Puppies are wonderful. Little balls of energy exploring and playing and eating and sleeping. They are kind of like having a toddler in the house. Just like a toddler, you want to protect them from the things that can harm them. Fleas and ticks seek out animals. They don’t know the difference between a full grown dog and a puppy. They just want food. The best flea and tick prevention for puppies take your new dog off of the menu.
Our Top Pick – Best Flea and Tick Prevention for Puppies
- Veterinarian-recommended ﬂea and tick prevention for dogs
- Just one ﬂea collar for dogs offers 8 continuous months of protection
- Avoid the hassle of monthly treatments
- No mess, non-greasy and odorless
- Kills ﬂeas and ticks through contact. No biting required
- Easy-to-apply collar can be worn with leash collars
- Continuous release, low concentration
- Brought to you by Bayer
When you are looking for the best flea and tick prevention for puppies, there are a few things that you want in the product you choose. First, you want it to be effective. I mean, if it isn’t effective, whats the use in using it in the first place? Second, you want it to be long-lasting. And last, you want it to be easy to use.
The Seresto flea and tick collar by Bayer has the perfect balance of all three of these features and is why it is at the top of our best flea and tick prevention for puppies list.
The Bayer Seresto flea and tick collar provide up to 8 weeks of protection from fleas and ticks. That’s 2 months. Other flea and tick prevention methods have to be applied. No need to apply messy liquids the Seresto is a collar and can be worn with other collars at the same time. Recommended for puppies 7 weeks and older. There is no odor and no nasty residue. The Seresto flea and tick collar works fast, too. It starts killing fleas in as little as two hours and ticks in as little as 6 hours!
Best Topical Flea and Tick Prevention for Puppies
- WATERPROOF FLEA AND TICK TREATMENT FOR DOGS: Frontline Plus for Dogs provides waterproof, fast-acting, long-lasting flea and tick treatment and control for your dog. This product is approved for use on dogs 5-22 lbs.
- BREAK THE FLEA LIFE CYCLE WITH FRONTLINE: Frontline flea and tick treatment for dogs kills adult fleas plus flea eggs and larvae to stop existing infestations and prevent establishment of new infestations.
- KILLS FLEAS AND TICKS: Frontline flea and tick treatment for dogs kills fleas, flea eggs, lice, and ticks. This flea and tick treatment kills ticks, including those that may transmit Lyme disease
- TRUSTED FLEA AND TICK PROTECTION FOR DOGS: Frontline has been trusted by veterinarians for nearly 20 years. Made with 2 tough killing ingredients, fipronil and (S)-methoprene - one to kill adult fleas and ticks and the second to kill flea eggs and larvae - this fast-acting, long-lasting protection provides flea and tick control for dogs and puppies 8 weeks and older.
- LASTING FLEA AND TICK PROTECTION: Frontline's long-lasting formula is stored in the oil glands of the pet's skin to give non-stop flea and tick protection for a full 30 days. Frontline flea and tick treatment for dogs works non-stop for a full 30 days. A 3-dose supply lasts for 3 months.
If you worry about putting a puppy in a collar, there are also topical flea and tick prevention options for puppies. These topicals are usually a clear liquid that comes in a tube. Simply snip the end off and squeeze it out between your puppy’s shoulder blades.
Frontline Plus is a trusted brand. Veterinarians have been recommending Frontline products to dog and cat owners for nearly 20 years. Why? because it works. They aren’t going to suggest their clients use a product that won’t solve the problem.
The downside of these topical flea and tick prevention treatments is that they can be a little messy until they dry. The last time I used one on my dog, it left a white streak down the middle of his black coat. Good news, no fleas. Bad news, your dog looks like a skunk.
That’s not to say that all topicals leave this type of residue, but some will. Another downside, especially with puppies, is that the area shouldn’t be touched. If momma pup is around, she may want to clean her little one. Probably not something that you want your dog to ingest.
Best Flea and Tick Prevention Spray for Puppies
- Flea and tick treatment spray-on topical flea control formula can be applied directly to pets to provide fast-acting control of fleas and ticks for up to 30 days
- Spray bottle is easy to use, ensures fast and even application and can be reapplied regularly
- Kills fleas before they lay eggs, effectively preventing reinfestation
- Contains fiprinol to kill pests quickly and safely; safe for dogs, puppies, cats and kittens 8 weeks or older
- EPA Reg No. 65331-1
Most flea and tick sprays take care of the problem in the now. They don’t do much for the future. Not the case with Frontline Flea and Tick spray. Frontline spray kills the fleas and ticks that are on your puppy now, and it keeps working for up to 30 days. Frontline works.
