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Best flea treatments for dogs

There’s nothing worse than having your home invaded by fleas and ticks. We’ve carried out extensive research to bring you our top product picks for keeping your dog pest-free.

By Laura Cooke | Last updated Feb 7, 2022

White fluffy cockapoo running on grass

Keeping your four-legged friend flea-free is part and parcel of being a responsible dog owner.

Fleas can cause pets immense distress and can even lead to more serious health problems such as a tapeworm infection if they accidentally eat a flea carrying tapeworm larvae or anaemia.

But, as pet-owning Mumsnetters will tell you, the best flea and mite treatment for dogs can help to nip infestations in the bud, alleviating your pet’s discomfort and ensuring your home isn’t invaded by any itchy critters.

Here are the best flea and tick treatments for dogs in 2021.

1. Best overall flea treatment for dogs: Indorex Flea Spray

indorex flea spray

Price: From £14.48 | Buy now from Amazon

“Indorex is the business. Keeps our home totally flea-free. IMissFrance

“...brilliant stuff. Well worth the expense.” LubaLuca

“Indorex will be your saviour!” PeppaPigOinkOinkOink 

When it comes to ridding the home of unwelcome guests, there really is only one winner. Mumsnetters rave about Indorex Flea Spray and it’s not hard to see why. 

Indorex kills adult fleas and house dust mites on contact for up to two months after application, and prevents the development of flea eggs and larvae for up to 12.

Indorex Flea Spray has also won the Your Dog magazine award for best flea product for the home for 11 consecutive years.

Pros

  • Kills fleas and lice inside the home
  • Works quickly
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Can cause skin irritation and respiratory irritation - follow the instructions with care
  • Takes around an hour to dry and can transfer onto skin during this time

Specs

  • Type: Spray
  • Recommended dose: When needed
  • Volume: 500ml
  • Active ingredients: Pyriproxyfen, permethrin w/w and piperonyl butoxide

2. Best monthly flea treatment for dogs: FrontLine Flea Prevention

A box of Frontline Spot On. The box is white and blue and has an image of a white dog

Price: £16.55 | Buy now from Amazon

FrontLine Flea Prevention’s vet-strength formula shows no mercy to fleas and ticks. Fleas jumping on to your treated dog are killed within 24 hours, while any ticks will be dead within 48. 

Just pop one pipette onto the skin on the back of your dog’s neck each month to ensure fleas, ticks and lice remain just a distant thought. 

This small dog treatment can be used on dogs and puppies weighing more than 2kg from eight weeks of age.

Pros

  • Kills fleas, ticks and lice
  • Fast-acting
  • Easy to apply

Cons 

  • Doesn’t treat flea eggs or larvae

Specs

  • Type: Liquid
  • Recommended dose: One pipette a month
  • Pack size: 3 pipettes
  • Active ingredient: Fipronil

3. Best flea treatment for large dogs: Beaphar Fiprotec Spot On Treatment for Large Dogs

A white box with red writing and a picture of a labrador

Price: £10.82 | Buy now from Amazon

“I used Beaphar spot on flea preventative. Remember fleas carry the larvae of a tapeworm so important to have flea prevention as well as something that kills fleas and their eggs.” Maggiesfarm

They say prevention is better than cure and Beaphar Fiprotec Spot On Treatment does just that.

Beaphar kills both fleas and ticks, and continues to kill fleas for up to five weeks and ticks for up to four. For continuous protection, reapply once every four weeks.

Beaphar Fiprotec Spot On Treatment for Large Dogs is suitable for dogs over eight weeks of age and weighing between 20 to 40kg. Beaphar also makes spot-on treatments for small, medium and extra large dogs.

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Provides continuous protection
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Cannot be used with a flea collar or with any other flea control products

Specs

  • Type: Liquid
  • Recommended dose: One pipette every four weeks
  • Pack size: 6 pipettes
  • Active ingredient: Fipronil

4. Best flea treatment for small dogs: Johnsons 4Fleas Tablets Puppies & Small Dogs

A box of Johnsons 4Fleas Tablets. The box is purple with a picture of a white dog on the front

Price: From £5.03 | Buy now from Amazon

“You can get flea tablets for both [cats and dogs]. They kill all the live ones on them within 24 hours then you can put a repellant on. I would advise one from the vet, [but] the flea tablets [I use] are Johnsons 4Fleas.” hannah1992

If you want to be rid of fleas in record time, we suggest Johnsons 4Fleas Tablets for Puppies and Small Dogs. These non-prescription tablets start killing off pesky boarders in just 15 minutes, with the mission fully completed in 24 hours. Tablets can be given whole or mixed into food.

This treatment is tailored for dogs weighing between 1kg and 11kg, however Johnsons tablets are good for very young dogs too, as the treatment is suitable for puppies aged from just four weeks old.

Pros

  • No prescription required
  • Safe to use with other flea and worm treatments
  • Fast-acting

Cons

  • Only kills adult fleas, not eggs and larvae

Specs

  • Type: Tablet
  • Pack size: Contains 3 treatments
  • Active ingredient: Nitenpyram 

5. Best natural flea treatment for dogs: Billy No Mates Herbal Supplements

A bottle of Billy No Mates herbal supplements. The bottle is white and the label is black and purple

Price: £17.95 | Buy now from Amazon

“We use Billy No Mates on our Labrador. It's all natural, we've not seen any critters on him since we started using it and he seems to like it too.” Pantouffle

If you’re looking for a natural flea repellant for your dog, then Billy No Mates Herbal Supplements is a solid choice.

