Best Flea Collars For Dogs
If your dog has ever been infested with fleas, you’ll be aware of the problems it can cause. Not only does it make the dog uncomfortable, the constant scratching could lead to open wounds, tapeworm, and possible infection. A practical solution to the problem is to find the best flea collar for dogs and get rid of the parasitic insects.
Flea collars are a simple yet effective way to eradicate fleas from your four-legged friend. The collars are not too expensive and certainly cheaper than having to get your dog treated by a vet when it has fleas.
Flea collars are a good option if your dog has sensitive skin which prevents you from using flea treatments. Many dogs will not take oral medicines to combat parasites and using a flea collar is easier and less stressful for the dog.
How to Choose The Right Flea Collar For Your Dog
Before ordering a flea collar it’s advisable to measure your dog's neck so that you buy a collar of the correct size. If your dog is still growing you’ll need to ensure that the collar can accommodate a growing neck.
Choose a flea collar that contains no toxic chemicals that are harmful to dogs. Buy a collar that’s approved by a vet or one that is made from natural ingredients. Many of the flea collars are made from plant extract and essential oils which are not harmful to dogs or people.
Select a flea collar that has a secure buckle fastener to keep it on the dog's neck. If the collar comes off due to a poor buckle, it will not be releasing ingredients into the dog's skin. The dog could also chew the flea collar if it works loose due to a poorly made buckle.
The buckle on the collar should be easy to fasten, but more importantly, easy to undo. If the collar gets caught on something in the home or outdoors you’ll need to get the collar off quickly. Some of the flea collars have a quick release mechanism which is useful.
Read customer reviews before you buy a flea collar for your dog as this gives you an idea of how effective the collar is. Reading what other dog owners have said about the flea collar gives you some useful information. It’s also useful to ask your vet if they are able to recommend a suitable flea collar for your dog.
If your dog enjoys swimming or takes regular showers or baths you should choose a waterproof flea collar. Many of the flea collars on the market are effective when they’ve been wet. However, it’s worth noting that if the collar does get wet, it may not last as long as a collar that’s been kept dry.
It’s useful to look for an all-in-one flea collar that treats ticks and other parasitic insects. Some collars are effective for treating fleas, ticks, lice, mosquitoes and larvae. Using one of these collars avoids you having to buy other products to treat different species.
Best Flea Collars For Dogs
We’ve looked at four flea collars that are specifically designed for dogs. The collars are effective against fleas and ticks and some protection against other insects.
The Bayer Seresto flea and tick collar is available in 2 sizes and any excess can be trimmed. The collar is odorless, non-greasy and it repels and kills fleas and ticks on contact. The collar provides up to 8 months of continuous protection against parasitic insects.
The active ingredients in the collar include flumethrin and imidacloprid which are released slowly. The Seresto collar is waterproof allowing your dog to swim, shower or walk in the rain.
The flea collar can be worn with the dogs regular collar and there is a quick release mechanism for emergency removal.
The Earth Vibes flea and tick collar is 25 inches long to fit most breeds and it can be cut to size. The non-greasy collar protects dogs against both fleas and ticks for up to 8 months. The collar has the added benefit of protecting your pet against larvae, lice and mosquitoes.
The Earth Vibes collar contains natural oils and plant extracts which are slowly released into the dog's skin. The flea collar is water resistant so that your pet can play in the water or take a bath.
This collar features small rings which is a useful way to prevent it from being fastened too tight.
The Get Off natural flea collar for dogs is a one size fits all collar measuring 25 inches that fits even the largest dogs. The packaging contains 2 collars each providing 4 months of protection against fleas and ticks. The odorless collar contains no toxic chemicals and it’s eco-friendly.
These flea collars contain all natural ingredients sourced from a variety of essential oils. The flea collars are fully waterproof and still effective after the dog has been swimming or showering.
The flea collar has a well-made buckle fastener to keep it securely in place and the collar is easy to put on and take off.
Jmxu’s Flea & Tick Prevention for dogs is a 25-inch collar and one size fits all breeds. The collar provides 24-hour protection against fleas and ticks for a period of 8 months. The eco-friendly collar contains natural ingredients and does not cause irritation to the dogs skin.
As well as treating fleas and ticks the collar is effective when dealing with larvae, lice and mosquitoes. The collar is 100% effective after being in water, and the active ingredients will not be affected by getting wet.
The collar is easy to adjust in order to get the correct fit and the buckle fastener is well made and secure.
How do Flea Collars Work?
