Your dog’s shiny coat could be brewing a big problem: fleas. These tiny blood-sucking parasites might be small, but it will pester your dog and your entire house. If your doggo is scratching incessantly, it’s time to look for tiny crawlers on its coat. Dog owners have one question: what kills fleas on dogs instantly?
Although fleas won’t suck blood from humans, they can still give us itchy skin and tapeworm. So before the itchiness gets into your nerves (and skin!), you can use any of the 5 flea sprays we’ve reviewed here to fight off the infestation.
Signs your dog has fleas
Not yet sure if your dog has fleas? Let me ask you a few questions:
-Has your dog been in a playdate with other dogs?
-Is your dog scratching its ears and head too often than normal?
-Does your dog bite its skin?
-Are you seeing black or brownish stuff on your dog’s coat?
If your answer to most of these questions is a big YES, then your pooch might be having a flea infestation. Here are more of some tell-tale signs that your doggo has fleas:
-Loss of fur on some spots
-Excessive licking, scratching, and biting
-Black and pepper/dark dirt on coat
IMPORTANT: Fleas are different from ticks although they both infest your dog’s coat. Fleas transmit tapeworms while ticks are carriers of more dangerous diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease. Both can bite humans but ticks tend to infect people with diseases more than fleas do. We can say that fleas are a lesser evil than ticks. Still, you need to eradicate it for you and your dog’s health.
Once you confirmed that your dog is infested with fleas, it’s time to take action using any of these sprays:
TOP 5 DOG FLEA SPRAYS
What kills fleas on dogs instantly? Here are our 5 recommendations:
Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Spray Flea Killer
The Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Spray Flea Killer is infused with certified natural oils with potent flea-fighting properties. It’s 100% natural and gentle on your dog but very tough against fleas, ticks, eggs, and mosquitoes.
Vet’s Best is also blended with powerful plant extracts like clove and peppermint to ensure that no fleas will survive.
This is safe to spray directly to your dog or puppy’s coat as long as they are at least 12 weeks old. Aside from that, you can use this on outdoor surfaces, carpets, upholstery, dog bedding, crates, and other surfaces. Overall, this is pet and family-friendly for your peace of mind.
Take note that fleas die on contact. You can re-apply this spray until all the pests are gone. Be it an active infestation or preventive measure, Vet’s Best flea spray is a must-have.
This has a non-staining formula so your dog’s coat and home surfaces will remain untainted. It’s also fragrance-free to keep your dog’s nose safe.
Vet’s Best flea spray can kill thousands of fleas in just one application. Spraying it to your dog for a week or two should eliminate most of the pest’s population.
Wondercide Natural Flea, Tick, and Mosquito Spray for Pets
If your pooch has sensitive skin, you can consider the Wondercide Natural flea Spray. It’s made from natural ingredients that can eradicate 98% to 100% of the flea population. This can also repel mosquitoes, ticks, eggs, and 100 more bugs.
This spray is made from cedar oil, coconut-driven sodium lauryl sulfate, peppermint oil, sesame oil, water, and other safe substances. It’s gentle on your dog’s skin and can be applied every 2 to 3 days for the best results. For worse infestations, a daily application should be safe as well.
Aside from spraying it directly to your pooch, you can also use Wondercide on furniture and carpets. It’s kid-friendly and it will leave a fresh peppermint scent on your home.
Aside from the flea-killing formula, Wondercide is infused with Vitamin E to keep the luster of your dog’s coat. This is non-staining and grease-free. When using for carpets and fabric surfaces, test a hidden area for colorfastness first.
If you don’t have any sensitivity to the ingredients, you can even spray it on your legs to prevent the fleas from getting into your skin.
Hartz Ultra Guard Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo and Spray
The Hartz Flea and Tick Shampoo and Spray is enriched with Aloe vera that will soothe your dog’s coat while killing the fleas in the process. It also has a fresh scent that will leave your pooch with a nice whiff.
This can eradicate fleas on contact for up to 7 days. You can also use this to stop reinfestation by killing the eggs through a whole month of application. Once you have removed the entire flea population, you can re-apply this to your dog every week as a preventive measure.
Hartz Ultra Guard Plus is gentle on your dog’s skin. Just make sure that you spritz it at least 6 inches away from your dog while making sure that you don’t get it to the eye area. After that, rub your pet’s coat to spread the formula deeper into its coat.
This product is also the most affordable option that you can find in the market. If you’re dealing with fleas but you don’t have the budget for expensive extermination, this is a great home remedy.
