Looking for a Dog Flea Treatment? Questions to Ask Before You Buy

Dogs that fall victim to fleas aren’t just uncomfortable.  If left untreated, fleas can cause major skin infections – or, worse they can infect your furry friend with the variety of diseases that they’re carrying around.

Even if your dog is mostly an “indoor” pooch, fleas are still a big threat.  Even a short trip outside to go potty can leave your dog vulnerable to picking up fleas.  Or, if your dog has a “play date” with his friends, fleas can easily hop from one dog to another.  That’s why any good dog parent should be on the lookout for the very best flea treatment.

But how do you know if you’ve found it?

Before you buy any kind of dog flea treatment, ask these 7 questions first:

Does This Dog Flea Treatment Match My Dog’s Weight?

Following the guidelines on the package is very important.  In order to make sure that your dog gets the exact amount of flea-fighting chemicals that he needs, you will have to make sure that the product you buy corresponds to your dog’s weight.

Trying to split one package of large dog flea treatment in half for two smaller dogs, or using two doses of small dog flea treatment on a big dog is not effective – and it can actually be dangerous.  The last thing you want is for your beloved pooch to suffer an overdose!

Is This Flea Treatment Made Specifically for Dogs?

It may seem like an incredibly obvious question, but lots of people think that all flea treatment is the same.  However, you cannot use the same flea treatment on your dog as you would your cat.  The big companies – like Advantage and Frontline – make products for both Fido and Fluffy, so read carefully.

How Hard is the Treatment to Administer?

The best flea treatment for dogs is the one that you can easily get onto your pooch.  The big brands make “spot-on” treatments that have you squeeze a small amount of liquid right in between your dog’s shoulder blades once a month.

It only takes a few seconds, and the liquid goes onto a spot that your dog can’t reach to lick the medicine off.  These newer spot-on treatments are much easier to deal with than the spray, dips, and flea combs of old!

Is This Product Generic?

If it is, you may want to steer clear of it.  There are lots of imposters out there that try to say they are just like the bigger dog flea treatment brands – but they are not.

What makes them so different?

Assuming they use the same chemicals (which some of the generics don’t), the big spot-on dog flea treatments have special technology that uses the natural oils in your dog’s skin to spread the medicine all over.

Many of the generic products on the market do not use that same technology – so the flea treatment may not get all over your dog’s skin like it needs to.

How Quickly Does This Flea Treatment Work?

If your dog is already infested, time is of the essence.  Lots of dogs are allergic to flea bites, so each one is its own separate, tiny, uncomfortable problem.  Your vet can tell you if you need a more aggressive dog flea treatment that’s designed to work faster than the stuff you buy online.  You may also need special ointment if any skin lesions have popped up.

Is This Dog Flea Treatment Safe for Puppies?

Most of the newer flea treatments out there can be used on any dog that is older than 7 or 8 weeks old.  Puppies that are younger than that may simply be too small to handle traditional flea treatments.  Your vet can point you in the right direction if your puppy has a flea problem.

Is There a Natural Flea Treatment for Dogs?

If you don’t want to inundate your dog or your home with a bunch of chemicals, you don’t have to.  If you find the right natural flea treatment for dogs, you can protect everyone from fleas and toxins!  In fact, getting a natural flea treatment for your dogs is a great way to go green.

But which natural ingredients are actually flea-fighters?

Certain herbs – specifically diatomaceous earth and powdered pyrethrum – have been shown to combat fleas.  As an added benefit, both of them can be found at your local lawn and garden store, so they are easy to find.  Before you try any natural flea treatment for dogs, though, make sure your vet is OK with it.