There are 3 main types of flea collar that are put on dogs to control fleas and they work in different ways. The most common types of collar are ultrasonic flea collars, gas flea collars and absorption flea collars.
Most flea collars for dogs are made from a type of plastic which is the best material to use as it’s durable and flexible. It’s important that the collar is flexible so that it’s comfortable for the dog to wear. Many collars contain antioxidants to protect them from the sun's harmful rays.
Ultrasonic Flea Collar
Ultrasonic flea collars are either pendants or full collars that emit high-pitched sound waves to repel fleas. These collars do not kill fleas and there are mixed reports on their effectiveness. Scientific studies have been carried out that concluded the collars don’t repel fleas and other insects.
Gas Flea Collar
Gas flea collars release a toxic gas which repels fleas from the dog. Gas flea collars kill fleas if they are in close proximity to the flea collar. If the fleas are on other areas of the dog a gas collar is not going to be effective.
Gas collars are not as common as they were and more dog owners prefer to use absorption flea collars.
Absorption Flea Collar
When an absorption flea collar is placed around the animal's neck the body heat from the dog warms up the collar. This releases the active ingredient which then starts to repel and kill fleas. The dog is usually fully protected after a couple of days.
Absorption flea collars are much more effective than gas flea collars and ultrasonic collars.
Absorption collars release the active ingredients into the fat layer of the dog’s skin. When the flea bites the dog, it get a dose of insecticide and dies. Other collars release the active ingredients into the dog’s skin oils and kill off fleas all over the animal.
The absorption collars are the best solution when you’re looking for complete protection against fleas on all areas of a dog. Most absorption collars will protect your dog against fleas for many months at a time. These flea collars are more cost-effective than other flea treatments that are available.
It’s useful to look at the active ingredients used in flea collars for dogs to see what they do.
Deltamethrin is widely used in flea and tick collars for dogs and it’s a synthetic pesticide. The substance is a derivative of pyrethrin which is naturally found in the flowers of the chrysanthemum. Deltamethrin is a safe pesticide and not harmful to animals or humans.
Flumethrin is a widely used substance in slow release flea collars used to combat fleas and ticks. Flumethrin paralyzes the fleas nervous system and blocks nerve impulses. When the fleas nervous system is severely affected it will quickly die.
Amitraz is used in the collars to repel fleas rather than kill them. It’s proven to be a very effective anti-parasitic drug which is one of the reasons it’s used in flea and tick collars. Amitraz is sometimes used by vets to treat mange.
Imidacloprid is a common insecticide and it’s similar to nicotine which is found in the tobacco plant. Nicotine is toxic to insects which makes imidacloprid an effective ingredient in flea collars. When it’s slowly released by the flea collar the imidacloprid attacks the fleas nervous system resulting in death.
Pyriproxifen is one of the most useful active ingredients used in flea and tick collars for dogs. Pyriproxifen doesn’t kill the flea but it targets the eggs that have been laid and larvae to prevent an adult flea developing. This is an effective way to control fleas and stop them from reproducing.
Propoxur attacks the nervous system of fleas and causes it to break down. Within a few hours of the substance contacting the flea the parasite will shut down and die. Propoxur is toxic to humans and you should wash your hands thoroughly after touching a flea collar containing it.
Many slow release flea collars for dogs contain natural ingredients including essential oils. Lavender is used as an active ingredient and it’s an effective deterrent for fleas and ticks. Lavender has another useful use in collars and it prevents tick eggs from hatching.
Lemongrass and small quantities of peppermint are used in flea collars. Lemongrass has a pleasant smell and it’s an effective flea repellent. Peppermint has a strong smell and many insects including fleas are deterred by it.
Eucalyptus oil is another natural ingredient sourced from Australia that repels fleas. The eucalyptus oil is often mixed with citronella to deter the parasites. As well as repelling fleas a mixture of eucalyptus oil and citronella drives away other insects and bugs.
Lemon oil extracted from the skin of lemons is used in flea collars for dogs. Essential lemon oil contains a substance called limpoline which is an effective flea repellent. If you buy some lemon oil it’s worth putting a few drops on your dog's bed to repel fleas and other insects.
Insect Growth Regulator
Some of the flea collars for dogs contain an insect growth regulator (IGR) which prevents the development of fleas. The IGR targets eggs, larvae and pupae to stop the life cycle. The active ingredient used in insect growth regulators is a juvenile hormone called S-Methoprene.
Can All Dogs Wear a Flea Collar?
Most adult dogs that are fit and healthy can wear a flea collar but there are a few exceptions.
