While only 1 to 2 millimeters in size, the damage fleas can cause should not be underestimated by dog owners. Fleas can quickly wreak havoc on your dogís health by causing everything from skin irritation to the transmission of even more parasites. Given that they are a serious cause for concern, preventing them requires proper vigilance on your behalf.
Unfortunately, many dog owners do little to nothing to protect their dog from fleas. In fact, a study conducted in 2019 found that one-third of pet owners do not give their pets regular flea and tick medication, and nearly half donít take their pets to the vet for routine exams to protect against them.
Angela Stringfellow from Safe Sound Pet has seen this first hand. ďMany dog owners assume that their dog wonít get fleas because they donít frequent typical flea-infested areas,Ē says Stringfellow. ďHowever, fleas can be passed on via contact with other animals or flea-infested surfaces. This makes it vital for absolutely every dog owner to do their part in taking flea prevention seriously,Ē she advises.
So how do you prevent fleas in dogs? We have highlighted a range of different solutions below.
Flea collars are one of the most popular non-prescription flea prevention options on the market. The length of time a flea collar will last for will depend on each product, but they can typically last several months. Some can even last for 6 to 8 months, making them overall a relatively longer lasting solution than prescription solutions.
However, itís important to keep in mind that not all flea collars are made alike. Cheaper ones will only prevent your dog from fleas that come in direct contact or in close proximity with it. Consequently, these types of flea collars are largely ineffectively preventing fleas. If you are interested in using a flea collar, it is vital to do your research in order to find a high-quality one that actually works. For example, some flea collars create an invisible layer of flea protection around your dog by releasing flea-killing ingredients into the lipid outer layer of your dogís skin and fur.
Many dog owners rely on using a flea comb as their primary method of preventing fleas in their dogs. Flea combs work by combing through your dogís hair to physically remove any fleas that are present. But therein highlights the problem with flea combs; they work to eliminate fleas after your dog has them, instead of preventing them from attacking your dog in the first place.
Even using a flea comb every day may not be enough to prevent your dog from a nasty case of fleas. After all, even if the comb manages to extract any fleas, thereís a high chance the damage is already done. The same goes for spot-on treatments; they focus on flea removal rather than flea prevention.
If youíre after a flea and tick solution that has the nod of approval from countless dog owners, Bravecto is a top choice. Perhaps the reason it comes so highly recommended is because itís incredibly easy to administer to your dog and lasts a total of 12 weeks. The soft chews can be eaten alone or with food, making them a fuss-free choice.
Bravecto is on the pricier side for prescription solutions, but itís a small price to pay considering that it offers 100% effectiveness within 12 hours. Itís also worth keeping in mind the product offers a high margin of safety with no expected side effects in case of an accidental double dose.
Nexgard is another popular solution that also comes in soft chew form. From the makers of Frontlineģ, these FDA-approved chews work faster than Bravecto and offer 99% effectiveness within 8 hours. Once your pooch takes it, youíll be able to enjoy the peace of mind that they'll remain protected from flea and tick infestations for a full 30 days.
Whatís more, thanks to Nexgardís delicious beef flavor, you wonít have a problem convincing your dog to chow it down. One of the most handy features about this option is that it can be taken alongside your dogís heartworm medication. Itís also a wallet-friendly option for those looking for an effective budget flea solution.
While Simparica Trio is a relatively new product on the market, itís already made a splash due to its effectiveness in preventing fleas and other parasites. Itís the first and only product with a trio of powerful ingredients: Sarolaner, Moxidectin, and Pyrantel. The reason these ingredients are noteworthy is because they will not only help to treat and prevent ticks, but also heartworms and other infesting worms as well. In fact, Simparica Trio protects against more types of ticks than Bravecto and Nexgard.
The chews can be taken by puppies as young as 8 weeks old weighing 2.8 lbs or more, and can be given with or without food. The liver-flavored chews are so palatable for dogs that research has found that 91.9% of the time, dogs consume it by free choice or with food.
As we have explored above, there are a number of different non-prescription and prescription solutions for preventing fleas in your dog. The right one for your dog will depend on your dogís particular needs as well as yours as a dog owner. Just be sure to keep in mind it is always a good idea to consult your veterinarian about which flea prevention option is best for your dog.