Fleas and ticks are serious problem. Nobody wants the possibility of lyme disease running rampant in their home. They’re also getting harder to get rid of. Fleas and ticks in some areas are becoming resistant to certain forms of flea treatments and insecticides making them much more difficult to kill. In today’s article we’re going to go over the best OTC flea treatment for dogs. Everything in this article is available from stores or from Amazon, no trip to the vet needed!
Best OTC Flea Treatment For Dogs
Seresto Flea Collars For Dogs
Seresto is one of the best OTC flea treatments for dogs, because it’s one of the only flea collars that actually kills fleas instead of just repelling them! It also will help control the reproductive cycle of the fleas which a lot of products don’t do. Many of them only kill the adult fleas. This means it can take months and months for you to actually break the reproductive cycle and get rid of them. This is not the case for Seresto dog collars, and that’s why they’re first on the list. If your dog is okay with wearing collars this is the easiest to apply method for fighting fleas, ticks and getting rid of their eggs.
The only bad thing about flea collars is that some pets are sensitive to them. This is entirely dependent on the individual dog. Most dogs are just fine, but some may develop a skin irritation that can become raw under the collar due to having it in contact with their skin. You should always monitor your animal carefully for several weeks after giving them a new medication. If you notice any strange marks under their collar, redness or raw looking skin you should remove the collar immediately, and find a different solution as your doggy is sensitive to this particular product. This is my top pick for flea treatments. It’s the longest lasting, it’s the easiest to apply, and it’s the fullest protection available.
Pros: Kills fleas, ticks, and the eggs. Longest lasting option. Great full time protection.
Cons: Some dogs have problems with collars, and they can develop skin irritations.
Seresto Collar Reviews From Amazon Customers
I absolutely LOVE this collar. We recently moved to a new home in a woodsy-area so fleas and ticks became a huge problem. I tried everything shampoos, drops, sprays, and natural remedies. Within 2 days of putting on the collar all fleas and ticks were gone! If you’re struggling with fleas, then I highly suggest this collar. – Mary
Bought 2 of these for my large breed dogs. (Golden and German Shepard) They wore for all 8 months, swam all summer and I did not find (1) tic on them. We live in New England and that alone is very difficult.
(My dad took them hiking and came back with tics himself. Wish they had a human version haha)
Amazing product, referred to all my friends who also have had great luck with their large breed dogs as well! This is the best OTC flea treatment for dogs. –Adrienne
Novartis Capstar Flea Treatment Tablets
I used these previously for a cat, and they work very well if you understand the product. If you have an animal who has suddenly acquired a lot of unsavory new passengers in the form of fleas this is a good product. You should keep in mind however that this product is only meant to kill the fleas on your pet for a day or two. After that they can become re-infested! You will need to rid your house of any eggs or stray fleas by use of home pesticides or you’ll need to use a topical treatment.
This product is good for kick starting your flea removal process if you have a lot of them, because it works very quickly. If this is the only product you’re using it will take a very long time to get rid of the fleas. If your pet is sensitive to collars or topical treatments this could be a good option for them. However, you’ll also need to make sure to thoroughly spray everything in your house to kill any existing eggs or the new fleas will just jump back on your dog in a day or two. If you’re fighting an infestation or you have acquired a rescue animal that has a really bad flea problem this product will kill all of their fleas immediately. After that I’d get a high quality home treatment like Ortho home defense to spray around any areas in the house where fleas may have jumped off. It’s typically a good idea to go around all of the walls and doors, and to hit any carpeted areas thoroughly. This will help kill off any escapees that may have laid eggs in your rug. Don’t let them infest your animal again! Many people think fleas only hide out on their pets, but that’s not true. They could be almost anywhere.
Pros: The fastest way to get rid of a lot of adult fleas. May be good for dogs with sensitive skin.
Cons: Only lasts a day or two so you’ll need to kill any flea eggs in the house too.
Amazon Capstar Customer Review
First let me state that this is NOT a cure-all or a preventative treatment!! It simply kills ADULT fleas that are ON the cat for a few hours/up to a day. My cat was suddenly infested and I was desperate!! I just gave the pill to my cat, and 20 mins later she was howling and jumping all over the place, and I see that there are already fleas on top of her fur and just falling off! I found her in the bathtub less than an hour later, frantically grooming herself, surrounded by dead fleas!
