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Compare The 3 Types Of Flea And Tick Medication For Dogs

From Topical to Flea Pills for Dogs - Which One Is Right For Your Dog?

By May 08, 2014 | See Comments

A Dog Scratching His Ear

With all of the different flea and tick medications out there, from topical and collars to flea pills, choosing can be a bit overwhelming. Here are 3 types of flea and tick medications compared so you can make a decision.

When it comes to flea and tick medications, there are three types of options out there. Some, like Nexgard, take care of fleas and ticks. Others, like Advantage Multi, work on fleas and various worms. Learn the differences so you’ll be able to quickly eradicate a parasite infestation on your pup.

1. Topical Flea and Tick Medication for Dogs

Topical flea and tick medication, like shampoos, powders, and spot-on treatments, eliminate fleas with varying degrees of success. Flea powders last up to one week, while shampoos kill fleas for about one day. Both only eliminate adult fleas, and are best used when combined with pills or other treatment options.

Topical spot-on treatments are most effective, destroying adult fleas, larvae, and eggs and other parasites, and lasting about 30 days.

Topical treatments for dogs should never be used on cats unless the medication specifically indicates.

Popular Flea and Tick Topical Treatments for Dogs Include

Advantage II

  • Eliminates flea infestations at all stages of the growth cycle
  • Effective against lice, but does not kill off ticks
  • Administered monthly, lasts up to 30 days
  • Waterproof one hour after application
  • Minimum pet age: 7 weeks
  • Ingredients include: Pyriproxyfen

Frontline Plus

  • Kills ticks, chewing lice, and fleas at all stages of growth
  • Eliminates fleas in up to 12 hours
  • Used monthly, effective for 30 days
  • Waterproof
  • Minimum pet age: 8 weeks
  • Ingredients include: Fipronil, S-methoprene

K9 Advantix II

  • Effective against ticks, lice, biting flies, mosquitoes, and fleas at all stages
  • Begins working within 12 hours
  • Applied monthly, lasting up to 30 days
  • Minimum pet age: 7 weeks
  • Ingredients include: Imidacloprid, Permethrin, Pyripoxyfen

Revolution for Dogs

  • Kills fleas, ticks, and heartworm!
  • Treats and controls the spread of ear mites and sarcoptic mange
  • Applied monthly, lasting up to 30 days
  • Quick drying and non-greasy
  • Ingredients include: Selamectin

2. Flea Pills for Dogs

Flea pills for dogs typically guarantee the most success in fighting off parasites, but there are a few points to consider when choosing this treatment. Some orally administered drugs will require a prescription from your vet, and can come with side effects. And oral pills typically target either flea eggs or adult fleas, but not both, so you may have to pick up several drugs to eradicate the infestation. Currently, there are no oral medications that destroy ticks.

Flea pills are the fastest way to eliminate these pests, with some treatments killing off infestations within four hours. If your dog doesn’t like swallowing capsules, look for oral medications available in chewable tablets.

Popular Flea Pills for Dogs Include

Capstar Flea Killer

  • Kills off flea infestations within 6 hours
  • Administered daily, effective for 24 hours
  • Minimum pet age: 4 weeks
  • Ingredients include: Nitenpyram
  • Sold over the counter


  • Chewable, beef-flavored tablets
  • Kills fleas and flea eggs
  • Begins working within 30 minutes
  • Administered monthly, prevents fleas for up to 30 days
  • Minimum pet age: 14 weeks
  • Ingredients include: Spinosad
  • Prescription required

3. Flea and Tick Dog Collars

Flea and tick collars are most often used to prevent parasites from taking up residence on your pet. While preventative dog collars are most effective, some varieties of collars can also treat infestations by eliminating pests and their eggs via chemicals released into your dog’s skin. Look for the word “kill” on the package to ensure that the collar will treat an infestation, not just prevent it.

Flea and tick collars can last up to eight months, and are ideal for treating tick problems. Because collars are fastened around the neck, they are more concentrated around the face and neck area, where ticks more often inhabit.

