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Best Flea Treatment For Dogs

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With a myriad of options out there choosing the best flea treatment for dogs can be overwhelming! With topical treatments, collars, shampoos and pills it’s no wonder many owners just don’t know where to start!

Dog owners love to talk with other dog owners about their beloved dogs, but talking about the best flea treatment for dogs is not something that’s top of discussion.  Yet I know from experience that it can be very frustrating when your dog has fleas that just don’t seem to die.

The dogs themselves can become agitated by the constant unrelenting presence of fleas. Which can lead to behavioral issues or balding if your dog is consistently scratching.

NOTE: If you have been applying a flea treatment and it doesn’t appear to be working, it could be because you are using the wrong product for your breed of dog and/or you are not following the recommended application schedule.

So choosing the best flea treatment for dogs is essential as is following the manufactures instructions. Another important consideration, often overlooked, is the major role that environmental management has in flea control as well.

Choosing The Best Flea Treatment For Dogs

Topical treatments

Topical flea treatments are applied on the back of the neckThese treatments are applied on the back of the neck and are spread throughout your dog’s body in the natural oils of the coat.

These are cost-effective, easy to apply and last for 30 days.

Some of these products require a 48-hour bathing stand-off period and have reduced efficacy for animals who swim frequently. If your dog is more of a beach bunny this might not be the best option!

Although brands such as Advocate, Advantage and Frontline [Affiliate Links] are fantastic products, it is important to keep in mind there is a range of cheap knock-off products. Buy only reputable brands and remember – if it looks too good (and too cheap!) to be true, it probably is.

Click here for a selection of Flea and/or Tick treatments available online now!

Collar

Dog Flea collarWhen many people think of flea collars they may think of the old-fashioned, notoriously ineffective flea collars.

Technology has come along by leaps and bounds and there are now fantastic collars available that are incredibly effective for long-term flea control.

Seresto and Preventic [Affiliate Links] have released long-lasting, effective flea collars that can kill and repel ticks. This is a fantastic option if your dog is wiggly and difficult to apply topical treatments to or if your puppy enjoys frequent swims.

Drawbacks using flea collars for dogs are

  • the rate at which your puppy/dog grows which might mean needing to replace the collar earlier than expected
  • the risk of your puppy/dog activating the safety release and losing the collar

Click here for a selection of Flea Collars for Dogs that are available online now!

Oral Flea Treatment

Oral flea treatmentsOral flea treatments [Affiliate Link] are one of the quickest and most effective forms of treatment. As this treatment enters your dog’s body and bloodstream, many owners may be concerned about the implications for their dog’s health. But rest assured – brands like Comfortis are extensively tested by veterinary professionals and have met numerous health and safety standards.

Comfortis is highly recommended due to its ability to kill 100% of fleas within the first 4 hours of administration. This makes oral flea treatment the top recommendation for animals suffering from flea allergy dermatitis or severe infestations.

The obvious drawback for oral flea treatments is that they may require some trickery to get your dog to swallow them! Tricks such as a pill hidden in cheese, or coated in peanut butter are often used! These treatments may also cause nausea if taken on an empty stomach.

Click here to see what Oral Flea Treatments for Dogs are available online

Fighting a Flea Infestation

The thought of it might make your skin crawl…

Fighting a Flea Infestation

Often, only 10% of the flea population is on your dog, the rest are in the environment. As fleas can stay in their cocoon phase for up to 3 months once an infestation occurs it can take months to rid yourself of the nibbling visitors!

In order to rid your dog, and home from these little pests, the best things to do are

  • Regularly vacuum your carpet. This not only picks up already hatched fleas but the vibrations cause adult fleas to emerge from cocoons hiding in the carpet.
  • Hot wash your dog’s bedding regularly
  • Ensure you stick to the recommended flea treatment schedule
  • Consider using a safe insecticide – these can be bought from your local veterinarian.

When choosing the best flea treatment for your dog to make sure to choose a good quality, safe product. There is a range of options out there and with regular treatment, your dog can stay itch free!

