chihuahua puppy with fleas

The Best Flea Treatment For Dogs & Puppies Australia

Our #1 Pick

The Best Value for Money

Advantage Spot-On Flea Treatment for Dogs

  • Highly effective
  • Shows results within hours
  • Easy to apply
  • No painful bites

One of the basics of owning a pet is making sure they are protected from all kinds of pests and diseases. Among those, fleas are by far the most common issue with dogs. In fact, it’s advisable to start with flea prevention as soon as your pup is old enough.

No matter how hard we try, our canine companions always seem to catch fleas somehow. If this is your case, don’t worry. This guide is here to help you find the best flea treatment for dogs.


Flea Control for Dogs: What Are Your Options?

What is the best dog flea treatment? This is difficult to answer because there are actually a few effective options. Which one is perfect for you and your dog will depend on your circumstances? Below, you can find the advantages and disadvantages of each form of flea protection.

Oral Medication

These days, you have multiple options to choose from when it comes to oral medication used for flea prevention and treatment in dogs. Oral treatment is a great option because it is the most convenient. All you need to do is get your dog to swallow or chew a tab approximately once per month (the timing depends on the product you choose).

The oral medication acts from inside your dog's organism. Once the fleas bite, they will come in contact with the active ingredients and die. These treatments are a good option for families with small children or multiple pets. This is because there is no risk of the treatment getting into the wrong hands (like a child playing with a poisonous flea collar, for example).

The most common issue pet parents find with this kind of treatment is the risk of unwanted effects such as vomiting or seizures. These kinds of things can happen with any kind of medication, but they are rare. For best results, consult with your vet and consider your dog’s medical history to determine what is the best flea treatment to use in your case.

Collars

Collars are a very practical option when it comes to flea treatment and prevention. In general, flea collars are effective for longer periods of time than other options. While spot-on treatments and oral medication usually need to be administered every month, a collar will usually last for at least 3 months (Seresto, for example, remains effective for up to 8 months).

Using a flea collar is as simple as it can be: you just need to put the collar on your pet’s neck and wait for it to do its magic. The most effective collars are those with pharmaceutical formulas that contain various pesticides. These are usually safe for dogs but kill or paralyze the fleas before they even touch your dog’s skin. The only downside of these treatments is the toxicity of the active ingredients for the environment (1). Those who prefer to keep it natural can also find some flea collars with only natural ingredients in the form of flea-repellent essential oils. While these can be a nice alternative, they are not guaranteed to be as effective as standard flea collars.

The main downside of flea collars is their toxicity if eaten. If you have multiple pets, a dog licking another dog’s collar is not something you want to happen. For this reason, a collar might not be the best idea if your dog interacts with young children either.

Topical Treatment

Topical treatments often also called “spot-on treatments”, work in a similar way to flea collars - but there is no physical collar involved. To apply a topical flea treatment, you just need to apply a couple of drops of the liquid provided to the back of your dog’s neck. Once the liquid has dried and been absorbed by your dog's skin, it will spread throughout their coat and keep them safe for at least a month.

Spot-on treatments are usually effective and easy to use. The only downside is the same one as with flea collars:

“As is the case with flea and tick collars, if you’re unable to keep your pet away from small children or animals who may come into direct contact with the medication before it has dried or absorbed into your pet’s skin, a topical treatment might not be the ideal solution.” - Jennifer Coates, DVM for PetMD

Sprays, Shampoos, and Powders

The three options we talked about above are the most effective and most durable flea treatments. Besides these, you can find various shampoos, powders, and sprays that can kill fleas. Some of those are made to be applied to your dog's coat, while others are helpful for sanitizing your home. However, these are usually one-off solutions, and won’t prevent fleas from returning.

"If an animal has fleas, the thought is, well, you get a flea shampoo and you’re going to kill the fleas. Well, the shampoo very well may kill the fleas that are on the pet at that time, but it’s not going to do anything to prevent other fleas from jumping on your pet.” - Brenda Stevens, DVM for FETCH

This is not to say that flea shampoos, rinses and similar products are completely useless. If you are already facing a flea infestation, using those can help - but it’s not enough if you want to prevent the fleas from coming back.


Dog Flea Treatment 2021 Top List

As we have shown above, there are quite a few effective treatments you can use these days to free your dog from fleas. Below is a comprehensive list of effective treatments. Take a look and find the one that suits your needs the best.

What sets this product apart from the rest?

  • Highly effective
  • Shows results within hours
  • Easy to apply
  • No painful bites

Arguably, spot-on treatments are among the most convenient options when it comes to getting rid of fleas and keeping them away. All you need to do to keep your canine companion protected from fleas with Advantage Spot-On is squeeze out the contents of the tube on the back of their neck once a month. That’s it. No need to worry about anything, as the treatment is resistant to water too. Baths and walks in the rains are allowed.

