Best Flea Collar for Dogs - Comparison and Reviews
Dog flea collars are very effective in the prevention and protection against fleas and ticks. All flea collars work in the same way, but generally, they contain different insecticides that lead to some products being more effective than others.
However, once you start shopping online you’ll find an impressive selection of similar collars, each promising to be the most powerful thing on the market. Dog owners usually find themselves overwhelmed by the range of choice available, and may eventually end up unable to buy anything at all.
That’s why we’ve compiled this comprehensive comparison of flea collar reviews, which will help you understand how flea collars work and what is the best flea collar for dogs available in the market.
Our Top Picks
Best Flea Collars for Dogs 2020 - Reviews
Bayer Seresto is the best flea collar for dogs living in high flea infestation areas. Seresto dog flea collar contains a combination of two safe insecticides — Imidacloprid and Flumethrin. These insecticides are potent enough to kill fleas and ticks in contact with dogs skin or hair.
Most flea collars rely on your dog getting bitten by flea or tick to deliver enough insecticide to kill the parasites. The Seresto collar provides the best flea treatment by secreting constant low concentration of active insecticides, which kills most fleas and ticks in contact with your dog, instead of when they bite. Seresto also provides the longest and robust protection by repelling fleas and ticks for 8 months.
This is the best treatment if you live in an area with tick-borne diseases that can potentially be fatal to dogs. By killing and repelling fleas and ticks before they bite, you can protect your dog from diseases as well as from irritation.
Seresto dog flea collar is also well-designed. It has a quick-release mechanism to prevent your dog from getting stuck and suffocating while caught on the collar. It is non-greasy and easy to customize for both large dogs and small dogs. It’s also one of the few products that can be used on puppies (from the age of seven weeks), which is ideal for preventing fleas or ticks in both puppies and adult dogs.
- Highly recommended by Vets
- Odor-less and water-resistant – dogs can swim and take bath wearing Seresto flea collar
- 8 months of protection
- Quick-release mechanism that’s essential for active dogs
- It is easy to apply, making it a convenient replacement for other tick and flea products
- There is a lead-in time (about 2 days) before the collar becomes fully effective
Primova is the best natural flea collar for dogs that contains essential oils with pest-repellent properties. The essential oils present in this flea collar are Clove, Thyme, Peppermint, Castor and Lemongrass oil that are very effective in repelling fleas and ticks.
Clove oil, in particular, is a natural insecticide and is excellent in repelling fleas and ticks. But it cannot be applied directly on dogs and should be used in a diltued form in the flea collar. Other essentials oils listed in the Primova flea collar not only repel fleas but also soothe the flea bites and remove itchiness in dogs. This flea collar is perfectly suitable for dogs with sensitive skin as it’s hypoallergenic thanks to the natural ingredients. It will protect your dog from fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes for 8 months.
The collar is designed to be used on small to large dogs as it is adjustable. It can easily fit a large dog like Great Dane and a small dog like Yorkie. Primova is manufactured with high quality waterproof material making it an ideal flea collar for dogs to use while swimming and in rain.
Hartz UltraGuard is the best cheap flea and tick collar for dogs. It’s a fast-acting flea collar that kills all fleas and ticks in contact with the dog within 1 – 2 days after the start of usage. Hartz UltraGuard kills and repels both fleas and ticks on dogs and also prevents flea eggs from hatching. It provides well-rounded protection to dogs from the flea infestation.
It is mentioned on the product packing that his dog flea collar provides 7 months of protection from fleas and ticks. But many dog owners have commented that it doesn’t last long and its effectiveness is at max 1 month. Although it works it is not as long-lasting as the Seresto Collar. Plus, the insecticide used in Hartz UltraGuard is a safety concern for humans.
If you are on a budget, it’s best to use this flea collar to get rid of all the fleas from your dog. After that opt for a natural flea collar (as recommended above) for 6 – 8 months protection.
