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Best Dog Flea Treatment for 2020

Fleas are irritating and difficult to remove once you have an infestation. You can’t seem to be punishing your dog for having them, but at the same time, stopping their spread is vital.

Even better than getting rid of them is preventing them in the first place. Flea treatments can help to kill existing infestations and protect your pooch from further distress and itching and will mean you can also start to enjoy your home again.

These are the best topical and tablet dog flea treatments available on the market which are safe to use for all breeds and sizes of dogs.

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    itch Flea Treatment
    • Kills ticks and lice too
    • Free delivery
    • Easy to apply a pipette
    Check Price
    Frontline Plus with Drontal Worming Treatment
    • Triple protection
    • Monthly delivery
    Check Price
    Capstar Tablet
    • Can be for larger dogs
    • Quick to work
    Check Price

    Top 10 Best Flea Spot-Ons and Tablets For Dogs Reviewed

    1.
    itch Flea Treatment

    You wrote it on the calendar. You set a reminder on your phone. You cleared your evening diary for the big event. Yet you still missed the big day – the day when Fido’s next spot-on flea treatment had to be administered.

    So getting the treatment through your door every month as a reminder is a pretty genius idea in our mind. The monthly application means there are no awkward time frames to have to work out, and you always have it on time.

    The formula has been made by experts and is able to kill fleas at every life stage, including the 95% which are in your home but as eggs and larvae. You simply tell Itch all about your dog, such as size and lifestyle, and you get a personalised monthly pack. You can also pick add-ons, such as worming treatment or

    It will work out as cheaper than going through your vets and is delivered straight to your door so there is no need for last-minute pet shop visits. Protecting your pet has never been easier.

    Features

    • Kills ticks and lice too
    • Free delivery
    • Easy to apply a pipette

    Specifications

    • Type: Topical
    • Amount: 1
    • Application Duration: Monthly Application

    2.
    Frontline Plus with Drontal Worming Treatment

    A monthly subscription service which will ensure you remember to apply the treatment, and it works out at a great price for protecting against fleas, ticks and worms.

    You can choose their weight between 2kg and 35kg,

    Frontline Plus kills the fleas which are on your pet within 24 hours, as well as stopping eggs from hatching and infecting your house. Lice and ticks are gone within 48 hours, and bathing up to once per month doesn’t affect the efficiency of the treatment.

    Worms are often not completely clear on your pet, so it is good to have that peace of mind and stop them before they do start to develop intestinal worms.

    Features

    • Triple protection
    • Monthly delivery

    Specifications

    • Type: Topical
    • Amount: 1
    • Application Duration: Monthly

    3.
    Advantage Spot-On Solution for Dogs

    Amongst some of the most effective treatment options on the market,  Advantage can be used both as treatment and prevention and is sure to stop your home being overcome too.

    Biting lice on the dogs are also combatted, and flea larvae in the home are killed wherever they go, so if they have a nap on the sofa when you nop to the shops, you won’t be scratching while watching Coronation Street.

    Fleas are killed within one day of treatment application, and options are available for dogs between 4 and 25kg+ (which works up to 40kg).

    You get four pipettes in a packet, and these should be applied every four weeks, so one purchase will last around four months/a third of the year. A very cost-effective solution throughout the year and you have plenty of time before you need to remember to buy the next set.

    Features

    • Quick to work
    • Should last four months

    Specifications

    • Type: Topical
    • Amount: 4
    • Application Duration: Four Weeks

    4.
    Capstar Tablet

    Tablets are good for quickly tackling severe flea issues before you move on to the preventative measures. These tablets are great as they’re a one-size-fits-all solution so you don’t have to buy the one which suits your pooch.

    To be effective, the dosage is 1 mg/kg, so dogs between 11 and 57kg need one Capstar 57mg tablet and those over 57kg will need two. The frequency of the treatment will depend on how bad the infestation is, so can be given daily until they are cleared, or every other day.

    Preventative spot-ons should be used once the infestation is gone, but if they do reappear, the tablets can be started again so this one packet of six tablets should see you through the issue.

    Features

    • Can be for larger dogs
    • Quick to work

    Specifications

    • Type: Tablet
    • Amount: 6
    • Application Duration: Daily/Depending on problem

    5.
    Johnsons Veterinary Products 4Fleas Tablets

    Good for puppies and smaller dogs over the age of four weeks old, these tablets are able to start working within just 15 minutes, so you can tackle the issue ASAP.

    The benefit of a tablet is that it leaves no residue on their skin, and can also be easier to give to some pets if yours is a bit excitable. It is also safe to use in conjunction with other flea treatments though, so you can use the tablets to clear cases of fleas immediately and then the spot-on to prevent further infestations.

    They’re a great price to say you get six tablets, which can be used daily until the problem is cleared. 95% efficacy should be seen within six hours and 100% after 24 hours, so the likelihood is that it will be a one-off treatment as long as you use spot-on to prevent them in the long term.

