Best Flea Spray For Dogs & Cats

​​Best Flea Spray For Dogs & Cats

Fleas are a pest that nobody wants in their house or on their pets, so finding a solution that works is essential. Fleas are parasitic creatures that feed on the blood of the host, typically your beloved cat or dog, however, they can bite humans too. Apart from feeding, a fleas main aim in life is to reproduce, and if left untreated, your home can provide the perfect environment for a flea breeding ground.

There are a number of ways to combat fleas. One of the most common and simplest is to purchase a flea spray. However, with so many to choose from, the options can become overwhelming.

Is this product going to work? Is it safe for my pet? Will it harm me?

This article will focus on the best flea spray on the market at the moment for dogs and cats; so read on to find out more.

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Best flea spray

Cat Flea - CC Image courtesy of Clay Nichols

How Does Flea Spray Work?

A flea spray works similarly to other forms of flea treatments such as “spot treatments”. Both spot treatments and flea sprays contain the same active ingredient that targets the nervous system of the flea.

The active ingredient or “neurotoxin” is highly effective at killing fleas quickly. However, flea sprays typically offer more short-term protection against fleas compared to drop treatments.

Following the application of a flea spray your pet will typically be protected for 2-3 days, however, some chemical flea sprays claim to give your pet protection for up to a month after just one application.

Natural based flea sprays need to be reapplied every 2-3 days. This is mainly because flea sprays are more effective at killing adult fleas than the larvae and eggs so you risk may the eggs still remaining on your pet. 

Flea sprays typically also contain chemicals that function as growth inhibitors which can help to prevent flea eggs and larvae developing properly. This works to prevent any future flea population from hatching and surviving.

How To Choose The Right Flea Spray For Your Pet

It can be overwhelming when faced with the number of options available on the market at the moment to combat fleas and ticks. When it comes to choosing the best flea spray for use at home, the main thing to consider would be the ingredients. Mainly considering how safe this product is for your pet and as well as yourself.

best flea spray for dogs

As flea sprays are applied in a fine mist, this increases the risk of the ingredients being inhaled. If the flea spray you have selected contains harmful chemicals you are exposing yourself to the risk of inhaling those chemicals, which can be toxic. Most chemical flea sprays are typically comprised of a cocktail of chemicals such as:

Pyrethrins  

Pyrethrins  are a pesticide found naturally in some chrysanthemum flowers. The mixture within pyrethrin proves to be toxic to many insects including fleas, mosquitos, ants, moths and flies.

Pyrethroids

Pyrethroids are a group of man-made pesticides which work similarly to pyrethrins. While this chemical is generally considered non-toxic to humans it is dangerously toxic to fish and cats.

Imidacloprid

Imidacloprid is an insecticide which is also man-made and is highly toxic to insects by targeting their nerve receptors. While this can be regarded as safe for humans the main risk is through inhalation exposure. A risk that is dramatically increased when using a flea spray containing this ingredient.

Not all flea sprays a composed of harmful chemicals. Selecting a spray with more natural ingredients will reduce your risk of harming yourself or your pet.

best flea spray for cats

The other factor to consider is how effective the spray actually is at combating fleas. In some cases, chemical-based treatments may be more effective or necessary and a more natural based treatment may be thought to just prolong the process. However, more natural flea sprays can work extremely effectively at preventing fleas all year round.

Best Flea Spray For Dogs

When it comes to treating your four-legged friend for fleas it can be difficult to make the right choice. 

Some flea sprays are made of natural ingredients, mainly essential oils that work to repel and kill fleas. As the chemical ingredients in many flea sprays can be toxic and dangerous for both humans and pets, the best choice of flea spray for your dog may be one with a more natural ingredient base.

Natural flea sprays have been formulated in a way to work similarly and as effectively as chemical flea sprays, repelling and killing fleas but without the risk of nasty chemicals. They claim to stay on the fur after application but only really provide protection for a few days, so need to be reapplied every two to three days.