The labeling for the Frontline spray recommends for use on puppies 8 weeks old and up. Other sources have stated that this product can be safely used on puppies and kittens as young as two days.
Again, this is a spray product. It is meant to be sprayed on to your puppy and rubbed into his or her coat. There is a certain amount of mess involved in a product like this.
How it works
The Seresto flea and tick collar by Bayer works through what the company calls sustained release technology. When you put the collar on your puppy, the active ingredients move from the collar to the hair and into your puppy’s skin.
The active ingredients in the collar are Imidacloprid, which kills the adult fleas and their larvae stopping the life cycle, and Flumethrin, which goes to work repelling the ticks. It also kills tick larvae and nymphs.
Why Seresto Over Other Flea Collars?
The biggest advantage the Bayer Seresto has over other flea collars on the market is the longevity of its effectiveness. The Seresto flea collar protects for up to 8 months! Most other flea collars only give you three months of protection.
Other flea collars can have an odor to them or leave a white powdery residue on your hands and on your dog’s neck. Not with the Seresto flea and tick collar. There is no residue and no odor.
The Bayer Seresto flea collar works faster than other flea collars, too. It starts killing fleas in as little as two hours and ticks in 6 hours. Most store brands only repel fleas and ticks. Even on the last day of the 8 month lifespan, Seresto kills over 90% of fleas.
There are some features the Bayer Seresto Flea and tick collar has that other brands don’t. If you are concerned about your dog being seen at night, you can attach special reflectors to the collar to catch the light. One of my worst fears about collars of any kind is what happens if my puppy gets caught up on something? The Seresto collar is designed with breakaway spots. If your puppy gets snagged, the collar will break loose. It’s waterproof, too. You don’t have to worry about losing protection if your puppy gets caught out in the rain.
Why the Seresto Collar Over Other Flea and Tick Control?
The biggest reason I named the Bayer Seresto Flea and Tick collar the best flea and tick prevention for puppies is the price. If you look at some of the other flea and tick preventatives out there, you will pay almost $70 dollars for a 6 month supply. The Bayer Seresto collar provides 8 months protection and is almost $15 dollars less (at the time of writing this review.
- Up to 8 months of protection
- Odorless no mess application
- Money saver 8 months of protection with 1 collar
- Dog breeds with thicker coats may not have the same amount of protection
- Even though its waterproof, prolonged exposure can decrease the effectiveness by up to three months
- Only works when your puppy wears it
If you are looking for the best flea and tick prevention for your puppy, the Bayer Seresto flea and tick collar is the way to go. It is safe, effective, priced right and filled with features you are not going to get in other flea and tick prevention options.
Other Options for Protecting your puppy from Fleas and Ticks
Of course, the options listed above aren’t the only products available for flea and tick protection. Here is a list of honorable mentions that you may want to try if you find the above options don’t work for you. If you aren’t sure what the flea season is like in your area, take a look at our Flea Season Map.
Novartis Capstar Flea Tablets – the Novartis Capstar Tablets are relatively new to the market. This product is not so much a preventative measure for fleas and ticks, but a “nuclear option” if you will. 1 pill works to kill every flea on your dog or cat. It is fast and effective. It starts working in as little as 4 hours on your dog and 6 hours on cats. Once the fleas are gone, you can begin a preventative plan to keep them off. One of the biggest benefits of theCapstar tablets it that they can’t rub off and there is no mess.
Vet’s Best Flea & Tick Yard & Kennel Spray – They sat the best offense is a good defense. that is definitely the thinking behind Vet’s Best Flea & Tick Yard & Kennel Spray Kill the fleas and ticks before they have a chance to get on your dogs and cats in the first place. Vet’s Best is plant-based, so it is safe for your vet. Its non-staining formula makes it safe for your lawn and kennel surfaces. It’s effective and best of all, it is made in the USA. Just attach to your hose with the hose end nozzle and spray away the little pests.
Sentry Flea & Tick Shampoo with Oatmeal for Dogs and Puppies – If your puppy already has fleas, a bath with flea and tick shampoo may be in order. Sentry Flea & Tick Shampoo for dogs and puppies is always a great first step. The shampoo will rid your puppy of the flea and tick infestation and the oatmeal will soothe their itchy skin. Not only does it kill the fleas and ticks now, but it also kills flea eggs and repels a new infestation for up to 10 days. Sentry Flea and Tick shampoo is Ph balanced for your puppy’s coat and has a pleasant Hawaiian ginger scent.