    Features

    • Super fast to get to work
    • Doesn't affect skin

    Specifications

    • Type: Tablet
    • Amount: 6
    • Application Duration: Daily

    6.
    Frontline Spot On Flea and Tick Treatment for Small Dog

    For small dogs 2-10kg and from the age of 8 weeks, this treatment can kill fleas within 24 hours and ticks within 48.

    It is veterinary approved and is so good that it was once prescription-only. It can be used in pregnancy and on nursing bitches, which again reduces the chance of any offspring becoming infected. Bathing and shampooing don’t affect the efficiency of the product as long as this doesn’t occur more than once per month.

    Features

    • Good price
    • Will last for half the year

    Specifications

    • Type: Topical
    • Amount: 6
    • Application Duration: Monthly

    7.
    Frontline Spot On Flea and Tick Treatment for XL Dog

    Extra-large dogs often need two regular pipettes applied, which not only works out as more expensive vs if you owned a small dog, but it can be a pain for them to stand still long enough for you to also part the fur at their tail.

    This works just the same as the other Frontline products, killing fleas in 24 hours and ticks in 48 hours, except it will do this on dogs between 40 and 60kg. It will even work on dogs over 60kg, except you need two pipettes.

    You can buy three or six pipettes, but the bigger packet works out as better value and saves you that bit more bother in the long run.

    Features

    • Easier for big dogs
    • One application

    Specifications

    • Type: Topical
    • Amount: 6
    • Application Duration: Monthly

    8.
    Bob Martin Clear Flea & Tick Fipronil Spot On

    A product which shows that despite our better nature, budget doesn’t always have to mean bad.

    Able to buy for small, medium or large dogs, and in a variety of pack sizes, this spot-on contains fipronil, which is the same active ingredient which is in Frontline.

    It is clinically proven to have fully worked within 48 hours and works for four weeks before another application is due. A few users have said that it didn’t work to tackle existing flea infestations, but that it seems to really do the job when preventing further issues, so it is definitely a great pick if you’re looking for something long-term to apply but don’t want to spend over the odds for it.

    Features

    • Better price than some rivals

    Specifications

    • Type: Topical
    • Amount: 1 or 3 tubes
    • Application Duration: Monthly

    9.
    Beaphar Fiprotec Spot On

    Different strengths are available for small, medium, large and extra-large dogs, making this Beaphar one of the best picks for choice. Great if you have a few dogs in your home of all different sizes and want to give them the same product.

    It kills both fleas and ticks, and many users report that while other brands irritated their dog’s skin, this one left it clear, so it seems a lot more gentle for any dogs with sensitivities.

    It is a really great price as well, so great if you want something which acts as a preventative measure but you don’t want to spend too much until you know it gives good results.

    Features

    • Causes no irritation
    • Good price

    Specifications

    • Type: Topical
    • Amount: 6
    • Application Duration: Monthly

    10.
    FleaScreen Combo

    A veterinary strength treatment which kills adult fleas and lice and stops the development of flea eggs and larvae to prevent future infestations in the home.

    It is easily applied between shoulder blades and lasts for up to four weeks so you can still socialise your dog while keeping infestations in the house and on soft furnishings at bay.

    This option is for small dogs between 2kg to 10kg, but options for larger dogs are also available.

    Features

    • Vet-strength
    • Easy to open and apply

    Specifications

    • Type: Topical
    • Amount: 3
    • Application Duration: Monthly

    Buying Guide

    Types Of Flea Treatment

    Above, we have talked about the topical and oral treatments to combat fleas and prevent fleas. But there are a few ways in which you can treat fleas directly on your dog:

    Topical/Spot-On

    These are pipettes filled with liquid which is applied topically to the skin and then spreads over their skin over a few hours. It is usually the best option for preventative treatment, so if you have cured a case of fleas and don’t want them to reappear, or want to start straight away from a young age

    Tablets

    These are orally given and are the best option if you have a current infestation and need to cure this really quickly before starting to apply the topical treatment. They get to work in a matter of minutes or hours, so the fleas on your dog should be dead within 24 hours. Most can be given daily until the issue is resolved. Some can be used alongside the topical pipettes but check before you apply a spot-on

    Collars

    Flea collars were once popular, especially on cats as opposed to dogs. But their effectiveness was limited with most only working to stop fleas going on their head, and then they would need replacing after a short period which was wasteful. Some cheaper options also caused skin irritation. Many UK vets now don’t recommend them in most cases, but one or two vet-approved brands do exist right now, the best of which we have talked about on our Best Dog Collar page

    Shampoo

    These are great for getting fleas off your dog’s fur, but they can’t remove every single trace or flea and aren’t as good as tablets or spot-ons – think about all of those difficult-to-reach places such as underarms, and even right down near the skin. We would say they are best used when you believe a tablet has worked, and you want to bathe your pet and get rid of all traces of fleas before applying the topical preventative spot-on. Shampoo still contains active flea-fighting ingredients which can get rid of any which are still alive. Many people also use flea shampoos when bathing their pet as a regular shampoo, just to be on the safe side. Check how often you can do this if you also use spot-on

    Powders and Herbal Treatment

    Powders are applied to your dog’s coat directly. They are only active for a few days, only kill adult fleas (so the larvae live on), and therefore aren’t long-term effective. Herbal and natural treatments have not been tested by vets so their results aren’t guaranteed, and many contain potentially hazardous ingredients such as tea tree oil. For this reason, we don’t recommend either

    Dog Weight

    The level of medication your dog needs for fleas is based on their weight.

