The Best Flea and Tick Treatments for Dogs: Reviewed and Updated for 2022

Updated: June 18, 2022

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How To Prevent Fleas, Ticks, and Lyme Disease In Dogs

If you’re serious about protecting your dog from fleas, ticks, and Lyme disease you need to take a few steps.

  1. If possible, remove shrubbery and tall grassy areas immediately around your home. These are tick hotbeds and the most likely place for your dog to get a tick, raising their risk of exposure to Lyme disease.
  2. Make sure you check your pet and yourself for ticks immediately after coming inside. The earlier you can spot a tick the better. Often times they can be removed prior to latching on and before they’ve had a chance to spread Lyme disease.
  3. Regularly clean your dog with a thorough bath. Use a shampoo appropriate for your dog’s age and coat length. A-Z Animals recommends weekly bathing.
  4. Brush your dog frequently. Use your hand as well as a brush to identify any latched ticks.
  5. Use a flea and tick prevention product. There are three main flea and tick prevention products. Oral, topical, and wearable. We have chosen the best for each category below, including our all around #1 choice for flea and tick prevention in dogs.

#1 Best Overall: TRIFEXIS Chewable Tablet for Dogs

Trifexis rightfully takes its place as top-of-the-line flea and tick prevention because of its easy administration and outstanding coverage. Not only does Trifexis prevent against flea and tick infestations from the inside out but also protects against heartworm infection. Additionally, Trifexis may even treat infections of hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms – nasty intestinal parasites – in adult canines. The multi-purpose medication comes in a beef-flavored, chewable tablet, straightforwardly given as a treat to pups once a month. Doses come in 5 different weight ranges so, as puppies grow their weight range will vary until they remain consistent in weight. After reaching adulthood, most dogs tend to remain the same weight making it easy to determine the correct dosage. The medication is on the pricey side but not much more than other chewable and topical flea and tick medications of lesser efficacy. 

While an excellent choice for prevention, some owners are not completely sold on the idea of oral medications presenting certain chemicals into their pet’s systems. Certain adverse side effects and even allergic reactions have been reported so it is necessary to consult with a veterinarian prior to beginning your dog on Trifexis, especially if your pet is on other medications. It is also recommended that all dogs already on or beginning the prevention receive a heartworm test at least once yearly to ensure they are free from heartworms and will not experience damage caused if positive for the disease.

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#1 Best Overall: TRIFEXIS Chewable Tablet for Dogs
Trifexis Chewable Tablet for Dogs

•Chewable tablet for preventing flea & tick infestation in dogs

•Also works on heartworms, hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms

•Comes in 5 different dosages depending on weight

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2. The Top Flea and Tick Prevention Collar For Dogs: Hartz UltraGuard ProMax Flea & Tick Collar for Dogs & Puppies

When it comes to the best flea and tick medicated collar for canines, our top choice is Hartz Flea & Tick Collar for Dogs & Puppies. You simply put the collar on your dog and you’re good to go. No messy applications, no daily medicine.

This patented collar is designed with your dog’s comfort in mind. It’s soft and flexible to the touch. It features two buckles for secure hold, yet it’s easy to apply and to remove. Its active ingredients, Deltamethrin and (S)-Methoprene, protect your dog from fleas and ticks for up to 6 months. And since they come in packs of 2, your best friend will be free from these pests for a full year.

Best Flea & Tick for Dogs & Puppies
Hartz Flea & Tick Collar for Dogs & Puppies
  • The patented collar is soft and flexible to the touch for the ultimate in comfort
  • Features two buckles for strong hold, yet it's easy to apply and remove
  • Active ingredients are released and protect your pet for up to 6 months
  • Convenient 2-pack provides a full year of protection
  • Active ingredients: Deltamethrin and (S)-Methoprene
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3. The Best Topical Flea And Tick Prevention For Dogs: Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Spot Treatment

If you want the most effective flea and tick medicine for dogs A-Z Animals recommends Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Spot Treatment for Dogs.

Frontline Plus provides the most comprehensive flea and tick prevention among topical products in the marketplace today. With a decades long track record of high performance and safety we have no problem recommending Frontless Plus.

Frontline Plus is waterproof and lasts for a full 30 days. With two main active ingredients (fipronil and (S)methoprene). Frontline Plus kills both adult fleas and ticks as well as eggs and larvae. The solution simply needs to be applied to your dog at the neck and along their back once every few weeks to be effective.

The only issue with Frontline Plus is some dog owners may be sensitive to the smell after application. Also, though it claims to be waterproof there is no doubt in our testing that the efficacy is diminished if your pet is immediately or regularly in the water. If you have a dog that likes to swim often we recommend the chewable or collar options listed above. As a reminder: there are different products for the size of your dog.

