Best Flea And Tick Spray For Dogs

In a rush and just want my recommendation?  I think the Advantage Flea and Tick Treatment Spray for Dogs is a great choice.

If you suspect your dog has fleas, you want to get rid of them as quickly as possible. Dogs can pick up fleas anywhere, especially in the warmer months of spring and summer. These nasty little critters will be in your yard, the local parks, on other animals, and pretty much anywhere your dog goes. Ticks are also horrible, blood-sucking parasites that jump on your dog as they walk through grasses and vegetation.

There are many flea and tick treatments available for dogs, and the ones you choose need to be safe, effective and suited to your dog’s specific needs. It’s always a good idea to check with your vet before you begin any over the counter treatments, just to make sure you don’t actually need a prescription medication.

Flea and tick shampoos, collars, topical medications, oral drugs, powders and sprays all have their place in the fight against parasites. 

Sprays can be particularly useful for those dogs that don’t suit having a full-time flea and tick collar, or for some reason can’t tolerate other medications. A safe flea and tick spray can be used to kill existing fleas and larvae, but also to use as a preventative measure.

In this article, I’m reviewing the following flea and tick sprays for dogs.

5 Best Flea And Tick Sprays For Dogs Reviewed

FRONTLINE Dog Spray 250mL

The active ingredient in Frontline Dog Spray is Fipronil, a common and effective component found in many highly recommended flea and tick treatments. Frontline spray starts killing fleas, ticks and lice at every life-stage immediately on contact, and is effective at preventing re-infestation for around 30 days.

Frontline spray is approved for use on dogs and puppies eight weeks of age or older. This spray is also formulated for cats, so it can be used for both, safely.

Unlike some sprays, Frontline is waterproof, so no need to keep reapplying if your dog gets wet. It also helps kill brown dog ticks, American dog ticks, lone star ticks, and deer ticks in all life stages, and helps control flea allergy dermatitis. 

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Starts killing fleas and ticks immediately
  • Waterproof
  • Safe for cats 
  • Efficient at preventing re-infestation
  • Recommended by vets
  • Well tolerated by dogs

Cons:

  • Not effective on all dogs

Veterinary Formula Flea and Tick Spray for Dogs

The active ingredient in Veterinary Formula is an insecticide called Pyrethrum, which kills fleas and ticks on contact for up to 14 weeks. This formula also uses Nylar to prevent the development of flea larvae and eggs, and Permethrin to prevent re-infestation.

This spray can also be used on your dog’s bedding and environment, but let it dry thoroughly before allowing your hound near it. Veterinary Formula is appropriate for dogs over 6 months of age. You can reapply as necessary, but leave for at least two weeks between treatments.

Veterinary Formula products are made in the USA at Synergylabs, an extremely trusted brand.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Trusted brand, made in USA
  • Eliminates fleas and ticks at all stages
  • Efficient at preventing re-infestation
  • Recommended by vets
  • Affordable and value for money
  • No color additives or fragrances
  • Not safe for cats

Cons:

  • Not effective on all dogs

Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Easy Spray

Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Spray utilizes the 100% certified natural ingredients of Peppermint Oil and  Eugenol (clove plant extract). Both are known to kill fleas, larvae, flea eggs, ticks and mosquitoes.

The foamy spray can be applied directly on dogs and puppies 12 weeks or older. It is also safe to use on your dog’s bedding and your home furnishings. Vet’s Best Flea Spray is manufactured in the USA for Hero PetBrands, who promise a money-back guarantee on proof of purchase, if you’re not happy with their product.

This particular product has an aerosol-type easy spray nozzle, which means the contents are under pressure, so be careful you don’t over-spray at first. 

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • 100% natural ingredients
  • Trusted brand, made in USA
  • Eliminates fleas and ticks at all stages
  • Affordable and value for money

Cons:

  • Not effective on all dogs
  • Strong peppermint odor
  • Sticky residue

Advantage Flea and Tick Treatment Spray for Dogs

The active ingredient in Advantage Flea and Tick Spray is an insecticide called pyrethrin, and it also contains insecticide synergists, which enhance the potency of the pyrethrins.