If you have a bitch that is pregnant or one that’s nursing puppies it’s not advisable to fit a flea collar. The active ingredients could harm the unborn puppies or get into the milk which the puppies are feeding on. If your dog is pregnant and has fleas, there are other treatments that your vet can provide.
Elderly dogs and those with a low immune system should not wear a gas or absorption flea collar. The active ingredients in the flea collar may be too strong for an elderly dogs system to handle. A dog with a low immune system will also react badly to a slow release flea collar.
Can Puppies Wear Flea Collars?
Dog health specialists recommend that owners wait until puppies are at least 8 weeks old before fitting a flea collar. Due to the fact that puppies are a lot smaller than adult dogs the active ingredients are too strong. An overdose of active ingredients used in flea collars can lead to health problems in puppies.
Puppies are extremely playful and if they’re wearing a collar there’s a chance another youngster could chew it. Ingesting the insecticide is harmful to puppies and medical attention is required if this occurs.
Another reason that puppies should not wear flea collars is that they’re usually too big for the puppy's neck. If the collar is very loose it could get caught on a piece of furniture and choke the puppy.
If a puppy ingests the active ingredients used in flea collars for dogs the following symptoms could develop:
Slow heart rate
How to Use a Flea Collar Effectively
The most important thing with a flea collar for dogs is that it fits properly without being too loose or tight. When you have purchased the correct sized collar you’ll need to secure it around the dog's neck. When it’s fastened you should be able to comfortably get 2 fingers between your dog's neck and the collar.
If there’s any excess when you’ve secured the collar it needs to be trimmed and thrown away. If you leave the excess piece of collar your dog could easily chew it. Trimming the excess prevents the dog from ingesting the active ingredients and becoming sick.
If you’ve used a gas flea collar a handy tip is to place the piece of collar that’s been trimmed in the bag of your vacuum cleaner. The active ingredients will kill of any fleas that are sucked up when your cleaning.
Flea Collar Risks & Precautions
With any type of pesticide, there are risks, and dog flea collars are no different. It's possible that your dog could have an allergic reaction to the flea collar. Unfortunately, you’re not going to know about this until it happens.
Do not use a flea collar that contains Tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP) which is a neurotoxin. TCVP is very effective for killing fleas and other pests but scientists believe it’s harmful to humans. TCVP is commonly used to get rid of insects on livestock but may be too strong for domestic pets.
Avoid using the cheap flea collars that are sold in supermarkets and other stores. These cheap collars are not effective and may irritate your dog's skin. Some of these collars contain substandard ingredients that are harmful to dogs and humans.
Before you put a flea collar on your dog it’s useful to let it air for a few days. When a flea collar is brand new the active ingredients are potent. Airing the collar helps to reduce the chances of the dog having an adverse reaction to the new collar.
When you fit the flea collar you should keep an eye on the dog for the first few days. If the dog's behavior changes or a skin condition develops remove the flea collar and consult a vet for professional advice.
Always keep the packaging for the flea collar and show it to your vet if your dog develops any symptoms after wearing a flea collar. If the vet can see what the active ingredients in the flea collar are they’ll be able to treat your dog quickly.
Do not use any other flea treatment whilst your dog is wearing a flea collar. It's possible to over medicate your dog with pesticides which could lead to health problems.
If you have more than one dog it’s important to fit a collar to each animal rather than sharing a flea collar between them. Sharing a collar may spread infection or skin diseases and this needs to be avoided.
Avoid using a flea collar if your dog is on any short or long-term medication. The ingredients in the collar may react with the medication and affect the way it works. Your dog healthcare specialist will advise you if you have any concerns.
Your dog does not have to wear the flea collar all the time and you are able to remove it from time to time. It’s advisable to put the flea collar on when you're walking your dog on the street or in the woods. Removing the collar also prevents it from leaving a mark in the dog's coat.
If you decide to take the flea collar off the dog it should be kept in the tin that it came in or place in a sealed plastic bag. Keeping the collar in a tin or bag will preserve the active ingredients and keep the collar in good condition. It’s important to keep the flea collar out of the reach of children.
Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling any type of flea collar for dogs. Although most of the active ingredients are not harmful to humans they may irritate your skin. The flea collar may be a little greasy or have an unpleasant odor which is another reason to wash your hands.
When you’ve found the best flea collar for dogs your pet will be much happier and in better health. The days of scratching will be over and the dog can continue it’s life as part of your family.
Regular inspection and brushing your dog will help you to monitor things and check for fleas. Hopefully, the fleas will not return, but if they do, you’ll know which collar to buy and use.
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