Tick Twister – If you have ever come across a tick on your puppy, it can be a horrifying experience. I mean, those things are ugly! Especially if it has been there a while and is full of blood. Female ticks can swell to nearly half an inch long when fully engorged on blood. The trick is to get the tick out of your dog’s skin without leaving its head embedded in your puppy. This can cause serious infection if left untreated. A tool like the Tick Twister removes the tick without squeezing. This reduces the risk of infection and pulls all of the tick out at once. Having one of these little gadgets on hand when you need it will bring you peace of mind that you are safely removing the entire tick from your puppy.
Safari Flea Comb – If you suspect that your puppy has fleas or if you aren’t comfortable using chemical flea and tick prevention on your puppy, you can use a flea comb. The Safari Flea Comb comes with two rows of teeth making it harder for the fleas to escape. This comb is ideal for dog breeds with short hair but will work on all breeds as well as cats and kittens. Use it by itself as a daily routine to rid your puppy of fleas or use it in conjunction with flea powders or flea shampoos. Flea combs do not kill or remove flea eggs, only adult fleas, so using the comb alone is not a one and done solution for your flea problem. You also want to have a glass of water mixed with a mild detergent handy to dip the comb in as you use it. This will keep the trapped fleas from jumping off and reinfesting your puppy or your home.
For More information about Natural Flea and Tick preventative options including Peppermint Oil for Fleas and Ticks, Just follow this link.
Virbac Knockout E.S. Area Treatment Carpet Spray – Speaking of home infestations, fleas can go into hibernation for up to 6 months waiting for the perfect conditions to emerge and wreak havoc on what you thought was a flea-free environment. You need to treat your living area to make sure that the little parasites do not return once you have successfully eradicated them from your puppy. Virbac Knockout E.S. gets to fleas and their eggs where they like to hide, in the fibers of your carpet and furniture. One application can prevent an infestation for up to 7 months. This is long enough to outlast their hibernation stage. When used as directed, Virbac Knockout E.S. won’t stain fabric or upholstery and there is no unpleasant odor or leftover mess.
Health Problems caused by Fleas
Left untreated, a flea infestation can cause serious health problems for your puppy. Some of these issues are:
- Skin Allergies
- Hot Spots
Skin Allergies – This is also known as dermatitis. Dogs do not itch because they are being bitten by fleas. Rather, the itching is a side effect of having been bitten. Fleas only remain on dogs for a couple of minutes or up to a couple of hours while feeding. That’s why you won’t always see fleas on your dog.
The itching is a result of an allergic reaction to the flea bite. While feeding, the flea will inject a small amount of saliva into the host (your puppy). It is the proteins in the saliva that cause the itch. In dogs and puppies that are very sensitive to these proteins, their immune systems go into overdrive. Antibodies are deployed to fight off the offending substance a normal dog’s body would be okay with. In severe cases, one bit will keep your poor pooch itching for days.
Hot Spots – Hot spots are also known as acute moist dermatitis. They are hot, irritated skin lesions typically found on a dog or puppy’s head, chest, or hip. Hot spots are very painful for your puppy and tend to spread rapidly from itching and chewing. This itching and chewing further irritate the skin, causing more damage.
Hot spots are caused by anything that causes skin irritation but are typically found on dogs with flea infestations.
If your dog or puppy is showing signs of excessive skin irritation, you need to consult your veterinarian and work to stop the cause of the irritation before the hot spot can spread and cause infection.
Proper, regular grooming, strict flea and tick prevention, and low-stress environments will help reduce the risk of hot spots developing.
Your vet may prescribe topical antibiotics and an E-collar to help heal the hot spot.
Anemia – Anemia is caused by the lack of red blood cells in your dog. Red blood cells act to carry oxygen to needed parts of the body. Symptoms of anemia in your dog include lack of energy, loss of appetite, intolerance of exercise and pale gums. In severe cases, a blood transfusion may be necessary to halt the anemia.
Since fleas suck blood, a severe flea infestation could be the cause of anemia in your puppy. If you suspect your dog has anemia, it is vital to seek veterinary attention immediately.