To see what flea treatments for dogs are available online
please click here: Flea and/or Tick treatments

The Safest Flea Treatment For Puppies 8 weeks Old And Younger

We all have our pet’s best interest at heart, so it’s no wonder I am often asked my opinion on the safest flea treatment for puppies 8 weeks old and younger.

Flea infestations are far more than just annoying for your puppy. Not only can fleas cause itching, hair loss and skin infections, but they can also cause dangerous blood loss.

Although some people may feel wary when treating their puppies, rest assured:

Quality products are extensively tested for their safety with your puppy’s well-being in mind.

Choosing good quality, effective flea products is the key to providing the safest flea treatment for puppies 8 weeks old and even younger.

The Dangers of Fleas

I’ll never forget the time a client walked into the clinic in tears holding a collapsed puppy they had found

He was a wee thing and was so weak he could barely muster a tail wag. We soon discovered he was absolutely covered in fleas and had lost so much blood he was dangerously anemic.

We raced him into the hospital and began treatment. Luckily for the puppy, we were able to give him a blood transfusion from our generous clinic dog. Within minutes of the transfusion beginning he started to change, his tail wagged harder, he became bright and alert. With a bit of rest, flea treatment and lots of snuggles overnight, he was the bouncy puppy he should have been!

Although his story ended happily, his case was a sobering reminder of just how dangerous flea infestations can be for young animals.

Luckily, there are a range of high quality, safe flea products that you can use on your young puppy. Choose the safest flea treatment for puppies and you and your puppy can both rest easy and itch free!

Safest Flea Treatment for Puppies 8 weeks Old And Younger

Frontline

Frontline spray is simple to apply and safe product that you can use for puppies as young as 2 days old. I’ve found this product to be super easy to use and highly effective, in fact, this is what I used regularly for my bottle fed puppies and kittens.

From 8 weeks old, once your puppy is out of the squishy, super new stage, you can begin using Frontline topical treatment.

Capstar

Capstar is a pill that is given orally and enters the bloodstream of your puppy. This treatment can be used for your puppy as young as 4 weeks old and weighing as little as 2 pounds. Capstar is a highly effective, quick acting treatment and can be readministered if reinfestation occurs.

Advantage

Advantage was one of the most popular flea treatments used by my clients and is known worldwide for its safety and efficacy. This is a simple, spot on treatment and easy to apply! Advantage can also be used for your dog at any age, making this a perfect choice from puppyhood right through to their golden years.

Other Ways to Show Fleas They’re Not Welcome!

To give your puppy the gold standard in flea control I recommend you take a multifaceted approach.

Treat your puppy regularly with any of the above products and to further deter any pesky visitors:

  • Regularly wash your puppy’s bedding and vacuum rugs and carpet
  • Use a gentle flea shampoo that contains ingredients like neem extract or citronella to naturally deter fleas: something like Wondercide Natural Flea & Tick Shampoo Bar for Dogs [Affiliate Link]
  • Put together a natural and cheap water spray. Mix 4 drops of rosemary oil with 1 cup of water and pour into a spray bottle. Give your puppy a quick spray daily to ward off insects.
  • Comb your puppy daily with a fine-toothed flea comb.

Fleas are pesky visitors and can do more damage than just an itchy bite or two. From poor coat condition to skin infections, flea infestations aren’t fun, or healthy for anyone.

So, for optimal health for your puppy, make sure to provide them with the very best, and safest flea treatment – they deserve it!

Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness

Or so ‘they’ say! And as God is Dog spelled backward, I thought I could throw that line in there.

As mentioned above,  only 10% of the flea population is on your dog, the rest are in the environment.  Therefore, the best way to rid your home of fleas is a multi-step process. This would involve the use of one of the flea treatment options mentioned above and the regular cleaning of your dogs living quarters and your home.

There are a number of chemical-based cleaning products – which probably contain unknown toxic substances – that you can use. Or, you may want to try something that is a little more organic and something that you can make yourself.