It’s a powerful application that lasts up to 100 days, and it’s safe only to use on dogs over six months of age. Designed to aid in the control of flea bite dermatitis, this EPA-regulated spray works to kill and repel fleas, flea eggs, flea larvae, ticks and lice on contact. It can also be used on your dog’s bedding and your furnishing, carpet and upholstery.

It’s very easy to apply to your dog, because the spray can will continue to dispense the product even when it is held upside down. Advantage Flea and Tick Spray certainly gets the job done, but read the entire product label before you use it.

Pros:

  • Works rapidly
  • Very effective and powerful
  • Can be used on dog’s bedding
  • Eliminates fleas and ticks at all stages
  • Efficient at preventing re-infestation
  • EPA -regulated (Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Value for money
  • Pleasant odor
  • Dries quickly
  • Not safe for cats

Cons:

  • Slightly higher price point

Hartz UltraGuard Plus Flea and Tick Spray for Dogs

Active ingredients in Hartz Ultraguard Flea and Tick Spray are Tetrachlorvinphos and Methoprene. Together these make up a strong insecticide, and the EPA has stipulated that it is important to follow label instructions on proper use of Tetrachlorvinphos pesticide products.

Consult a veterinarian before using this product on debilitated, aged, pregnant, nursing, or medicated animals. Sensitivity may occur after using any pesticide product for pets.

This flea and tick spray kills and repels fleas and ticks for up to seven days, plus it kills and prevents flea eggs from hatching for up to 30 days. It is suitable for dogs and puppies 12 weeks of age and older.

Pros:

  • Made in the USA
  • Works on contact
  • Eliminates fleas and ticks at all stages
  • Prevents re-infestation for 30 days
  • Value for money
  • Not safe for cats

Cons:

  • Short-acting at only 7 days

Guide To Buying Flea And Tick Sprays For Dogs

There are multiple stages to the flea life cycle. It’s important to remember that fleas do not just live on your dog. They drop off and will be spread round your dog’s environment, including your house, yard and car. If you’re treating your dog for parasites, it’s important to also treat everything else. As a rule of thumb, if you find five fleas on your dog, there’s 100 more somewhere nearby.

Don’t use carpet or yard spray on your dog. The ingredients will be unsuitable, and anything you put on your pets should be FDA approved for animal use. Some flea sprays for dogs can be used on bedding and upholstery. Always read the label and the package insert to make sure you’re using any flea and tick product correctly.

Fleas rise to the top of your dog’s coat as they die, so you may start seeing more fleas after you’ve treated your dog. It may take up to 30 days to break the entire flea life cycle. An effective treatment will start killing fleas and ticks very quickly, though.

The Flea Life Cycle

  1. Eggs. The adult female needs blood to reproduce. She sucks the blood of her host (your dog), then lays about 40 eggs each day. They are laid in clusters somewhere warm on your dog’s body. If you see something that looks like grains of sand round your dog’s groin or the base of their tail, they may be flea eggs. 

To check, put some of these grains on a wet paper towel. If it starts to go pinky red, that is the blood in the flea eggs.

  1. Larvae. These hatch from the eggs after about two weeks, and begin feeding on flea ‘dirt’. This is the blood-filled poop that is passed by the adult fleas.
  1. Pupae or Cocoon. The cocoon protects the pupae before the adult flea emerges. The cocoon has a sticky outer shell which protects the pupae from chemicals or light brushing. Pupae can live in the environment for months or years, waiting for a warm-blooded host to make themselves available.
  1. Adult Flea. The adult flea emerges from the pupae and begins feeding on the host, and laying eggs.

What Happens When Fleas Are Left Untreated?

Your dog will be miserable with constant scratching, discomfort and restlessness. The infestation will only worsen, and will include other pets and humans in your household, as well as your house and yard. Your dog may also suffer from:

  • Flea allergy dermatitis 
  • Obsessive cleaning and skin injury
  • Tapeworms
  • Anemia in debilitated and young dogs
  • Death in severe cases

Types Of Safe Flea And Tick Treatments For Dogs

Popular treatments include flea and tick collars, topical flea and tick treatments, or oral flea and tick medications. Each product will have unique pros and cons, and it’s vital for your dog’s health that you familiarize yourself with any and all safety information on the packaging.