Made up of a mixture of mint, seaweed, fenugreek, neem leaves and lemon balm, drops of Billy No Mates can be added to your dog (or cat’s) food or drink so you don’t have to wrap your furry friends in a towel like a burrito to get tablets into them.

Pros

  • All natural ingredients
  • Repels fleas, ticks and mites
  • Good alternative to tablets
  • Improves coat and skin condition

Cons

  • Can take up to six weeks to be fully effective
  • Cannot be given to bitches in pup

Specs

  • Type: Liquid tincture
  • Recommended dose: 1ml per 10kg body weight
  • Volume: ‎250 ml

6. Best spot-on flea treatment for dogs: Bob Martin Clear Flea Treatment

A box of Bob Martin Clear Spot On. The box is white and blue and there is a picture of a labrador on the front

Price: £13.65 | Buy now from Amazon

Easy to apply, fast acting and devastating for flea infestations, the  Bob Martin Clear Flea Treatment will have bugs blitzed within 24 hours for fleas and 48 hours for ticks.

Just apply a tube to your dog’s skin at the base of the head and between the shoulder blades. Repeat each month to ensure ongoing protection against pests.

Providing protection from fleas for eight weeks and ticks for four, this treatment is suitable for large dogs over eight weeks old, weighing between 20 to 40kg.

Pros

  • Kills fleas, ticks and mites
  • Prevents reinfestation of dogs and surroundings

Cons 

  • Frequent shampooing or swimming can reduce its effectiveness

Specs

  • Type: Liquid
  • Recommended dose: One tube a month
  • Pack size: 3 tubes
  • Active ingredient:  Fipronil 

7. Best flea shampoo treatment for dogs: Johnsons Dog Flea Shampoo

johnsons flea shampoo for dogs

Price: £5.99 | Buy now from Amazon

A quality shampoo is an essential item to have in your flea-fighting arsenal. Johnsons Dog Flea Shampoo is an insecticidal, containing natural biodegradable Pyrethrum, and effectively kills fleas on dogs of all breeds.

Use 50ml of product in 300ml of warm water for a medium-sized dog and repeat in seven days if necessary.

Not only does Johnsons Dog Flea Shampoo get rid of pesky critters, but it leaves your dog with a beautiful glossy coat to boot. We recommend Johnsons as the best flea bath treatment for dogs.

Pros 

  • Good value for money
  • Suitable for all breeds

Cons

  • Not suitable for puppies under 12 weeks
  • Not suitable for nursing bitches

Specs

  • Type: Shampoo
  • Volume: 400ml
  • Active ingredient: Pyrethrum

8. Best flea collar treatment for dogs: Toldi Adjustable Flea Collar for Dogs

A purple Toldi flea collar with the packaging, which has a picture of a labrador on the front

Price: £18.75 | Buy now from Amazon

The Toldi Adjustable Flea Collar uses a special blend of lavender, citronella and lemon oil to repel pests, providing eight months of continued protection and a smell akin to a trip to your local Lush. 

Although this collar uses only natural ingredients, puppies can be sensitive to essential oils, so the Toldi Adjustable Flea Collar is not suitable for puppies under six weeks old.

Durable and water-resistant, this collar will suit even the most adventurous of pooches of all shapes and sizes.

Pros

  • Adjustable to suit any sized dog
  • Provides eight months of protection against fleas, ticks, lice, flea eggs, larvae and other pests
  • All natural ingredients
  • Full protection after 24 hours

Cons

  • Preventive measure only - will not treat existing infestations
  • Not suitable for puppies under six weeks of age

Specs

  • Type: Collar
  • Size: 26 inches (65cm)

How do I know if my dog has fleas?

Usually the signs of a flea infestation are pretty easy to spot. If your dog is constantly scratching, biting their skin (causing hair loss) and the skin itself is red, scabby and irritated, then this all points to fleas.

If you suspect your dog has fleas, you should inspect their skin by parting their fur with your fingers. If you spot tiny dark insects, smaller than ants, which jump or scurry away quickly, these are fleas. Flea excrement looks finely ground black pepper, so even if you don’t see any fleas themselves, this dirt is evidence that fleas are living on your dog.

Fleas usually favour dogs’ armpits and groin area, so be sure to check these hotspots first.

What do vets recommend for fleas?

The Royal Veterinary College recommends using a spot-on flea treatment which is applied to the back of the neck on a monthly basis. Alternatively, your vet can prescribe tablets that control and kill fleas if other treatments fail.

How do I choose the right dog flea treatment? 

There are a number of different types of dog flea treatment available on the market which do not require a vet’s prescription:

  • Monthly spot-on treatments
  • Oral treatments
  • Medicated shampoo
  • Collars
  • Treatments for the home

It’s worth noting that no two dog flea products are the same. When you’re choosing a flea treatment, you should consider the following:

  • Whether you need a treatment for small, medium, large or extra large dog
  • Whether the treatment is suitable for the breed
  • If buying for a puppy, is your dog old enough for the treatment?
  • Are you looking for a one off or ongoing treatment?
  • Whether the product be used alongside other flea treatments
  • How quickly the product gets to work
  • The active ingredient it contains

What is the most effective flea treatment for dogs?

The most effective flea treatment for dogs is the Indorex Flea Spray. Highly recommended by pet-owning Mumsnetters, this spray kills all adult fleas and dust mites in the home and prevents the development of eggs and larvae for up to 12 months. 

How we chose our recommendations

We scoured Mumsnet forums to find out which dog flea treatments our users rate highly - and which ones they weren’t impressed by.

We also consulted consumer watchdogs and took note of what they looked for in dog flea treatments and which brands they were recommending to their readers.

Finally, we collated all that information and then looked at other online reviews to see which dog flea treatments had received the best recommendations.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.