How to Compare Flea Control Products for Dogs

There are many dog flea control products available in the market and it’s often confusing for a pet owner to select an appropriate one. Since some products contain toxic chemicals that can harm your pet, the pros and cons of using flea medications should be carefully weighed.

Dangers of Fleas in Dogs:

  • Fleas suck the dog’s blood and can cause anemia.
  • They transmit diseases such as flea allergy dermatitis that can cause symptoms such as itchiness, redness, scabs and hair loss.
  • Tapeworm infestation can be caused when a dog ingests a flea that carries tapeworm larva. 
  • In rare instances they also transmit Tularemia to dogs of all ages.

Flea Products

Flea products are available in many forms, such as:

They rely on active ingredients to kill parasites and some of these active ingredients can cause adverse side effects and allergies. There are several advantages and disadvantages associated with the use of any flea product but most contain harmful chemicals. Your choice of a flea product will depend on whether you want to get rid of other infections besides flea infestations and whether you want an oral or topical medication. The ingredients present in the product should also influence the medication you purchase.

Frontline Topical Dog Flea Treatment

A key ingredient of Frontline topical treatment is fipronil. This ingredient kills adult fleas and ticks by paralyzing their nervous system. Fipronil can also protect a dog from fleas for a period of 3 months. It’s safe to use on pets that are more than 8 weeks old but is contraindicated in pregnant or lactating dogs or pets recovering from an illness.

Frontline Plus

Frontline Plus contains methoprene in addition to fipronil. Methoprene is a flea sterilizer and affects flea eggs and larvae. Frontline plus is safe to use on 8 week old puppies. It is a topical treatment that should be applied every month to get rid of fleas and prevent an infestation from recurring.


Advantage is a topical product that is safe for use on puppies older than 7 weeks. The active ingredient imidacloprid attacks the nervous system of the fleas and kills fleas within 12 hours of use. It’s contraindicated in older dogs, nursing or lactating pets and ill dogs.

Advantage Multi

This flea product has another ingredient called moxidectin, which prevents heartworms, hookworms, roundworms and whipworms.


Program is a flea product that doesn't act on adult fleas but the ingredient lufenuron that's present in this drug prevents the development of flea eggs and larvae. It's an oral medication that should be given once a month and can be safely administered to nursing and pregnant dogs.

K9 Advantix

This flea product contains imidacloprid and permethrin. It is a topical medication that shouldn’t be used on puppies less than 6 months of age. It paralyzes adult fleas and prevents the development of flea eggs and larvae.


Sentinel is an oral medication that has a beef flavor. It contains lufenuron and milbemycin that kill flea eggs and larvae. This tablet should be given once a month to prevent flea infestations. Milbemycin also prevents heartworms and controls roundworms, tapeworms and whipworms in dogs.

It’s always best to conduct a vet check before you use any flea product as over the counter preventive medicines can cause adverse reactions and side effects.