  • Small dogs (5-22lbs)
  • Medium dogs (23-44lbs)
  • Large dogs (44bs+)

The Best Topical Flea And Tick Prevention For Dogs
Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Spot Treatment for Dogs

•Most comprehensive

•Kills adult and larvae fleas & ticks

•Easy application every few months

Check Chewy Check Amazon

How to Choose the Best Flea and Tick Prevention

Nowadays there seems to be a daunting amount of options for flea and tick medication, which may make choosing for the first time or switching products difficult. Some easy ways to narrow down the search include form of application, efficacy, cost, breed, and overall temperament of your dog.

Form of Application

The aforementioned brands give some insight as to the forms of flea and tick prevention: topical, chewable, and even as the wearable collar. The seemingly easiest form is as a chewable treat, a tasty treat to feed your dog occasionally and forget about in the meantime as it works from the inside out. However, some owners do not entirely love the idea of their pets ingesting chemicals for long term usage. Also, many dogs can be picky about the flavor and be unwilling to take the medication as a treat, posing an issue for owners having to force the chewable or hide it in various other foods. However, chewable forms of flea and tick medication are thought to be the most effective, as they will not wash off and can last longer than one month. Chewable medications may be expensive and do have to be given on a regular schedule, either on a monthly or every several months basis. It is important to consult a veterinarian when giving your dog any form of oral medication simultaneously with other medications.

On the other hand, if chewable flea and tick prevention is not an option for your pet due to particular aversions or negative effects, topical medications are thought to be the second most effective form, as it can also absorb into your pet’s system to last longer and work better. Topicals can be more affordable than chewable and have proven successful throughout research. On the downside, if your pet has longer fur it may be more difficult to apply without shaving a small patch of fur. Topical medication may also have an odor and is not necessarily ideal for getting on human skin.

Flea collars, another popular option, are good for long term usage without chemical ingestion or absorption into your pet’s bloodstream. They are highly effective and affordable with easy application to your pet’s neck. However, irritation around the collar may occur, especially if worn with another collar or if your pet is allergic to an ingredient in the collar. Again, fur length may also deter efficacy of a flea and tick collar. Lastly, effectiveness of the collar decreases over time worn, so it is necessary to still remain cautious when getting to the end of the collar’s dated period.

Our Criteria for Choosing the Best Canine Flea and Tick Prevention

As a pet owner, I understand the need to choose the best products for my animals to ensure their overall health and well-being but also their happiness. Adventuring outside is of utmost importance for me and my dog, so it is necessary that I keep him on flea and tick prevention to block potential discomfort or disease. Personally, I chose chewable medication for him based on his excitement for treats, long fur, and sensitive skin. When looking into products for this article, our choices depend on consumer reviews, complaints, veterinary advice, and research into ingredients. Ultimately, our top picks are ones we deem safest, most reliable, effective, affordable, and practical.

The Different Types of Flea And Tick Prevention: Pros and Cons

The answer to the best flea and tick product for your dog may vary based on your preference and dog’s unique traits. Please consult the pro and cons list below before deciding which type of flea and tick prevention method is best for you.

Chewable

ProsCons
Best at ensuring maximum efficacy at all times (if instructions are followed)Can be expensive
Dogs often consider them treatsMust be given regularly
Best at ensuring maximum efficacy at all times (if instructions are followed)Sometimes pets refuse to eat

Collar

ProsCons
Easiest to applyCan cause irritation
Lasts for monthsLess effective the last few months of wearing
Relatively Affordable

Topical

ProsCons
Highly effective when used correctlyCan be smelly
One dose lasts for 30 daysPoor choice for water bound dogs
Decades long track record of successMixed results with long haired breeds like Golden Retrievers

Verified Users’ Reviews

Dog parents praised TRIFEXIS Chewable Tablet for Dogs for its efficacy, with comments like, “We live in Florida, on a lake, and both our dogs are frequently outside with us. We have been using Trifexis for years and have never had a problem yet with fleas on either dog.” The only complaints was that the product “smells horrible.”

One reviewer exclaimed: “About a day or two after putting the collar on the dog, several blood spots were left on the dog’s bed cover from dead fleas. The dog no longer rolls on her back to scratch. She wore the collar for about three months before I bought a new one. I’m satisfied with the Hartz Ultraguard Flea & Tick Collar and don’t feel I need to pay inflated prices for other collars.” While some users liked the smell, others thought it was unpleasant.

Another reviewer wrote: “Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Treatment for Dogs is an effective topical flea and tick treatment that will keep your dog pest free. The Frontline Plus Treatment helped break the flea cycle and we haven’t had any issues with stray fleas lingers around our dog or house. The treatment did not irritate my dog’s skin at all, and he hasn’t had any adverse reactions after licking himself. It’s an effective flea treatment that I would purchase again.” While the majority of nearly 35,000 reviewers were extremely positive, some users complained that the product “didn’t work.”

Up Next…

Now that you’ve covered the bases of preventing against fleas and ticks, you may want to check out some of our related articles for your canine pals!

About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

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