I find that with the regular surface cleaning of my dog’s kennel and his favorite spots around the house that we/he hardly ever have fleas. I air out his bedding every week and wash the covers at least every month – or more if he’s been to the river, or it been raining a lot.

Invest In A Good Cat and Dog Vacuum Cleaner

Miele vacuum cleaner
Before and after photos of our cats’ bean bag using our new Miele vacuum cleaner

For the past twenty years, I thought that I had a very good vacuum cleaner. It had a big motor and had plenty of suction and I always thought it did a very good job of cleaning up pet fur. That was until it died a few months back. Not surprising after twenty years. So I went looking for a replacement.

Now with two cats and a dog we didn’t want to be without a vacuum cleaner for more than a few days. My criteria, based on the previous vacuum cleaner, was the biggest motor that I could get. However, it would seem that technology has changed in twenty years and that Big is not necessarily better when it comes to vacuum cleaners.

Until my old vacuum cleaner died I did not know that there were vacuum cleaners specifically for pets. Well not literally vacuum cleaners for pets, but you know what I mean.

At first, I was a little skeptical and thought that this was just a sales gimmick – the same as another model just rebranded as a Cat and Dog Vacuum Cleaner. However, the saleswoman convinced me to give it a try and if I wasn’t happy I could take it back and swap it for any other model I wanted.

What she sold me was a Miele Complete C3 Brilliant Canister Vacuum Cleaner  [Affiliate Link]. It has not one but three heads, a standard one for ordinary/daily household cleaning, one specifically for removing the cat and dog fur from the carpet and furniture and a Mini Handheld Turbobrush.

It is friggin awesome. The photo above is of our cats’ bean bag. Cat fur is notoriously difficult to remove from this type of fabric, trust me, I’d tried for years.  But after about twenty minutes with the Handheld Turbo head, it was all but done.

Click here to see a range of Meile Vacuum Cleaners [Affiliate Link], because if you have a Cat and/or a Dog you need one of these Vacuum Cleaners!

Natural Citrus Enzymatic Cleaner

Unlike many commercial cleaners which are harsh, pungent and can even be toxic, this cleaner is perfectly safe around pets. Plus, it will keep things smelling citrus-y fresh!
Use this cleaner on your floors, to wipe up accidents and to clean out your dog’s crate.

Ingredients 

  • 80g of soft brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of the peel of citrus fruit – I use lemons or orange
  • 1 liter of distilled water

Directions

In a large, glass container add sugar and fruit peels
Pour over water
Tighten lid and shake until sugar has dissolved.
Loosen lid to halfway to prevent gas build up
Leave for 3 months
Strain peel using a sieve or cheesecloth
Store in a spray bottle and use to clean anything from blood to food, or potty accidents!

Vinegar Baking Soda Spray

This is a good old favorite, baking soda, and vinegar. It can be used for everything from whitening clothes, to cleaning the toilet! And in my experience, this mixture is unparalleled when it comes to removing doggie odors and smells. I use it on all the bedding as well as for wiping down the walls and floor of the kennels. It is also very good for getting smells of the carpet.

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups of warm water
  • 2 cups of white vinegar
  • 4 heaped tablespoons of baking soda
    I spray bottle

Directions
Combine ingredients in a large bowl, taking care to add baking soda slowly to prevent overflow. Pour into a spray bottle and apply to stains or spills.

Tip: When using this spray for puppy potty accidents make sure to absorb as much liquid as possible first. I use a paper towel to soak up any urine and follow with a generous dusting of baking soda. I leave this for 10-15 minutes and then vacuum, followed by a spritz of this spray. For stubborn odors leave for 5 -10 minutes before blotting away with a cloth.

So there you have it, how to get rid of dog smells with no harsh cleaners or chemicals!

Summary:

So there we have it, the best flea treatment for dogs is not one thing, but a combination of things. Choosing the right flea treatment for your type of dog, regular cleaning and good hygiene habits.

Full disclosure – Affiliate Links: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need really them.

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