Are you tired of seeing those little annoying fleas that seem to never stop infesting your dog and your home? You’ll probably agree with us when we say that fleas are one of the most common and frustrating problems that our dogs experience. So what can we do about it? Let’s take a look at the best flea treatment for dogs so you can be rid of them forever.
What Are Fleas and Why Are They Bad For Your Dog?
Fleas are a small external parasite that lives on your dog’s skin and feeds on their blood. Fleas can cause inflammation, wounds, and skin irritation on your dog. The most common skin condition in pets is flea bite dermatitis believed to be caused by the saliva of fleas. It can cause severe itching and scabs on your dog’s skin.
There are over 2,000 species of fleas in the world. And since fleas are microscopic it is easy to miss them and the first clue is your dog’s constant scratching and biting.
One of the most dangerous effects of fleas is that they can cause internal infections in your dog when they ingest a flea. In severe cases, it can lead to a failing immune system. If your dog’s blood count decreases as a result of the flea infestation they can become anemic.
Left unchecked fleas can cause serious health issues for your dog. It is important to check your dog regularly for fleas and take action immediately.
How to Tell If Your Dog Has Fleas
Are you seeing your dog often irritated, anxious, and uncomfortable? If you see your dog constantly scratching and biting then it is a good time to check for fleas. Fleas become more active during the warmer months so it is always good to make more frequent checks during this time.
During the early stages, you will find your dog often restless and chewing, licking or biting their body often. When the flea infestation becomes more severe it is easy to spot the fleas on your dog’s skin.
Put your dog in a lying position where you can check their stomach, armpits, and groin area. These are the most common hiding spots on dogs and where you will notice them more easily.
Look for obvious signs of reddening, dirt, or blood on your dog’s skin. This is a good indication of a flea infestation.
Other noticeable signs of flea infestation include hair loss due to too much scratching.
If your dog has pale gums this can be a sign of anemia.
Also look for black dirt in your dog’s fur or around your their bedding this is known as flea dirt which is flea feces.
Grab a white sheet of paper when combing your dog’s hair so you can see any black spots that fall out easily.
A flea comb will be an essential tool in finding and ridding your dog of fleas. Our favorite flea comb is the Safari Flea Comb. It has a double row design that helps detect fleas and skin conditions. Using a comb like this will help to remove fleas and debris from your dog’s coat.
Different Types of Flea Treatments for Dogs
Being aware of the various options you have for flea treatments allows you to choose the one that will best suit your dog. The best over the counter flea treatment for your dog will depend on how bad the infestation is and how your dog reacts to different treatment types. Here’s what’s available:
This type of treatment requires application directly onto your dog’s skin and works best to kill adult fleas on your dog’s body. They are a liquid drop that you usually apply to your dog’s skin between the shoulder blades. Topical treatments are designed to spread all over your dog’s body and work their way through the skin from the outside. They are usually easy to apply and quick and effective at killing fleas and ticks as well as acting as a repellant for fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.
Oral medications are designed to target infections from the inside. They quickly enter your dog’s bloodstream and work towards the skin to attack fleas. Due to their internal nature oral treatments are also often made to target other pests like heartworms, hookworms, and several other internal parasites as well. The only downside to this method is it may make your dog lose their appetite, cause digestive issues, or cause skin irritations.
Sprays are ideal for those who want an inexpensive and effective flea treatment for in between baths. The application itself is quick and effortless since it’s just a quick spray over your dog’s body. Just make sure the product doesn’t get in your dog’s eyes, nose, and mouth. These will wash off with water so it is best used after a grooming session.
Collars are a good long term preventative flea treatment for your dog. They are a plastic band collar soaked with a flea treatment that goes around your dog’s neck. These are ideal as they are easy to put on and can last for several months.
Flea shampoo is a specially formulated dog shampoo that has ingredients that kill fleas and their eggs while washing your dog. These are not designed to keep fleas from returning so may need to be used in conjunction with other treatments to keep the fleas away.The Best Flea Treatment for Dogs
The best flea treatments for dogs will be dual action. They will kill any fleas currently on your dog, and they will do it quickly. They will also act as a flea prevention treatment for your dog at the same time, often for months at a time.