Rolf Club 3D is a Quick Effect dog flea collar. It kills fleas and ticks in contact with your dog within 24 – 48 hours after the start of use. It also effectively protect dogs by repelling fleas and ticks for 4 months.
Rolf Club flea and tick collar is a combination of three potent insecticides: Fipronil, Ivermectin, and Pyriproxyfen. The combination of these active ingredients effectively kills the pests as soon as they come in contact with your dog, protecting them from tick-borne diseases. That’s why the flea collar is very effective for outdoor dogs who attract a lot of fleas and ticks.
Rolf Club flea collar comes in three different sizes depending on the size of your dog. Each flea collar is also adjustable, ensuring a great fit for both small and large dogs. It’s also odorless and water-resistant making it easy for dogs to swim and bath wearing this collar.
- Quick lead-in time, starts killing ticks and fleas within 24 hours of use
- Provides 4 months of flea and tick treatment plus prevention
- Highly effective in controlling a wide range of parasites including ticks, fleas, and mosquitos
- Due to the potency of the active ingredients, the collar isn’t recommended for puppies
The Arava Flea & Tick Prevention Collar is a natural flea collar for dogs that contains only herbals and essential oils as active ingredients. And as a bonus, the collar smells great too. The light and soothing essential oil scent help keep fleas and ticks at bay.
A team of veterinarians and dermatologists designed the Arava Flea & Tick Collar to ensure that their product is effective, pH balanced, and easy on your dog’s skin. The essential oils are directly infused into the collar using patented micro-injection technology, ensuring that they are released slowly and evenly over time. This feature allows the flea collar to protect dogs for up to 6 months and ensures that the essential oils are distributed evenly over your dog’s coat.
Arava flea collar is safe to use for both puppies and adult dogs. It’s safe to use it in a household with other animals, for example, as essential oils are safe for cats, dogs, and any other pets in your home. Thanks to the natural ingredients, the flea collar is also non-toxic to humans.
Merck Scalibor Dog Flea Collar contains Deltamethrin as the active compound. Deltamethrin is a powerful insecticide and highly effective at controlling fleas, ticks, and mosquito infestation in dogs. It is capable of killing fleas at all stages of their lifecycle including eggs, larvae, and adults.
Merck Scalibor has been on the market for several years and has established a reputation as a highly effective and long-lasting flea collar for dogs. It effectively prevents any flea infestation in dogs for 6 months.
The flea collar comes in only one size, and you then get to cut it to the perfect length for your dog. It is water-resistant and completely odor-free, making it a great flea collar to use on indoor and outdoor dogs. Merck Scalibor doesn’t decrease drastically in lifespan even if it gets wet often, so it’s an ideal flea collar for water-loving dogs.
Due to the high potency of this flea collar, it should be avoided on puppies and pregnant dogs.
Choosing a Dog Flea Collar: How They Work
Tick and flea collars all contain some form of insecticide that’s been proven to be safe for use in mammals and humans. The insecticide is embedded in the plastic collar as either a gas or a liquid. The gas will kill fleas as they bite into the skin, while the liquid is absorbed into the dog’s skin and then kills fleas or ticks when they pierce the skin. In general, liquid-based insecticide collars work better than gas-based ones, as they spread into a larger area, making them more effective overall.
Modern flea collars tend to use liquid active ingredients (we’ve added the active ingredients to each product review above). The best dog flea collar is designed to continuously secrete liquid insecticide which is then absorbed by the natural oils found in the dog’s coat. These oils then spread throughout the coat, offering a much higher level of protection, from tip to toe. How well-distributed the liquid is, and how effective the collar is, will depend on several factors, including:
- how close to the skin it sits,
- the age of the collar, and
- how often the dog gets wet.
The design of modern flea collars has also improved considerably. Modern flea and tick collars will usually contain some sort of anti-oxidant that will protect the collar and insecticide from degradation. Most flea collars are water-resistant and have special mechanisms that prevent your dog from choking or being strangled by the collar. Plus you can use our recommended best dog leash with the flea collar. These precautions, combined with modern insecticides that have passed toxicity screens, means that flea collars are safer to use than ever before.