Natural Chemistry Flea and Tick Spray for Dogs
Looking for an all-natural flea remedy? This spray from Natural Chemistry might be the one you’re looking for. It’s made from cinnamon oil, cedarwood oil, clove oil, and sodium lauryl sulfate that are potent when it comes to killing fleas and ticks on contact.
Aside from fleas, this spray can also repel mosquitoes and black flies. It’s pyrethrin-free for your dog and family’s safety.
The best thing about this spray is its residual effect that keeps the application working for up to 7 days.
Aside from spraying it directly to your pet, you can also use this to kill fleas that got into your carpet and furniture. Like the usual, perform a colorfastness test on a hidden part of the fabric first.
Natural Chemistry says that their flea spray is made for all ages. Still, it will be safe if you follow the rule of thumb of waiting for your pup to turn 12 weeks before using this kind of product. Also, you’ll need to re-apply this if you’ve bathed your dog or if the pooch got soaked in the rain.
Adam’s Flea and Tick Spray for Cats and Dogs
Our last but not the least recommendation is Adam’s Flea and Tick Spray. This has three main active ingredients namely Piperonyl Butoxide, Etofenpex, and Methoprene. It will efficiently kill all fleas, ticks, and larvae in just two months.
Adam’s Flea and Tick dog spray also kills and repels mosquitoes. It’s fast-acting it also has a residual effect of up to 30 days.
However, you can only use this on your dog and not on carpets or rugs. If you wish to get rid of fleas on your carpet, Adams has a separate spray product but you’re not supposed to use it on your pets.
For the best results for your dog, spray this once a week. This will kill the active infestation and prevent the recurrence of fleas. After 24 hours before application, you can brush the dying fleas off your dog’s coat. Some fleas will drop naturally.
Our only gripe about Adam’s flea spray is it has a medicine smell. It doesn’t irritate the dogs but it can be an issue for pet owners.
What causes fleas on dogs?
Fleas are like your dog’s version of lice but in a filthier way. Just like lice, you might wonder how your dog got it. Finding the culprit can be a tricky pursuit since dogs often mingle with other pets and wonder outdoors.
Here are some of the possible causes of fleas on your dog:
-Mice that carry fleas which your dog bite
-Another pet carrying fleas which transferred adult fleas or larvae to your dog
-Second-hand furniture or bedding with larvae or fleas
-Visitors carrying fleas on their clothes
No matter what the cause is, it’s important that you eradicate it right away. If not, your dog’s fur will fall off and a series of health problems will ensue.
Misconceptions about dog fleas
Some dog owners have wrong beliefs about fleas. This leads them to dismiss any warning signs which will make matters worse.
Here are some of the usual things we hear from dog owners:
“My dog can only get fleas if it goes outdoors.”
An indoor dog isn’t invincible to fleas. Dogs indeed have an increased chance of acquiring fleas if they are always outdoors. Still, your pooch can get it when an infected pet visits your home or if a visitor inadvertently carried fleas on their clothes.
“Winter is a flea-free season for my dog.”
Nope. Fleas don’t take a break because it’s the winter season. Although it’s freezing outside, your well-heated home becomes a much attractive place for flea harborage. So while you cozy up during winter, fleas are freely creeping into your dog’s skin.
“My dog isn’t scratching so she probably doesn’t have fleas”
Scratching is indeed the main sign that your dog has fleas. But in some cases, dogs will not scratch unless the infestation is already at an advanced stage. Checking the pooch’s coat regularly is the best move to see if your pet is becoming a host to the pesky parasite.
“Garlic is a cost-effective fix for dog fleas”
There’s no proof that feeding your dog garlic will send fleas away. In fact, garlic will harm your dog as it will damage their red blood cells. It can lead to life-threatening anemia which is another problem you’d have to deal with.
Health problems fleas will cause dogs
Fleas are wingless insects that will hop their way to your dog’s coat. This insect has a surprising ability to jump 7 inches high at a distance of one foot. For the size of fleas, it’s equivalent to jumping 160 feet at a distance of 295 feet among humans. There’s no wonder how this parasite can wreak havoc to your home.
When it comes to your dog’s health, fleas pose a serious threat. This insect is a carrier of infection that will put your dog’s wellness at risk. The following are some of the harm fleas can do to your dog:
Fleas carry tapeworms which they can pass on to dogs through biting. They can also infect humans but these cases are rare. Dogs that got infected with tapeworm will have a very itchy rear and obvious signs of weight loss.
In massive infestations, fleas can cause anemia to dogs. These bloodsuckers can reproduce in large numbers to the point that they are already taking out large amounts of blood from your pet. Puppies and small breeds are at a higher risk of anemia due to their smaller bodies. Some cases can prove to be fatal and should be considered as an emergency.
