How Do Dog Flea Collars Work Compared to Other Flea Control Products?

From economical dog flea collars to fast acting monthly treatments, pet owners have many choices when it comes to flea control. No method will eliminate fleas forever so it is important to follow replacement directions and throw expired medication away.

Flea Collars

Flea collars are light weight, plastic collars that can be purchased at most pet supply stores. Flea collars are generally inexpensive and can be used to prevent a flea infestation on your dog. Flea collars however, are not as effective if your dog already has fleas. Most flea collars are only target adult fleas and may not kill fleas in areas away from the collar such as the underside and rump of your dog. 

Most flea collars also have an odor that many people find unpleasant. They can also leave a chemical film on your dog as well as your hands after petting. For these reasons, many veterinarians recommend a monthly liquid treatment such as Frontline or Advantage.

Monthly Flea Treatments

Most monthly treatments come in liquid form and can be purchased in three or six month doses. Each dose contains a small amount of liquid that is placed on the dog's skin between the shoulder blades. This location is an area most pets cannot reach and therefor are less likely to lick the area. Monthly treatments work quickly and usually kill the majority of fleas within 24 hours.

The downside to monthly treatments is they tend to be rather expensive. Prices range from $25 to $65 depending on brand, number of doses, and the size of your pet. Monthly treatments are available at most pet supply stores and veterinary offices.

Avoid an Adverse Reaction

The best way to avoid an adverse reaction to flea medication is to be sure to only use products that are designed for your species of pet. Dog and cats may respond differently to a variety of flea treatments. Check the box and make sure you are giving medication that is appropriate for the age and weight of your dog. If your dog does have an adverse reaction to the flea treatment, contact your veterinarian immediately. Even if you have followed the instructions, your pet could still be allergic or sensitive to the chemicals used in these products.

Don't Forgo Flea Medication Altogether

Many people are hesitant to use flea products because they fear the chemicals are too harsh and may cause other problems for their pet. Although adverse reactions to flea treatments are possible, they are relatively uncommon and the benefits of using a flea treatment may far outweigh the risks.

Fleas can carry disease and will likely cause great discomfort for your pet. The bites and constant itching and irritation can cause anxiety and may lead to more serious medical problems such as a bacterial infections or anemia. Some pets are severely allergic allergic to flea saliva and can develop Flea Allergy Dermatitis. Flea Allergy Dermatitis is the most common allergy found in dogs. Some signs your pet may have this condition are excessive grooming, hair loss, hot spots and chewing on the tail or other areas of the body.