The flea collar for dogs is designed to work continuously over three to twelve months, depending on the type of insecticide in the collar. While some collars can help treat existing infestations, most collars should be used as a preventative measure. If your dog already has fleas, there are alternative methods to treat the infestation, such as dog flea shampoos or oral medications. Once the infestation has cleared up, you can use a flea collar to prevent new outbreaks from occurring.
Active ingredients in flea and tick collars for dogs
The active ingredients are what determine how safe and effective the flea collar is. For instance, one of the most popular insecticides in collars used to be Tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP), a potent neurotoxin that was an incredibly effective poison. Unfortunately, it proved to also be highly toxic to mammals, causing brain and neurological defects in dogs and humans. It has also been linked to several cancers and was listed by the EPA as a carcinogen in 2016. Symptoms of TCVP exposure included blurred vision, convulsions, pulmonary edema, and nausea.
Luckily, since then there has been a lot of research into safer alternatives that will still be effective against ticks and fleas, but safer for both pets and humans. The most popular of these currently include Deltamethrin, Imidacloprid, and Flumethrin.
- Deltamethrin: deltamethrin is a neurotoxin that has been shown to be effective in the control of mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks. It’s considered safe for use around humans, but as with any insecticide, it can still produce neurotoxic effects in high enough doses. However, at the doses found in collars, it is considered one of the safest insecticides currently on the market.
- Flumethrin: unlike Deltamethrin, Flumethrin is mainly used in veterinary medicine to protect animals from parasites such as ticks and fleas. Flumethrin is one of the more common insecticides used in flea collars due to its low toxicity and high efficacy.
- Imidacloprid: this insecticide works on the nervous system of insects, paralyzing, and ultimately killing them. Since Imidacloprid works on neurological receptors that are found only in insects, it’s much more toxic to insects than to mammals, which makes it one of the most widely used insecticides in the world. It’s used in a huge array of industries, from farming to forestry and of course, in flea collars. It’s moderately toxic to mammals when ingested orally, but has low toxicity when used on the skin.
There are other active ingredients that can be found in some flea collars, such as amitraz and propoxur, but several concerns have been raised about their toxicity and safety. If you do use a collar with one of these ingredients, make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly after handling your pet.
With the rise of the natural movement, many alternative flea collars have come on the market. These will contain essential oils such as peppermint or cedarwood, instead of synthetic insecticides. The EPA lists these oils as compounds that pose little or no risk to humans, making them the safest option around.
They are less effective as an insecticide than synthetic compounds. It’s up to you to decide whether you want an effective but slightly toxic product or one that is less effective but safer to use.
Flea Develops Resistance to Treatment
There is a continuous arms race between insects and insecticides. As insects are exposed to an insecticide, they will start to develop resistance. The insects that survive contact will pass that resistance on to their offspring, meaning the new generation will be even more resistant than the last.
To combat this, flea collar companies keep inventing new insecticides that will work on these resistant populations. What this means is that the longer you use the same type of flea collar with the same active ingredients, the less effective it will become. You’ll notice that your dog will start getting fleas and ticks, despite wearing a collar.
That’s why it’s a good idea to cycle between various collars. By exposing ticks and fleas to new insecticides continuously, you can ensure that they don’t develop resistance to any single insecticide. This will ensure that your collars will remain effective over long periods of time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are flea collars safe for dogs?
Yes, flea collars have been specifically tested for safety for both dogs and humans. If used as directed, these collars are safe to use. Much of the toxicity of the collar comes from the type of insecticide used, so make sure to read the packaging that comes with the collar.
Some collars aren’t suitable for pregnant or sick dogs, and others should not be used on puppies. When in doubt, consult your vet and read the labels carefully.
Are dog flea collars safe for cats?