Another benefit of natural-based flea sprays is that they can also be used around the house to deter fleas and kill any that may be there. With a natural ingredient list there is limited to no risk of using a natural based flea spray around the house.

No matter what flea spray you decide to use, it's always best to make sure you dog has fleas and not some other condition before you commence treatment.

Wondercide Flea Control

Wondercide Flea Control is a natural based flea spray that is comprised of therapeutic-grade essential oils and Vitamin E. The brand Wondercide make a variety of different natural based pest protection that is safe for pets, humans and homes.

Stephanie Boone was compelled to create a natural alternative to chemical pesticides when her beloved pet was poisoned by pesticide and had to be put down. She was then motivated to create alternatives to chemical pesticides to prevent others from going through the trauma she experienced. She created Wondercide!

Each and every product created and sold by Wondercide are

  • made of natural and organic ingredients
  • free of chemicals, artificial colours, artificial fragrances, pyrethrins and synthetic pesticides.
  • Made in Austin, Texas, USA

The Wondercide Flea and Tick control comes in four different scents: Lemongrass, Peppermint, Rosemary and Cedar, all based on the essential oil that works to combat the fleas. You can also purchase this natural flea spray in four different sized bottles, 4oz, 16oz, 32ox and 128oz.

While natural based fleas sprays are thought to be less effective than chemical ones, particularly when it comes to targeting eggs and larvae, Wondercide Flea Control claims to combat eggs and larvae within hours!

Their website states that 95% of a fleas life cycle is in the egg and larvae stage and that their spray works to totally eliminate fleas at this stage in their life, and adding that you should spray around your house, furniture and your pet's bedding to ensure you are also treating any fleas or eggs that may have fallen off your of your pet.

As this spray is all natural is can be safely used on pets of all ages and sizes and is safe for use around children as well.

Vet’s Best Flea Spray for Dogs & Home

Vets Best Flea Spray is a natural based flea spray that can be used on both your pets and around your house to help combat fleas. The flea spray is formulated with essential oils to control and kill fleas, flea eggs and ticks. Similarly to Wondercide flea control, there are “absolutely no chemical pyrethrins or permathrins” in Vet’s Best Flea Spray.

Vet’s Best was developed by Dr. Dawn Curie Thomas who had a great love for animals. However, she grew concerned about some of the effects that chemical medication had on the animals she was trying to treat, due to most animals having more sensitive skin to humans. She was determined to create a more natural solution to help animals.

The formulation of Vet’s Best is comprised of Peppermint oil and Clove oil, both of which have insect repelling qualities, particularly for fleas and mosquitos. Vet’s Best claims to kill fleas and flea eggs on contact whilst also soothing any irritated skin at the same time.

However, Vet’s Best Flea Spray also does not use Cedar oil in its products, while this is a natural ingredient its high potency can be toxic for smaller animals and some cats. The absence of Cedar oil in their products claims to make it safe for dogs and puppies over 12 weeks as well as the whole family.

While this may be a milder formula than Wondercide Flea Control due to the absence of Cedar oil, the same warning applies. In order to ensure your pets are safe using this product, make sure to test a small area of your pet’s skin or apply sparingly on the first use. This will allow you to prevent any further reaction if your pet does have a bad reaction to this product. Some essential oils can be too strong for pets and can cause irritation.

Does Flea Spray Actually Work?

As there are a number of ways to try and combat fleas, each work in a different way and provide different results. Using a flea spray will typically only provide limited results, lasting 2-3 days but if a natural spray is used this can easily be reapplied as needed and will not have any dangerous side effects on the pet or family in the home where the spray is used.

This is not the case with chemical flea sprays, repeated exposure to the toxic chemicals within a chemical flea spray can be damaging over a long period of time.

There are many testimonies that highlight the effectiveness of using a flea spray. However, like most treatments and medications there is no guarantee of the effectiveness in all cases and some find flea sprays to be less effective than other forms of treatment.

