There's nothing like a dog's love to melt your heart. From their boundless energy as puppies to their unfailing lifelong loyalty, dogs truly are man's best friend. But they're also our messiest friend, and have a tendency to track things into the house—including fleas. Choosing the right flea prevention for dogs can not only make your canine's life a little more comfortable, it can keep your house that way too.
Here are some things to consider when choosing the right flea prevention treatment:
1. For ease of use, consider topical applications. If you prefer a chewable tablet for your dog, they're still available, but many owners find that a topical application is a much easier flea prevention solution. With a topical application, you simply squeeze some liquid on the back of your dog's neck and it's absorbed through their skin. You simply need to part the fur so the solution gets on actual bare skin. This tends to be a lot easier than getting dogs to take medicine. Leading brands like FrontLine and Advantage are both sold in this form.
2. Get the right weight class. Many owners don't notice that each flea prevention solution for dogs offers different weight categories, generally under 10 pounds, 11-20 pounds, 21-55 pounds and 55+ pounds. The distinction matters: choose a weight category that's too low and the small dose may not kill all the fleas and ticks that call your dog home. On the other hand, choose one that's too high and you risk harming your dog.
3. Look for all-in-one brands. Flea prevention for dogs doesn't have to be a standalone
treatment. Most brands are also formulated to kill ticks, and some brands also offer heartworm treatment rolled in. Getting a multipurpose flea treatment can be cheaper than buying everything individually and helps protect your dog's health.
4. Experiment with different varieties. Most flea treatments for dogs will claim to be 100% effective immediately and, for the most part, that's true. However, in places with dense flea populations – such as rural areas in the American South – or for dogs that are frequently in close proximity to a lot of other animals, fleas can be more resilient. In these cases, you may find that one brand works better than another. It's worth shopping around and trying a few different varieties before you commit to brand loyalty.
What do you look for in flea prevention for dogs?