If you are a dog owner, chances are that you have had to deal with fleas at some point or another. Naturally, you want what is best for your pet and would like to choose only the safest flea products for dogs available in the market.
In this guide, I will show you a few of the best flea products for dogs along with a comparative study of their ingredients. I will discuss the ingredients to use sparingly as well as the ones to avoid completely.
Flea products for dogs available today
Most modern flea products for dogs contain toxic elements that can harm not only the pet but also the humans around it. Many flea products are known to contain two groups of harmful chemicals which have now been proven to cause nervous disorders in humans. These groups are organophosphates and carbamates. Even if you use such flea products for dogs as directed by the vet (or as per the instructions given on the product label) these toxins can still seep into the environment and cause a great deal of harm.
So let us first discuss the flea products to avoid completely:
The flea products for dogs to avoid
Never buy flea control products containing the following active ingredients:
- Permethrin-Especially avoid these when you have cats in the house
- TCVP or Tetrachlorvinphos
The flea products for dogs to use sparingly
Avoid the following chemicals around pregnant women, children and on pregnant or lactating bitches:
- Pyrethrin (very toxic to cats)
Generally safe flea products for dogs (Use when chemical control is absolutely necessary)
Natural ways of flea control
Some of the best flea products for dogs contain absolutely no chemicals. These consist of flea combs (which can be used when grooming the pet). It is also important to vacuum the house thoroughly and dispose the vacuum bags outdoors to prevent recurrence of fleas. Bathing the pet frequently and keeping its bedding area clean are a few other steps you can take to ensure eliminating fleas in a non-toxic manner. Outdoor flea control is also necessary and you can learn safer and natural options by calling expert flea control professionals in your city.
It is important to make informed decisions when considering chemical flea products for dogs. Learn as much as you can about the product and make a note of the chemical names in it. Find out from your vet if the active ingredients in it are safe for pets as well as humans.
Herbal flea products for dogs
Often pet owners believe they are making a wise choice for their furry friends by opting for herbal flea products for dogs. However, not all essential oils are safe to be used around pets. In general, you can safely use following essential oils around dogs and cats: thyme, rosemary, cedarwood, lemongrass and peppermint.
On the other hand, essential oils like Citrus, cinnamon, clove oil, tea tree oil, lavender and Eucalyptus must be used sparingly as these can cause allergic reactions in humans (and have also reportedly caused severe reactions in dogs). The herbal flea products for dogs containing pennyroyal oil must be avoided at all costs since it has caused seizure, coma and even death in pets.
Comparing the best flea products for dogs
Capstar® – This is an oral flea product. Many vets are known to use it on their own pets and it is known to kill adult fleas very quickly and efficiently. However, it is not a good choice for dog owners looking for long term flea control.
Frontline Plus® – Topically applied, this product has shown very good results and can last up to 30 days. Bathing or swimming however reduces the efficacy of the product. It kills all stages of fleas including eggs, larvae and adults.
Promeris® – This is an excellent control for existing fleas on dogs and can be used for preventing re-infestations.
Comfortis® – This contains spinosad which is recommended as safe chemical for flea control in dogs. Its effectiveness lasts for up to 30 days. The main disadvantage of this brand is that, to be effective, the flea has to actually bite the pet first.
Advantage®/K9 Advantix®/Advantage Multi® – The active ingredient in all these flea products for dogs is Imidacloprid. This ingredient should be used sparingly. (K9 Advantix must not be used around cats as it also has permethrin). Adult fleas can be taken care of using these products.
Revolution® – This is a great product for killing adult fleas and eggs and is effective for about one month.
These are some of the best flea products for dogs which can be used safely around pets and humans. In case of extreme infestations, make sure to call a professional exterminator as this might sometimes be your best option to get rid of fleas indoors and outdoors.