Due to the continuous flea biting, your dog will scratch and nibble on the itchy area. In a matter of weeks, your pooch will start to have bald patches and open wounds. These open wounds won’t just add discomfort to your dog; it will also become the entry point of bacteria.
Flea allergic dermatitis
This localized irritation is caused by a harsh reaction to flea saliva. Dogs with sensitive skin are likely to experience this discomfort. It can cause excessive itching which will stress your dog further.
Fleas also put humans in danger!
Your dog isn’t the only one that the fleas will target. Since humans are warm-blooded, fleas will also love crawling to your skin. It will also bite but it’s rare for a species to suck blood from humans.
So can fleas live on humans? Fortunately, no. Still, it can transmit tapeworm and other diseases to the person it will bite. If you’re having a scratch fever or intense itchiness all over your body, it will help to consult a doctor. Some people will have allergic reactions to the flea bite which may cause hives and itching.
How to get rid of fleas
When the pesky pest is all over your home and your dog, try not to panic. You can perform these steps to mitigate the situation:
Target the source
Most likely, your dog will be the host of fleas. Before you bombard your home with a flea spray, have your dog treated first. You can use one of the five sprays we’ve reviewed above. All are fast-acting and pet-friendly. Spray it at least 6 inches away from your pooch and far from its eyes.
Wear a pair of gloves and rub the formula to your dog’s coat. For thick-coated breeds, you may need to re-apply the spray one more time to get more area covered.
Fleas will die upon contact so you have to ensure that your dog is sprayed from head to tail. Never spray the formula directly to the dog’s eyes. For the head area, you can spray a small amount on your hand and rub it on top of the dog’s noggin.
Time to clean your home
Vacuuming and sweeping your floor is a great way to remove adult fleas and its larvae that have started to reproduce on your home. Fleas are stealthy and they can hide in the tiny crevices of your couch and furniture.
Make sure that you wash your pet’s bedding, crate, toys, collar, and leash. If any of your dog’s things can’t be washed, it’s best to throw it away or burn it.
Focus on the areas where your dog loves to stay at since these are the favorite spots of fleas. Vacuum it well to remove any eggs.
After that, apply the flea spray all over your house. Above, we’ve reviewed products that can be used for dogs and home surfaces. You may need to re-apply it once every two days to break the life cycle of fleas.
Clean your yard
Using a yard spray or the one you’re using for your dog and home, treat your yard to prevent any fleas from creeping into your house. Again, you’ll have to re-apply this multiple times.
How to prevent fleas from coming back
After you’ve succeeded in eradicating the flea infestation, you should make sure that the pest can’t go back. The easiest way to evade another flea infestation is to make it a habit to apply a flea spray on your dog. Most formulas we listed above can be used for preventive purposes. Applying once a week should do the trick.
Also, never neglect your basement. This secluded area of your home is the perfect harborage for several pests, including ticks and fleas. It’s best to treat your basement and crawlspaces with a flea spray to shield your home from another infestation.
It’s also ideal to seal any cracks and crevices on your house’s windows, doors, and plumbing openings. These are convenient entryways, especially if your neighborhood is experiencing a widespread flea outbreak.
If you’re bringing your dog to a play date, don’t forget to spritz them with flea spray. This will act as a repellent against the pest. Also, wash any bedding or toy that your dog used outdoors or have shared with another pet.
Dos and don’ts
While you’re dealing with the flea problem, you should observe the following dos and don’ts. This will make the treatment more effective and safer for your dog:
If you have multiple dogs at home, it’s best to keep them apart until the whole flea problem is eradicated. This will prevent the spread of the fleas from one dog to another.
Don’t rely on flea collars to fix the problem. You can use flea collars for preventive purposes, before your dog acquired fleas or after you’ve treated it away. Collars like these aren’t strong enough to kill existing fleas.
Always check your dog’s sensitivity. Most sprays have natural ingredients. It will save you from future headaches if you check if your pooch has any allergies or sensitivities to the substances.
When to visit the vet
Bringing your dog to the vet upon confirming the presence of fleas is advisable. This way, the veterinarian can prescribe steps that you can take to manage the infestation. Your dog might also need a medicated topical cream depending on the extent of flea bites.
Also, if the flea infestation is getting out of hand, you can consider tapping the help of professional flea exterminators. The only downside here is you might need to vacate your home for a certain period during the treatment. It’s also a costly choice.
Knowing what kills fleas on dogs instantly is just the first step to eliminating the entire infestation. Using the right products properly and consistently will prevent the infestation from spreading to your home. Do you have more flea removal tips to share? Let us know below!