I couldn’t believe it. People who say it doesn’t work are crazy! Lol. It works, but if you have fleas OFF your pet (outside, or carpet, or other untreated pets)….they will jump back on the next day!! So this must be used as part of a regimen. I took one star off because it’s so dang expensive, over $4/pill! P.S. She calmed down after about an hour and a half. – Nancy
K 9 Advantix II Topical Flea Treatment
k9 Advantix is a popular topical flea treatment, and it’s a good choice if this is the route you want to go. A treatment such as this is typically administered to the back of the dog’s neck. When applying this medication it’s important that a good deal of it makes contact with the skin so it can be absorbed. This can be difficult for dogs with thick coats. The good thing about this type of treatment is that it actively kills fleas and ticks for months. You may still see fleas for several weeks after application. When they emerge from their eggs the fleas will be killed before they have a chance to lay more eggs effectively ending their life cycle. This may take a while, but it definitely works. Some dogs are sensitive to this type of treatment.
If you notice any type of raw skin, redness or sores appearing on your dogs neck cease using this type of medication immediately. You might need to see your vet to find something that your dog is not allergic to. Boxes are typically 4-6 month supply which is not as long as the Seresto collar which lasts 8 months, but a good option if your dog can’t wear collars. While in the past I was a big fan of topical treatments it seems that the effectiveness has lessened. It is possible for fleas to build up an immunity to certain methods used to dispose of them, and this could very well be the case. If you feel like your flea medication is not working you might need to swap to something else. It’s also a little more difficult to apply this solution, because if it gets on their fur and not their skin it won’t work. While this seems like an easy task it can actually be pretty difficult if your dog is squirming around or if they have really thick fur. You’ll also need to make sure to put it in a spot where they can’t lick it off! If they ingest a topical treatment it can make them very ill. If you have multiple dogs make sure to separate them until it is dried or they may lick it off each other no matter where you apply it.
Pros: Great continuous protection from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.
Cons: Greasy, might not agree with some pups, messy application. Doesn’t last as long as Seresto.
We’ve used Bayer Advantix II on our dog for 2 years now and we’ve never had a flea issue. There actually is a little dog in our neighborhood who frequently wanders into our yard and, bless his heart, he was just riddled with fleas. My dog would play with him on a weekly basis, and we never had any transferring of fleas to our dog. We ultimately ended up treating the other dog with flea drops as well because he was just so miserable.
When I say he was infested, I mean you could literally see them crawling on him and jumping, and the little guy was just biting and scratching constantly. They were even on his little face. It was awful. I treated him with this Bayer Advantix II when he was hanging around our house one night and when he wandered into our yard the very next day, about 13 hours later to be exact, the fleas were all dead!
I would say maybe a week or two after that, we noticed he had stopped scratching completely. So his bites must’ve all healed, and regular flea checks showed he was completely pest free! Cheaper brands (Hartz, for example) are a complete waste of money. They’re not effective. And the prescription brands (such as Comfortis and Trifexis) are great, totally effective, and have the added benefit of heart worm prevention, but if your budget doesn’t allow for that, I would urge you to consider Advantix II.
It’s gentle, my dog has never had any ill side effects, and it’s super effective. There’s no smell, it dries/soaks into your dog’s coat within a few hours, and it lasts an entire month. I mark down (using provided stickers) the dates we treat our dog with Advantix, and there have been plenty of times where I was a week or two late (whoopsie!), but we’ve still never had any issues of my dog picking up fleas. Anyway, I highly recommend. It’s a great product. The best OTC flea treatment for dogs. – Chrissy
Well, that’s it for our best otc flea treatment for dogs reviews! While I think we’ve answered “what’s the best flea treatment for dogs” very well please keep in mind that there is no “one” best treatment. All of these are solid solutions to your flea problem as long as you understand the products. You should also keep in mind that your dog is an individual. What’s best for your neighbor’s dog might not be the best for your dog! Some dogs may be sensitive to certain treatments, and you should monitor them carefully before giving them any type of medication. If you notice a negative reaction like redness or sores you should stop using the product immediately and consult your vet about an alternative. It’s possible for pups to be allergic to basically anything and flea medicine is no exception. Humans don’t often think about these things when it comes to dogs, but it’s true! Always be sure to look for changes in your dog’s appearance or behavior so if a problem pops up you’ll know immediately. If your dog reacts poorly to a medication you should make notes of his symptoms. You can then provide these, a long with the product packaging to your vet. They may be able to recommend another product that will work better if the over the counter flea treatments are causing your dog grief.