So long as the product is used correctly, applied correctly and consistently and other measures are taken into account to maintain the result, flea spray can be very effective. Keeping a close eye on your pet and their condition, as well as taking steps to prevent your home from becoming a happy environment for fleas will all support the effectiveness of using a flea spray.

How To Use Flea Spray Effectively

Using a spray treatment to combat fleas as opposed to an oral or drop treatment can be more effective in a number of ways, so long as the spray is used to its full potential. The main advantage about using a flea spray over any other form of flea treatment is that it can be seen to give immediate results and can be used more regularly throughout the year as opposed to tablets and drop treatments.

Plus, using a non-chemical based and natural spray means that you will not be exposed to chemicals over an extended period of time, as you might be if you opted for a chemical based flea spray.

In order to make the most of your flea spray on your pet and achieve the best results follow these steps:

Take your pet to an area where it will be easy to contain them and easy to clean after they have been sprayed. The bathroom is a good option or if space allows outside in the garden or on a balcony will also work well.

Wear rubber gloves and long sleeves in order to protect your own skin from any fleas that may jump onto you during the treatment – if using a natural based flea treatment like Wondercide or Vets Best you can always spray yourself before treating your pet to add an extra layer of protection

Liberally spray your pet's fur with flea spray, avoiding spraying directly into their face, mouth and eyes.

Massage the spray into your pets coat and apply more spray if necessary, your pet's coat should be damp to the touch.

Allow the spray to dry completely – re-apply every 2-3 days as needed or as instructed on the product. Some chemical sprays will not need to be reapplied for months.

Please Note: Cats are typically more sensitive than dogs so if you are applying flea spray to your pet cat, you may want to apply less liberally at first to ensure there is no adverse reaction.

You can also use most sprays to get rid of fleas in the yard, among other places if you'd prefer to be extra thorough with your treatment. However, there are usually more effective treatments available for these larger areas.

Top tip! If your pet is scared of spray bottles, spray the product into your hands first and then apply to your pet.

Effective ways to use flea spray around the house would be to spray areas of the house where your pets may spend a lot of time like their bed as well as other areas like rugs, carpets, sofas and beds to ensure that fleas are either killed or repelled from these areas too. Natural flea sprays can also be sprayed after cleaning the floors and doorways to help kill and surviving fleas or flea larvae.

Flea Spray Risks & Precautions

As previously mentioned, the main risk with using a flea spray on your pet is the risk of inhaling the contents. The fine mist of product can easily be inhaled, which can be toxic if the spray you are using contains chemical pesticide ingredients.

However, this risk is greatly reduced if a natural based flea spray is used to treat fleas. If the ingredients within the spray you are using are all natural there is a limited risk or danger to using the product.

Other things to consider when using a flea spray on your pet, natural or chemical, is how your pet may react to the spray. It is always best to test a small area first or apply the spray sparingly to ensure that your pet will not suffer an adverse reaction to the spray. Getting rid of fleas on kittens, for example, should be approached more delicately than with fully-grown cats.

The same warning applies to natural sprays because essential oils tend to be a high concentration level and can cause irritation in some cases. Always proceed with caution at first to ensure the safety of yourself and your pet before applying a flea spray more liberally.

Summary

There are many options out there when it comes to protecting your pet dog or cat against fleas. As well as there being many things to consider when it comes to selecting the best flea spray for your pet.  

While chemical-based products may be the necessary option in some cases there are a variety of great natural alternatives that achieve great results without the risk to your own or your pet's health.

Using a natural based flea spray can achieve the same results as a chemical spray but needs to be used more regularly, every two to three days. Natural based flea sprays can also safely be used around the house and on your furniture to help protect your home from fleas.

Whichever spray you decide to try, make sure you initially use it with caution to ensure that you or your pet does not suffer an adverse reaction to the product.

Also, make sure to use the spray in well-ventilated areas, particularly chemical based sprays, to reduce the risk of inhaling any toxic ingredients. If you have any concerns about yours or your pet's health after using any kind of flea spray make sure to contact your doctor or veterinarian for support and advise.

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