The best flea treatment for dogs can actually depend on where you live. Some areas of the States have climates that allow fleas and ticks to thrive and as such it is more of a challenge to get rid them. Other areas have fleas that have developed immunity to certain remedies.
Prevention really is better than cure and there are some things you can do to prevent fleas and ticks attacking your dog and your home. A monthly repellent treatment is the first line of defense particularly in spring when fleas start to hatch. There are plenty of repellents on the market and the topical drop treatments are generally considered the best flea treatment for dogs. Brands such as Advantage, Frontline and Advantix are all well regarded and can be used on dogs not only to prevent fleas and other parasites, but to kill existing fleas in any stage from egg, larvae or fully grown flea.
There are also equivalent generic versions of topical treatments, however they don’t have the same technology as better known brands and so might not be as effective.
Topical drop flea treatments are popular as they are easy to use and usually perfectly safe for the pet. There are also flea sprays and collars, but they also contain strong chemicals and do not always kill off the fleas or attack them at all stages.
There may be some side effects to these topical treatments such as oil fur, drooling or diarrhea. These symptoms should clear up, however if they dont you should seek the advice of a vet. More serious side effects can be hyperactivity and distress, but they are very rare.
Even the best flea control for dogs is of limited use if your dog has brought fleas into the house. Cleaning the homes carpets and soft furnishings and treating pet bedding with a flea spray or powder is the only way to completely get rid of the problem. You can also use a flea collar cut into pieces and put into your vacuum bag to makes sure all eggs and larvae are killed.
Using a Flea Collar on Your Pet
Some pet owners prefer to us a flea collar over topical parasite control such as drop treatments because they feel they are safer. However this is not necessarily the case. Flea collars work out cheaper than many flea and parasite treatments but it is important to consider some of the risks and side effects.
Some owners prefer a flea collar over other treatments, because they assume that topical treatments that are applied to the back of the neck contain strong chemicals. While this may be true, collars also carry chemicals. The chemicals on a flea collar act mainly as a deterrent. A flea has 3 stages, an egg stage, a larvae stage and a mature stage. A collar does not have an impact on all stages and will only kill grown fleas. When choosing a flea collar, choose one that has an easy release mechanism because collars can get caught on branches.
With agile and adventurous pets such as cats, these types of collar can create a new set of potential hazards. A flea collar has additional side effects which need to be taken into account. Some pets develop irritation around the neck area which can lead to permanent hair loss over time. Many collars contain chemical called organophosphates which some pets such as cats may have a reaction to. Animals who react adversely can drool, experience weakness and have trouble breathing, in extreme cases they can suffer seizures.
Some collars may contain permethrin, which is potentially fatal to cats and can also affect dogs. It must be noted that permethrin is also used in other flea treatments as well.
If you decide to use a flea collar with your pet, make sure you choose carefully. Trim the collar once they are fitted to the pet so that the animal does not chew it and make sure the animal does not already have fleas as the collar will have little effect. Collars can also be left in pet bedding to deter fleas breeding in the home or sniped into pieces and placed in a vacuum bag to kill fleas living in carpets and upholstery.