In general, no. Cats and dogs have very different physiologies, so what is safe for one may not be safe for the other. Some insecticides, such as permethrin, have been shown to be safe for use in dogs and for humans, but are lethal to cats.
Cat flea collars are specifically designed with cats in mind. They will contain insecticides that are safe for cats and will usually have more robust safety mechanisms in place.
If you have both a dog and a cat in your home, it’s worthwhile to stay away from dog-only flea collars. Any exposure to the insecticide can be harmful to your cat, even if it isn’t wearing the collar itself. If your dog and cat play together, your cat will be exposed to potentially lethal chemicals.
It’s a better idea to use collars that are formulated for both cats and dogs. If you’re ever uncertain about the safety of your collar, speak to your vet or expert to get proper medical advice.
Can I use a dog flea collar on a puppy?
Using a flea collar on a puppy is usually not recommended. Puppies are much more sensitive to irritants and toxic products than adult dogs, and the amount of insecticide in a dog collar may be harmful to your new pup. In general, vets recommend avoiding using any type of flea or tick treatment on a puppy before it is eight weeks old.
If your puppy has a tick or flea infestation, it’s best not to try to treat it yourself and see an expert instead. They’ll be able to advise you on safe ways to combat the infestation and will make recommendations to protect your puppy from further harm as well.
How often should I change the collar?
Different collars have different lifespans, and these can also be influenced by various external factors. In general, collars will last anything between three and twelve months before they need to be replaced. Usually, collars will come with instructions for use, and this will also give you a recommended replacement date.
If your dog is very active, that may affect the lifespan of the flea collar. If your dog gets wet a lot, you may have to replace your collar much sooner than expected. Collars that get damaged, either through rough play or chewing also need to be replaced. If you are using another type of flea and tick medication, make sure to remove the collar in order to limit chemical exposure for your dog.
A good indicator of when to replace a collar is when it stops working and if it isn’t visibly damaged. If you start noticing a few stray fleas or ticks on your dog, it’s a good sign that the collar has reached the end of its lifetime and need replacing.
If you’ve reached the end date given by the manufacturer, however, and the collar still appears to be working, you should avoid the temptation to push it past the end date. Rather replace the collar according to the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure that your pet is parasite-free.
When should I use a tick and flea collar?
There are many different ways to control ticks and fleas in dogs, including drops, shampoos, and flea collars. The type of prevention you use will usually depend on where you live, and the type of dog you have.
If you live in a cold climate, you’ll find that fleas aren’t usually a problem. That means that during the winter months, you may not need to bother with any type of flea prevention at all, and only focus on protection during the summer months.
Fleas love hot summers and can lay up to fifty eggs per day. This means that if you see one or two fleas on your dog, there’s up to a hundred that you are missing. Fleas tend to reproduce when it’s hot, so if you live in an area that is temperate all year round, it’s worthwhile to invest in continuous flea prevention.
While many of us focus on fleas when it comes to parasites on our pets, ticks actually pose much more of a danger. There are many tick-borne diseases that can be fatal to your pet, and ticks are present all year-round. If you live in an area with ticks, or you walk in places where ticks live, you want to ensure that you’re doing everything you can to protect your dog.
The main reason why you’d use a tick and flea collar as opposed to drops or edibles is that it’s cheap, effective, and easy to use. Once you’ve fitted the collar, you can forget about ticks and fleas for up to eight months, and it will only set you back under $100 for that period.
When should I not use a tick and flea collar?
Some tick and flea collars contain very potent insecticides, which are then spread over your dog’s skin. These insecticides can be toxic and even harmful to your pet, especially if they’re old, sick, or pregnant. Many flea collars are also not recommended for use in puppies, or with dogs that have sensitive skin.
That’s why it’s a good idea to discuss tick and flea prevention with your vet. Not only do they know your dog, but they’ll also be able to recommend alternatives and find a solution that works for both you and your pet.