The active ingredient is imidacloprid, a pesticide that has been used for flea control in pets for decades. It is one of the most effective flea-killers, and one that is least likely to have adverse effects on dogs (allergic reactions are always possible, but rare). Another good thing about imidacloprid is the effect it has on fleas. It affects a flea’s nervous system and paralyzes it on contact, eventually killing the insect. This means the fleas will be paralyzed before they get to bite your dog (4).

Overall, Advantage is one of the best spot-on treatments available when it comes to fleas, and one of the most popular worldwide too. If you choose to use it, make sure to get the right dosage for your dog (determined by weight). One dose will keep your dog protected for a month. For this reason, it’s a good idea to buy multiple doses at once. Luckily, Advantage is available in 4-packs and 6-packs too, and they are more affordable than buying a single dose every month. Safe for pregnant and lactating bitches as well as puppies older than 8 weeks.

Verified Review - 4/01/2017
Great Features
"I have been buying advantage for my dogs since they were little pups. They are now 2.5 and 4 years old. And this product still works really well since the day I first bought it"

Pros

Cons

  • Highly effective
  • Needs to be reapplied every month
  • Shows results within hours
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  • Easy to apply
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  • No painful bites
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Other options from Bayer: 

  1. Advantix - Effective against fleas, ticks, and flies
  2. Advocate - Effective against fleas, heartworm, and worms

#2: Runner Up: NexGard Chewables

  • Highly effective
  • Dogs usually don’t mind chewing the tabs
  • Easy to use

The NexGard chewables are another effortless option that will effectively get rid of any fleas on your dog - and keep them away. The dog needs to eat one tab each month, and they will be under full protection.

These tabs from NexGard are easy to chew and flavoured like beef. The added flavour is really a miracle. Even dogs who usually run away from tabs like they are the devil tend to chew these right up. Of course, there are always some picky eaters who will refuse, but mixing the chewable with food usually does the trick.

Another good thing about these chewables is that no outside factors can affect the treatment. You don’t need to worry about other pets or children touching it, like with some flea collars, and water will not affect the effectiveness of the treatment, since it is inside the organism.

What usually worries pet parents the most about this kind of treatment are possible unwanted reactions. There have, indeed, been some reports of NexGard causing seizures in dogs, but this is definitely an exception, and not the rule. Just watch your dog closely when first trying out NexGard and everything should be fine.

Verified Review - 4/01/2020
Great Service!
"Promptly delivered to my door in secure and sturdy packaging. Notifications at each step of the way. Highly recommended!"

Pros

Cons

  • Highly effective
  • A bit expensive
  • Dogs usually don’t mind chewing the tabs
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  • Easy to use
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#3: Best Collar for Flea Prevention: Seresto Collar

  • Fast and effective flea treatment
  • Up to 8 months of protection with one collar
  • Water-resistant
  • Odour-free

It’s hard to say which is the most effective flea treatment, but the Seresto collar is definitely at the top of the list. If you are looking for an effective and reliable collar to fight fleas, this is it. It’s one of the most popular choices when it comes to flea treatment and it’s made by a respectable pharmaceutical company (Bayer) so you know exactly what you are getting.

So why is the Seresto collar better than others? First of all, it acts fast. The first effects can be noticed within hours, and your doggo should be completely free of fleas within 2 days (at least according to the manufacturer).

Another great thing about Seresto is the length of its effect. A single collar will remain effective against fleas for up to 8 months. The collar is water-resistant too and your dog can even swim with it, but if this happens often the collar might stop working before the 8 months expire.

Verified Review - 4/01/2020
Great Product
"We live up in FNQ where paralysis ticks are rife - this product has been great for our English Springer Spaniel, with no signs of any ticks. I also like that our dog does not have to ingest any chemical tablets."

Pros

Cons

  • Fast and effective flea treatment
  • Contains strong pesticides
  • Up to 8 months of protection with one collar
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  • Water-resistant
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  • Odour-free
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#4: Best Flea Treatment for Puppies: Frontline Plus

  • Remains effective for 30 days
  • Easy to apply
  • Effective against fleas and other pests

Frontline is another respected anime in the world of pest prevention for pets. The Frontline Plus spot-on treatment will keep your dog safe from fleas for one month. After this time, you’ll need to apply another dose. This treatment has been tested and it’s safe to use on puppies who are older than 8 weeks, as well as female dogs who are expecting offspring or lactating.

As we mentioned, this spot-on treatment is safe to use on puppies, provided that they are old enough (puppies younger than 8 weeks typically don’t need flea treatment as they don’t spend an awful lot of time outdoors). We find that Frontline is great for young dogs because it prevents fleas from even biting the dog’s skin - they will be paralised before that happens thanks to the active ingredients. What this means, in practice, is that your dog will be at less risk from developing allergic reactions or dermatitis caused by the bites of the fleas.

Frontline Plus comes in single-dose tubes that you simply open and drop on your dog’s back. The liquid does not smell bad, and it dries out quickly. It also quickly becomes effective. After a day or two, you’ll definitely notice the effects.

Verified Review - 4/01/2018
Frontline Plus
"Topical easy to apply, handle and has reminder stickers. Has had no ill effects on my dogs & is wet fast."