    Most dogs over 2kg can use flea treatment, and thereafter, certain strengths have certain weight limits. Always buy the appropriate level for your dog, and if your pet is on the edge of a grouping, go one up.

    Most treatments work on dogs up to 40kg, so if yours is over this, you will need to either buy an extra-strong medication for extra large dogs or double up on a large dog pipette/tablet according to usage instructions.

    Ticks

    Flea treatments can now also prevent ticks, which is vital if your dog goes outside often.

    But they are better at preventing than tackling, so if your dog does have ticks, always ask for advice from your vet about tackling this issue separately.

    Worms

    Some higher-end treatments will also prevent intestinal worms, or at least come with a separate application to do so. Fleas, ticks and worms are three of the biggest most common issues facing dog health, so it is great to think about worming when buying your flea and tick treatments too.

    Flea Larvae and Eggs

    Some flea treatment will only tackle the living fleas on your pet. Others will kill the larvae and eggs (so they don’t turn into adult fleas).

    95% of fleas in your home aren’t on your pet. They are in soft furnishings in your home. So if you are waking up in the morning with bitten ankles, buying a treatment which tackles fleas at all life stages is essential.

    This means that if any eggs and larvae fall off into your carpet, they won’t hatch in there, which makes tackling the issue in your home much easier.

    Effectiveness

    Some people badly review flea treatments by saying the particular application didn’t work for their pet. But vets and flea medication manufacturers told the New York Times that they do actually (mostly all) work, and if they don’t it is because the owner has not used it properly or followed instructions in the long term.

    This can be anything from not using enough for your dog’s weight and size, to leaving it a bit too long before reapplying, to getting their fur wet and leaving topical treatment ineffective. To get rid of fleas, you also need to remove them from the house, which many people neglect.

    Tablets are the most effective to tackle fleas, and topical treatment to prevent them further, so while many topical applications can also kill existing fleas, don’t expect severe cases to be cured by one small vial of liquid alone.

    Other Buyers Ask...

    How quick can flea treatment get to work?

    No flea treatment can stop fleas from jumping on to your pet. The idea is that once they are on there, they will only survive for a set amount of time.

    This is often 24 hours, but some tablets can get to work much quicker than this. You should see notable results well within 48 hours for most of the options which we have featured, which gives both your pet and your home the best possible treatment.

    How often does my pet need to be treated?

    Most topical applications are monthly, and tablets can be used once per day. The same applies to tick and worming treatment.

    Your vet may be able to offer over the counter options which are applied less regularly and are stronger, but for 99% of cases and dogs, this absolutely won’t be necessary.

    How do I apply spot-on flea treatment?

    Each option will come with its own instructions, but most are applied to the neck of your dog.

    Part their fur between their shoulder blades, until their skin is on show, and then squeeze the contents on to there. If you are applying two pipettes as you have a large dog, some brands say the second application should be made at the top of the tail on their back.

    The spot-on treatment works by using the natural oils in your pet’s skin to spread the liquid all around their body. So even though it doesn’t seem like enough to do the trick, it does. Fleas still die even if they don’t bite your animal.

    How do flea tablets work?

    Because they are oral, flea pills get into your dog’s bloodstream. When a flea bites your pet, they consume this and die. A lack of adult fleas means no eggs are laid and young are born, which stops the cycle of life in its tracks.

    To give them to your dog, place in a treat such as a bit of ham or with their dinner.

    Do topical treatments irritate skin?

    In the vast majority of cases, no. Your dog may itch a little as the liquid goes into the skin, but you should see no difference.

    If your dog’s skin does become irritated, red, flaky or they lose hair, stop treatment and talk to your vet.

    What else do I need to tackle fleas?

    You will need all of your equipment to ensure there are none living in your home, such as flea bombs and sprays. A good vacuum once or twice per day can also help, as can washing soft furnishings.

    For the fleas on your pet, use a flea comb to check they have them and remove some (a bit like a nit comb for humans), and use clean towels to dry them off after any baths. Also, clean their bedding regularly on a high wash.

    Can dog fleas live on humans?

    Only one out of the 200 different types of flea can do this, so it is rare. But they can still bite humans, although they can’t live on human blood.

    If there are some on your clothes, they do jump large distances, so can go from pet to pet via people.

    Can I use dog flea treatment on cats?

    No! Only use the appropriate medicine for your animal on your animal. They are different strengths, so the same pack of spot-on won’t work on both Mittens the kitten and Frank the bulldog.

    You especially can’t use it on rabbits or other smaller furry animals.