bedding area so the excess is put to good use.

Kittens typically should not be treated with flea protection, but their mother and living other can be.
Kittens typically should not be treated with flea protection, but their mother and living other can be.

Squeeze-on topical applications are typically applied on your pet's back, between his shoulder blades. The topical treatments need to be repeated every month or every few months, per the manufacturer's instructions on the package. Topical treatments may be the best choice for an active dog or cat because you will only need to hold them still for a short time to successfully apply the treatment.

Mother dogs and cats should be given a flea preventative to discourage an infestation among their babies.
Mother dogs and cats should be given a flea preventative to discourage an infestation among their babies.

Flea protection is also available in tablet form. This may be the best choice if you want to combine medications, such as heart worm prevention, at the same time as the flea protection. The tablet choices offer a range of medication combinations and are best recommended by your veterinarian.

Choose age- and weight-specific flea products. Typically, very young puppies and kittens should not be treated with flea protection. Instead, it's best to treat their mother and their living area. Flea protection products are also divided into weight categories to ensure your pet receives the correct dose of prevention.

Puppies need age-specific flea protection.
Puppies need age-specific flea protection.

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