Pros

Cons

  • Remains effective for 30 days
  • Can cause temporary skin irritation
  • Easy to apply
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  • Effective against fleas and other pests
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#5: Best Flea Tablets for Dogs: Bravecto Chewable Tablets

  • Lasts longer than competitors
  • Effective against fleas, ticks, and mites
  • Easy to use

If you want to make your life easier and go with oral treatment for your dog, the Bravecto Chewable Tablets are a good option.  The active ingredient in these chewables is fluralaner, a broad-spectrum systemic insecticide. In Australia, it has been approved for treatment of fleas on dogs since 2015.

The tabs work just like any oral flea treatment. Your dog needs to swallow the tab and within a day it will start killing existing fleas and preventing new ones from living in your pooch’s beautiful coat.

What makes Bravecto stand out among other comparable options is how long it stays effective. Most oral treatments protect your dog from fleas for only one month, but Bravecto does so for as long as 12 weeks. A single dose is a bit more expensive than competitors, but you only need 4 doses a year, which makes it a good investment.

Pros

Cons

  • Lasts longer than competitors
  • A single dose is expensive
  • Effective against fleas, ticks, and mites
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  • Easy to use
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Verified Review - 4/11/2020
Positive Experience
"Product was exactly as advertised, delivered on time, excellent service."


#6: Best Flea Spray: Aristopet Flea Spray

  • Works for dogs and cats
  • Can be used to treat the dog’s bed and your home
  • Easy solution for immediate relief

If you want to prevent fleas on your dog, a spray is really not the best solution. However, if your dog is already suffering from fleas, a spray like this one from Aristopet can be quite helpful.

All you need to do to clear your dog of fleas is spray it on. Apply the spray to the fur thoroughly and be careful not to get it into their eyes. The fleas will die immediately. However, the spray won’t kill their eggs, nor prevent them from coming back in a couple of days. This is why a spray like this one is not a permanent solution, but it is a quick one in an emergency.

This spray is also great for households with multiple pets, since it’s safe for cats too. If you have multiple pets, or you worry your home has become infested with fleas, you can use this spray to treat your home too. Make sure to spray any areas where your pet spends a lot of time, especially the bed.

Pros

Cons

  • Works for dogs and cats
  • Not for puppies under 12 weeks of age
  • Can be used to treat the dog’s bed and your home
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  • Easy solution for immediate relief
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Best Flea Control for Dogs: The Final Verdict

When it comes to flea control, you can choose from multiple strategies. The most convenient as well as the most effective are spot-on treatments and oral medications.

If you are looking for a spot-on, Advantage is a tried-and-true option that definitely gets rid of fleas and keeps them away.

On the other hand, if you prefer oral medication, consider the NexGard Chewables. They are among the most popular oral flea treatments and they taste good to dogs!

For more related information check out our below guides:

FAQ

What kills fleas on dogs instantly?

Using shampoo or a spray will kill the fleas on your dog instantly. However, these treatments don’t get rid of the flea eggs and don’t prevent the fleas from coming back. Getting rid of fleas is usually a marathon. If you are looking for something that will work quickly and remain effective, then consult with your vet and get some oral medication. These tabs or chewables tend to start working within a couple of hours and keep your dog protected for at least a month.

What is the most effective flea treatment for dogs?

As you have seen, there are many effective flea treatments for dogs available today. The most effective are those that contain pesticides as active ingredients. Natural alternatives exist too, but these aren’t 100% effective.

What to do to your house if your dog has fleas?

If you are trying to get rid of fleas, the vacuum cleaner will be your friend. Vacuum the whole house and do so often to get rid of any fleas that have fallen off your dog. It is also important to wash your dog’s bed. If the dog climbs into your bed, then wash your bedding too. Hot water and soap should suffice to get rid of the fleas.

References

  1. Carrington, D. November 17, 2020. “Pet flea treatments poisoning rivers across England, scientists find”. The Guardian. Retrieved February 1, 2021. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/nov/17/pet-flea-treatments-poisoning-rivers-across-england-scientists-find
  2. Coates, J. June 27, 2019. “How to Choose the Safest Flea Treatment for Your Dog”. PetMD. Retrieved February 1, 2021. https://www.petmd.com/dog/parasites/how-choose-safest-flea-treatment-your-dog
  3. Donovan, J. “Treating and Preventing Fleas on Your Pet”. FETCH by WebMD. Retrieved February 1, 2021. https://pets.webmd.com/fleas-prevent-treat#1
  4. Sorah, E.; Allinder, M.; Slater, B. “Imidacloprid for Removal and Control of Fleas on Dogs”. Today’s Veterinary Practice. Retrieved February 1, 2021. https://todaysveterinarypractice.com/imidacloprid-for-removal-and-control-of-fleas-on-dogs/
Vedrana Nikolic

Vedrana Nikolić is a professional writer, anthropologist & dog lover with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. Currently pursuing a Masters degree in Semiotics studying the communication between animals and humans. Vedrana is able to use her expertise to analyse and review dog products and write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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