What Is the Best Flea Treatment for Dogs?

Flea treatment for dogs depends on a number of factors such as the number of pets that stay together, the area of exposure, the degree of infestation and whether the pet is allergic to fleas. Fleas can be one of the major problems for dogs and the owners as well. Pets can pick up fleas from anywhere, especially when they are out of the house.

When affected by severe flea allergy, the pet shows blackish discharge on the skin accompanied by itching and skin lesions. Usually, there is no diagnosis for fleas, but it is important to have the pet checked for any illness that can be associated to the flea infestation.

Recommended Flea Treatments

There are various products available for flea treatment in the market and each has their own advantages and disadvantages. Sprays, powders and collars that are available over the counter contain pyrethrin, which is moderately effective in controlling the problem. In many cases, a detailed flea and tick control program is needed, which involves treatment of the pet, house and the yard.

Frontline Flea Treatment is a topical prevention, which is found to be effective in killing 100 percent of the adult fleas on the pet within 18 hours of application and elimination of ticks within 48 hours of application. The main component is a growth-regulator S-methoprene that effectively kills the flea eggs and larvae.

Advantage Flea Treatment is another topical application that kills the biting fleas within 3 to 5 minutes and starts killing the adult fleas within 1 hour of application. It has been observed that almost 98 to 100 percent of the fleas are killed within 12 hours of applying Advantage Flea Treatment.

Introduction of oral medications can be considered an important advancement in flea treatment. If the topical medications do not work for the pet, then they can be administered with oral flavored tablets. These tablets can act in any of the following two ways:

The medicine initiates the secretion of oil, which contains the medicine, through the pet's skin and induces the flea to lay sterile eggs. Medicines acting in this manner do not kill the adult fleas or ticks. The medicine stays in the blood stream and kills the fleas when they bite the animal. Apart from these medications, natural flea treatments are also available.

Natural Flea Treatment Options

Here are a few natural solutions that can be prepared at home to keep the pet itch free.

Drenching the dog with rosemary leaves decoction, which is made by soaking two cups of rosemary in boiling water for approximately 30 minutes, can help in treating fleas on dogs, especially on summer days.

Essential oil of lavender, when applied on the base of the tail and around the neck, can keep the pet from itching.

Adding brewer's yeast in small quantities in the pet's food can make it less attractive to the fleas.

Mixing apple cider vinegar with the drinking water of the pet makes its skin acidic and the fleas' stay away from the pet. This can also be used as a repellent by mixing it with equal quantity of water and then spraying it on the skin of the pet.

If flea infestation becomes severe, then consulting a veterinarian is important. Optimal treatment for fleas requires a combination of natural and veterinary care.