Best Flea Medicines for Dogs

Fleas on Dogs

Flea medicine treatment might be a necessary option for dogs that suffer from severe flea infestation issues. While there are flea medicines available over-the-counter, you should always consult with the vet first before you decide to give any flea medicine to your dog. In this article, we take a closer look at the popular flea medicine options you can discuss with the vet.

What is Dog Flea Medicine?

First, it’s important to understand what flea medicine is and what role it plays when it comes to getting rid of fleas from your poor dog. Most flea medication for dogs comes in the form of oral or topical treatment. The purpose of the medicine is to quickly eliminate any fleas that try to feed on your pet. Here’s an explanation on the differences between topical and oral treatment.

Oral Treatment

Oral treatments usually come in the form of a chew-able tablet or pill. The medicine will serve one if not all of the following functions: kill adult fleas, kill flea larvae, or prevent fleas from laying eggs. This is where the vet’s role is important as your dog may need medicine that only serves one of these purposes. You don’t want to use a flea medicine that would ultimately have no impact on your dog’s flea situation. For example, a dog suffering from flea allergy dermatitis would get little benefit from taking a preventative pill.

Common active ingredients included in oral treatments are Lufenuron, Spinosad, and Nitenpyram. Lufenuron is more of a preventive medicine which kills flea larvae, while Spinosad is a medicine that can kill fleas within a few hours by affecting their nervous system. Nitenpyram is another fast-acting medicine that will kill fleas by disrupting the nervous system.

Topical Treatment

Topical treatments can be applied on your dog at a certain cadence (typically once a month or every few months). They are applied on areas where your dog’s face won’t be able to reach, such as the area between your dog’s shoulder blades. The amount of topical flea treatment you apply on the dog will depend on a number of factors such as the product and the size or breed of your dog.

Topical flea treatments may include active ingredients such as Fipronil, Imidacloprid, and Pyrethroids. These active ingredients work in a similar way by disrupting the flea’s nervous system. While the medicine itself is highly-effective, there’s an element of risk in preventing your dog from accidentally licking the medication off his body.

Best Flea Medicines for Dogs

So which option is right for your pooch? Again, we strongly suggest you discuss with your vet first before you purchase and use any flea medication on your own. You can at least do some further research before you consult with the vet. Here are some popular options among dog owners.

Bayer K9 Advantix II

K9 Advantix II is a topical treatment that has both a killing and repelling effect on fleas. Each application may last up to a month with the effects typically starting within a few hours of application. The active ingredients of this flea medicine are Imidacloprid, Permethrin, and Pyriproxyfen. This particular medicine is only suited for dogs of a certain age and weight (older than seven weeks and heavier than four pounds). Vet consultation is strongly recommended if you need to apply flea medication on a senior dog, pregnant dog, or a dog already on other medication.

Advecta II Flea Topical Treatment

Advecta II is another topical flea treatment that uses Imidacloprid and Pyriproxyfen as the active ingredients. As we already explained earlier, these active ingredients can help kill fleas by overstimulating the insect’s nervous system.

This flea treatment comes in three packages which you will need to select based on your dog’ weight (3 to 10 lbs, 11 – 20 lbs, or over 55 lbs). Make sure you select the right one if you decide to go with this product. This medicine may also help treat other pests like ticks and lice.

Vet’s Best Flea Spray

If you are looking for a non-toxic option then consider the Vet’s Best flea home spray, which uses essential oil like peppermint as the active ingredient. This product can be applied onto your dog in two ways. It can either be sprayed directly onto your dog’s coat or it can be gently massaged into the dog’s coat with your hands. We suggest going with the massaging option to prevent the spray from accidentally getting on your dog’s face.

Sam at Organic Lesson

is the Founder of Organic Lesson. He started this site to share tips on using natural remedies at home when such options are available.