Flea and Tick Collars

These are very popular, as you basically put it on your dog and forget about it. Their potency and life-length varies, but it’s important to remember that their effectiveness will be reduced if your dog goes swimming a lot. There are some flea and tick collars that are highly recommended by vets.

Topical Flea and Tick Treatments

These are the things you apply directly to your dog’s body. It could be effective fluid drops, powder or spray. They are very popular and easy to apply, and preferred by people who want more control over their dog’s exposure to chemicals. 

The active ingredients in flea and tick sprays and powders are neurotoxins. S-methoprene containing products also prevent flea larvae from developing. That means they are great for killing fleas and ticks and preventing further infestation, and if your dog goes swimming or has a bath, you simply apply some more.

If you have cats in your home, talk to a veterinarian before choosing a topical flea and tick medication for your dog. Ingredients like pyrethrin or permethrin are toxic to cats.

Oral Flea and Tick Medications

There are a few prescription oral flea and tick medications which work well for dogs. These are tablets or chews which are prescribed by your vet. 

Oral flea and tick medications are great for homes with children or other pets who may come into contact with the chemical residue from flea collars or topical medications.

How To Choose The Safest Flea Spray For Dogs

  • Age: Many flea treatments are not suitable for puppies under 8 weeks old. Always check the labels for appropriate use, and if you’re unsure, check with your vet.
  • Health: Your dog’s health and allergy status will need to be considered before using any medications or flea and tick products. Is your dog on any treatments for other issues? Mixing some medications can cause adverse reactions, and only your vet can advise you.
  • The FDA is alerting pet owners and veterinarians of the potential for neurological adverse events in dogs, when treated with drugs that are in the isoxazoline class. Although these products can and have been safely used in the majority of dogs, owners should consult with their veterinarian to review their patients’ medical histories and determine whether a product in the isoxazoline class is appropriate for their dog.                            
  • Dog’s Coat: If your dog has a long or curly coat, it may be difficult to use topical medications, powders and sprays.
  • Previous Reactions: If your dog has had any bad reactions to treatments in the past, don’t use that particular product again. Check with your vet to find a solution that works for your dog.

How To Control Fleas

As with any health issue, prevention is preferable to treatment. Once you find fleas on your dog, it’s essential that you take a comprehensive approach to controlling them.

  • Flea treatment for the affected dog with a safe, effective product
  • Flea treatment for all other pets even if they don’t show signs of infestation
  • Flea treatment for your home, yard and environment

How To Apply Flea and Tick Spray To Dogs

Apply the spray until the hair is damp to the skin. Ensure complete coverage of your dog’s coat, especially the problem areas at the base of the tail, the groin and axilla (armpits). Massage the coat all over to make sure the spray gets right down to the skin. Avoid your dog’s genitals.

For head and eye area, spray on a gloved hand and rub gently into the area, avoiding your dog’s eyes and mouth. Wash your hands thoroughly, even if you have worn gloves.

Allow your dog’s coat to dry before you, or your children handle them.

Conclusion

While most of us would rather not need to put chemicals onto our dog, the reality is that fleas can make their  lives miserable. Therefore we have to weigh up the pros and cons of using certain products to get the job done safely, and as quickly as possible.

For that reason, my choice for the best flea and tick spray  is Advantage Flea and Tick Treatment Spray for Dogs. It does what it says it will do, and for a longer period of time than some other sprays, meaning that I have to apply it a lot less than other products.

It’s EPA regulated, and can be used on my dog’s bedding and environment. I just feel I’ve got more control, and because it works well, I can use less of it. Being able to operate the can upside down makes it super-easy to manage and apply evenly.

The Advantage Flea and Tick Spray is a trusted brand, but always check with your vet if you’re unsure about your dog’s health.

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