You can get flea treatment with different applications that can a preventative and a cure. Many of these work well with each other with one method not always enough to get rid of an infection on your dog and the household. However, caution should be used using flea tablets and spot on at once.
A flea spray is a simple plastic spray loaded with a chemical concoction which can include permethrin and piperonyl butoxide, pyriproxyfen and chrysanthemum cineraria folium. A flea spray is primarily used to rid fleas in the household and on infected clothes such as dog beds, clothes, beds and so on. Typically, a flea spray is NOT to be directed directly on a dog and instead used to rid of fleas everywhere else.
If your dog definitely has fleas and you’re unsure if the infestation has spread elsewhere then we recommend purchasing a spray to be sure as the fleas can always come back and even jump on to you if your dog is now flea-free!
Direction of us: Spray onto surfaces where a flea infestation is but NOT a dog or human or any living being
Recommended for: To keep areas free of fleas and as a preventative from time to time
How effective is it?: Flea spray is very effective at getting rid of fleas from household furniture and other cloth materials. Flea is highly recommended for large outbreaks of fleas in the home.
How long does it take to work?: Domestic flea sprays can take up to an hour work to work when sprayed as prescribed on the instructions label of whatever brand you go for. The effects of the spray will start to kill adults fleas pretty quickly and halt the progress of adolescent flea (egg, larvae, pupae) at the same time meaning no new fleas will emerge following being covered. The effects of flea spray will last for up to 12 months after which makes it the most effective flea prevention product on the UK market and even if your dog never gets fleas you should still keep some in the home.
Flea tablets/pills are typically the first lines of defence when you suspect your dog has fleas. They are cheap, effective and if it’s not a severe infection can stop any more progress very quickly. Flea tablets work in a couple of different ways by releasing chemicals into the bloodstream and then killing the flea when they suck more blood or through the dog’s natural oils on the skin.
The chemicals in the pills that fleas do not like are nitenpyram which attacks the flea’s nervous system and spinosad which again attacks the nervous system of the flea causing almost instant death. Lastly, many manufacturers of flea tablets throw in some garlic which makes the dog produce an odour that fleas just don’t like acting as both a treatment and a preventative.
Direction of use: To be taken orally by a dog
Recommended for: To quickly get rid of existing fleas on a canine and as a regular preventative
How effective is it?: Flea tablets and pills are one of the most effective methods of treating dogs for fleas and would be our recommendation to purchase in every case of fleas.
How long does it take to work?: Flea tablets enter the bloodstream and get spread around very quickly. Most brands of tablets to get rid of fleas will start to work within minutes and any fleas currently attached to the bloodstream will start to drink poison and die. The effects of the tablets continue to work for the next 12 weeks making this is a product you should give your dog quarterly as prevention.
Flea shampoo is one of the most popular methods of flea treatment and prevention as it’s quite effective and easy to use and eliminates the worry about bathing a dog after using flea treatments. Flea shampoo can kill and wash away fleas while they’re in the bath and become a preventative afterwards thanks to its anti-flea odour. As is the case with most flea treatment, we’d recommend using the shampoo at the same time as other methods such as the spray and tablets.
Many of the flea shampoo brands on the UK market will also help treat dry skin which they will likely to be suffering from if they’ve had a flea infestation so there’s a double win here.
Direction of use: To be lathered into a dog’s fur while having a bath or a shower
Recommended for: To get rid of existing fleas as well as a preventative measure for potential infestations in the future
How effective is it?: On its own, we don’t think flea shampoo is as effective and fast-acting as alternatives such as flea tablets. However, we do think it’s a cheap way to “be sure” that the fleas have gone.
How quickly does it work?: Flea shampoo kills fleas instantly as well as stunting and halting the growth of the eggs, larvae and pupae. Flea shampoo also has the beneficial quality of being a pleasant experience at the same time as your dog’s skin is soothed if they have had any dry/itchy/ skin issues at the same time. If your dog has had some previous flea treatment then shampoo is even more effective as it isn’t as powerful as tablets or spot-on treatment on its own.
A flea collar is pretty much as the name suggests. It is a collar that releases gas into the air and through the dog’s fur and skin to act as a repellant for fleas. We don’t see it as good treatment as it’s just not strong enough but as a year-round repellant, it could do the job. However, it can get a bit awkward if they already wear a normal type of collar or even a harness as they’ll effectively be wearing two which may look daft and make them annoyed.
Direction of use: Wear as a collar
Recommended for: As a cheap year round flea repellant
How effective is it?: As a treatment – poor as the biggest impact is closest to the collar if they are larger dogs with fleas on their tail it’s unlikely to do anything. As a repellant, though, it’s probably fine but again it’s not as effective as others.
How quickly does it work?: Flea collars work pretty quickly in the areas close to the collar (we’re talking hours) and continue to work for a number of months after that. However, with it being not a 100% effective it technically takes even longer to work on the more remote areas of the dog.
Spot on Flea Treatment
Spot-on flea treatment is a liquid in a pipette which goes under your dog’s skin which kills existing fleas and prevents further infestations for up to 4 weeks. Typically, spot-on flea treatment is what a vet would prescribe and recommend as it’s extremely effective and cheap to buy.
Direction of use: Open pippett and apply to the back of dog’s neck where they can not reach to lick.
Recommended for: Spot-on flea treatment is both an excellent treatment for an existing infestation and as a regular prevention when applied as prescribed by the manufacturer.
How effective is it?: Spot on flea treatment is about as effective as it can get in our war against canine fleas.
How quickly does it work?: Spot on dog treatment starts to work instantly but typically fleas will start to perish after around 10 minutes. Spot on flea treatment enters the bloodstream and out again through the dog’s natural oils rapidly which is bad news for fleas their eggs, larva and pupae. However, spot-on treatment only last 4 weeks after application which makes it second best to the tablets in terms of lasting impact.