Just how often should you de-flea your dog? You might be tempted to think it is only something to worry about during the warmer months.
However, if you thought that fleas were a seasonal problem, guess again! Central heating means that these resilient pests can happily hide away in your carpet or furniture and come out at any time of year.
Since these pests are a year-round risk, which means that you should schedule your dog’s treatment on your monthly calendar to keep them flea-free.
The answer to that question depends entirely on the kind of product you choose to use.
With so many different flea treatment options, it’s hard to know which is the best. From collars to spot treatments, shampoos, and tablets, all of them work differently and are effective for varying periods.
Here’s a quick look at how long each option provides your pet with protection against fleas.
Effectiveness of the most common dog flea treatment options
Shampoos, topical/spot-on and flea collars are the most common treatments
Flea shampoos – Only work on contact with no sustained protection
Giving your dog a good scrub with a flea shampoo might be your first point of action after spotting a flea on Fido’s fur, and it’s a great way to take action as soon as possible.
It’ll help alleviate any discomfort your pet has and tackle flea allergies if they have them. But flea shampoo alone will not help you win the war because they don’t provide any protection once the bath is over.
Flea tablets – Requires fleas to bite your dog before working
Working in your dog’s bloodstream, flea tablets only work (and kill the fleas) if the fleas actually bite your dog. If your dog isn’t particularly keen on taking tablets, this might not be your best option. Flea tablets are effective at killing fleas, but they don’t repel fleas.
Spot-on treatments – Can provide protection for up to 4 weeks
Topical spot treatments for fleas are applied to the back of your dog’s neck and help prevent your furry friend from picking up fleas for up to a month. These treatments work by transporting the active ingredients across your dog’s body, with some of them having the ability to kill fleas on contact.
If you choose a product that kills fleas on contact, your dog doesn’t have to be bitten before the treatment works, which reduces the risk of your pet contracting flea allergies.
Flea collars – Can protect against fleas for up to 8 months
Flea collars like Seresto’s Flea and Tick Collar are effective for up to 8 months, which is super impressive and the best long-term protection you’ll find out there. Flea collars start working straight away by releasing the active ingredients throughout your dog’s skin and hair, which kills fleas on contact.
In most cases, flea collars are water-resistant and won’t leave any residue on your pet.
Do I need to flea my dog during the winter too?
As mentioned earlier, fleas are not a seasonal problem. Yes, they prefer warmer environments, but they don’t disappear in the winter months. Flea eggs can stay dormant for months in your home, waiting for temperatures to warm up again before they hatch. Once they hatch, they’ll feed on your dog, unless of course, you’ve kept up the flea maintenance routine.
If you’re using a flea shampoo, it won’t provide any lasting protection against fleas and your dog will probably pick them up again. Flea tablets also aren’t as effective since the fleas need to bite your dog before the product works.
Spot-on treatments can be effective for up to four weeks, but the longest-lasting protection can be found in a high-quality flea collar like Seresto, which lasts up to 8 months!
- 1 Effectiveness of the most common dog flea treatment options
- 2 Do I need to flea my dog during the winter too?
- 3 Final thoughts