Flea and tick collars are especially useful when you are in the process of eliminating a pest infestation as they will help prevent a new outbreak, and most of them can be combined with other treatment options. (Talk to your vet before combining a Seresto flea collar with any other medications.)

Popular Dog Collars that Eliminate Fleas and Ticks Include

Seresto 8 Month Flea and Tick Collar

  • Eliminates fleas and ticks
  • Prevents and treats pests for up to 8 months
  • Available in small and large sizes
  • Minimum pet age: 7 weeks
  • Ingredients include: Flumethrin, Imidacloprid

PLEASE do not used those....many dogs have die....


You have to click on the Tick header


I can't prove it but I'm sure Trifexis killed my Rottie. I switched from Revolution and not long after giving her Trifexis, she started having seizures - they couldn't figure out why she was having them and I couldn't put her through it any more so I put her out of her misery. Later I read all the side effects of Trifexis and that included seizures. I still miss my girl every day.


Simparica is good for fleas, new from March 2016. I bought a 3 month supply after struggling with allergies as well as a bad bad year for Fleas. The house got infested. Switched to the Simparica and Sentinel (Instead of an All in 1)

And in 24 hours fleas were dying off and not coming back too because sentinel doesnt kill them but it sterilizes their reproductive system. It mixed safely. i'm doing it again this year. It maybe not the cheapest option but since it worked like a charm without causing her to itch and bite until she got an infection. In the long run, so worth it. (Idk for sure if the sterilizing helped) But I liked the idea lol.


It's a little new but Simparica worked great. My dog has very sensitive skin. Switching to this away from topicals helped with killing the fleas as well as not irritating her skin. I combine Simparica with Sentinel for heart worm with an additional property of Sterilizing adult fleas. So it can be safely mixed with Simparica. So if a flew does survive for a while to lay eggs it will be sterile. No babies.

Best solution I can find so far for a very sensitive skinned dog allergic to grass too. it was the worst year for fleas last yr where Iive and Topicals/sprays were awful.


I used frontline plus and had the same problem. Ineffective.


Comfort I should is the best for fleas


I've had good luck getting a double layer nylon collar. Putting a couple of slits in the back and sealing it from fraying with a lighter. The getting a cattle flea and tick tag, cutting it in strips, and feeding it between the layers of the collar thru the slits.

Works for about a year, then I just remove the strips and put in new ones.


Well, that's what I'm doing my homework. Are you saying that Nexgard and Bravecto are the only ones that work? My vet gave me frontline


Trifexis is NOT any better and is very expensive! So I thought I don't care if it's expensive or cheap as long as it works for my dog. (Specially if you have a dog & baby together. You want your dog to be free from all nasty pests) so when I took my dog for his yearly shoots I asked for something that would work and they gave me trifexis & let me tell you in my point of view it does NOT WORK. I see my poor doggy with fleas all the time & scratching the living sh*** out him. Trifexis expensive & does NOT work


I need a good flea med. for my dogs tried everything including organic and home remedies nothing seems to work. HELP PLEASE!!!!


Frontline is not effective at all. After administering on my dog, there are still fleas. Not sure if the fleas have become resistant to Frontline's formula but it is useless here in California.


yeah do your homework and find out the horrible side effects of trifexis and bravecto which are both about the same ingrediants. My dog acts like he is having a really bad spaced out drug trip. I will not put my dog through that again. Trifexis works good but the side effects are very dangerous and IMO cruel to your pet. It also is very expensive and supposedly the vets make a huge profit on it so they push it. I even asked my vet about the side effects and he said they haven't had any reports like I told him. Well the vet needs search the web about it because there are many reports of horrible side effects and damage to dogs health from it.


There are indeed chewables for dogs against both fleas and ticks lasting for 30 days. Nexgard and Bravecto. Do your homework, people!


Frontline for cats sucks!!!


According to their website, Revolution doesn't take care of ticks.


The article fails to mention medication that sterilizes fleas, such as Program (lufenuron), which eventually eliminates the entire flea population. Because lufenuron doesn't actually kill fleas, fast flea control would require concurrent use of a flea insecticide of some type until the flea population is depleted.

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