The Best Flea Treatment for Dogs
The Bayer K9 Advantix II is a one stop shop treatment for fleas, ticks, and even mosquitos. It kills fleas at all life stages including the eggs and it does so within 12 hours of application. This treatment will prevent fleas from further infecting your dog for a month per application. It is recommended for dogs 7 weeks old or older.
This topical treatment is one of the most trusted products for treating flea infections in dogs. It claims to kill 98-100 percent of your dog’s fleas and ticks quickly with a and has a simple application process. It can also provide protection for up to three months. This will protect your dog from fleas and their eggs, lice, and ticks. It’s a waterproof ointment which aims to protect your dog even during their bath and swimming time.
This is a flea and tick collar that is great if you want longer protection for your dog. It is a non-greasy, odorless solution that can last up to 8 months. It is also water resistant so you don’t have to remove it for washing or swimming.
The Best Natural Flea Treatment for Dogs
If you prefer a more natural flea treatment for your dog we highly recommend this flea and tick spray. It will kill fleas, flea eggs, and ticks using certified natural essential oils and plant-based ingredients like Peppermint Oil and Eugenol from Clove plants. It will also repel mosquitoes to help with heartworm prevention. The spray makes it easy to apply to your dog and it can also be used indoors or outdoors to treat surfaces such as pet bedding, pillows, blankets, upholstery, and carpets.
This is another type of natural flea treatment for dogs that comes in the form of a wipe. This makes applying it on your dog simple, especially for those sensitive places like the mouth, ears, and nose. It is a similar formula to their spray that we recommended above. The ingredients are plant-based and natural. We love it because of its non-toxic ingredients. The wipes are very soft, water resistant, and are durable and long lasting. You can use it not only on your dogs but also on surfaces around your home to eliminate fleas and prevent them returning.
The Best Oral Flea Treatment for Dogs
If you prefer to give your dog an oral treatment you should try these tablets by Capstar for your dog. This is a single dose treatment that kills all adult fleas in 4 hours. It should be used daily until all the fleas are gone. This treatment is ideal to get rid of a flea infestation. It will not kill or prevent fleas after you stop giving it to your dog.
How to Get Rid of Fleas on Your Dog
If your flea infestation is out of control, just using one of the above flea treatments may not get the job done. You may need a fully comprehensive solution. Follow this step-by-step advice if you want to permanently rid your dog and home of fleas.
- Purchase and administer the Capstar Flea Tablets. Give your dog one pill a day to kill all the adult fleas currently on your dog.
- Purchase a flea shampoo. The pills alone will not kill any of the flea eggs on your dog. You have to bathe your dog with a flea shampoo to kill the flea eggs and prevent any re-infestation. Make sure you take your time and allow the shampoo to work its way in.
- Purchase this flea comb and comb your dog all over making sure to dispose of all the fleas, dead or alive.
- Buy a flea spray like this raid spray and treat your home. Follow the flea spray directions making sure to spray your dog’s favorite places around your home and yard. Do not spray it directly on your dog.
- Do a big laundry load to wash all of your dog’s bedding, clothes, toys, your bedding, and any fabric lying around the house like blankets and towels where fleas could be hiding.
- Repeat any of the above steps as needed. Don’t forget to treat your home or the fleas will come back.
How to Treat Your Home for Fleas
Treating your home might seem like an impossible task but your house can be flea-free with a bit of work. It may take a bit of effort and patience to completely get rid of the pests, but it will be worth it. The trick here is to do a thorough clean of your home inside and out.
- Spray around your home and yard as directed in the previous section.
- Vacuum your home, including all carpets, floors, rugs, couches, and any other non-washable items. Make sure to move the furniture and go under beds. Be very thorough.
- Try putting out a shallow bowl filled with water, a small candle, and some dish detergent. This works as a flea trap and overnight you will be able to collect a lot of remaining fleas and dispose of them.
Check out this video from Expert Village on how you can set up a flea trap. They also have a handy way to make up your own flea spray using household ingredients.
Keep your dog flea free with these treatments and preventions. Experiment with different ones to see what works best for your dog. Always make sure you purchase the right treatment for your dog’s size and weight and follow the instructions correctly to avoid overdosing your dog.
Remember that puppies under 12 weeks old should not be given these treatments and make sure you seek advice from your vet before giving your dog a treatment they have not had before to avoid any dangerous side effects or allergic reactions.
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