Tapeworms – Tapeworms are parasites that live in the intestines of the host animal. They attach themselves to the lining of the intestines and feed off of the host. Adult tapeworms can grow to be 8 inches in length. Tapeworms grow in segments starting behind the head. As a new segment grows, the older segment moves down until finally being shed and excreted. When the segment dries outside of the host body, it breaks open releasing fertilized eggs.
Dipylidium caninum is the most common tapeworm found in dogs and cats. Dogs cannot get tapeworms from eating the fertilized eggs. There must be a go-between. That is where the flea comes in. A larval flea eats the tapeworm egg where it develops inside the flea. Through grooming themselves, or by chewing at a flea bite, the dog eats the flea and the tapeworm life-cycle begins again.
Tapeworms are more serious parasites when they infect puppies. They can cause anemia or intestine blockages. A common symptom of tapeworms is “scooting”, or dragging the bottom across the floor.
Bartonella – Bartonella is also known as cat scratch disease, even though it may not have been transmitted by a cat scratch. Bartonella is a serious disease in dogs transmitted through fleas and is more prominent in dogs with a history of flea infestations.
Symptoms of Bartonella in dogs and puppies include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- brain swelling
- enlarged liver
- Enlarged spleen
- Eye irritation
- Nasal irritation
Bartonella is a zoonotic disease. This means it can be transmitted from animals to humans, although in most human cases, it is life-threatening. It is thought that the most common method of transmission between dogs and humans is through a bite.
Health Issues in Dogs caused by Ticks
- Lyme Disease
- Dog Fever
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Lyme Disease – Fun fact: Lyme Disease is caused by the spirochete bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. Fun to say, right? Sounds like an Indy car driver. I digress. Lyme disease is a very common illness in the northeastern United States but can be found all over the world. Because humans can get it, too, it is one of the more well-known tick-transmitted diseases.
Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of black-legged ticks also known as the deer tick. (their proper Latin name is Ixodes scapularis).
Symptoms of Lyme disease include joint pain, decreased appetite, lethargy, fever, and lameness. These symptoms take several months to manifest in dogs if they manifest at all. Dogs do not get the tale-tell bullseye rash that is common with the disease in humans. Dogs normally respond well to antibiotic treatment.
Bartonella – We already talked about this little illness. It is interesting to note that fleas are not the only carriers of the Bartonella bacteria. See the list above for the symptoms. Bartonella is life threatening to your dog. If you suspect your dog has Bartonella, get them to the veterinarian immediately.
Dog Fever – Dog fever is also known as anaplasmosis. This is another disease spread by the bite of the deer tick or the black-legged tick. This is another disease that is most commonly found in the northeastern United States. Deer Ticks have been found as far south as Texas, so it isn’t limited by geography.
Symptoms of Dog Fever include Fever, (A dog’s natural temperature is between 101 and 105.5 degrees Fahrenheit) Lethargy, vomiting, Diarrhea, loss of appetite and lameness.
Treatment of Dog fever is done through antibiotics. Most commonly doxycycline. A 30-day regime is normally prescribed, but the symptoms begin to go away rapidly.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever – Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is transmitted through four different tick species: The American dog tick, the brown tick, the wood tick and the Lone Star tick. Rocky Mountain Spotted fever is found in both North America and South America despite the name.
Rickettsia rickettsii is the bacteria that causes Rock Mountain Spotted Fever, (RMSF)
The symptoms of RMSF come on a lot faster than other tick-borne diseases like Lyme Disease of Dog Fever. An infected dog or puppy will show signs of the disease typically in 3 days after the bite. These symptoms include loss of appetite, open lesions on the skin, vomiting, joint pain, and depression.
Due to the similarity in symptoms, RMSF can be difficult to diagnose. The earlier it is caught, the better the outcome of treatment. The good news doxycycline is the antibiotic of choice to treat the disease. This is the same antibiotic that would be used in treating other similar illnesses.
Babesiosis – Babesiosis in dogs is transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. Usually an American dog tick or brown tick. Babesia is most commonly found in the southern United States with small pockets in the Northeast but is found around the world. It can also be spread from animal to animal through a bite or from mother to puppy in the uterus.
Symptoms of Babesiosis include dark urine, fatigue, fever, weakness, and swollen lymph nodes. It may present itself as an infection without signs or symptoms at all. Babesia is particularly harmful to pit bulls and greyhounds.
Ehrlichiosis – Ehrlichiosis is also known by other names. Canine rickettsiosis, tracker dog disease, canine hemorrhagic fever, canine typhus, and tropical canine pancytopenia. It is spread through the bite of brown tick carrying the Ehrlichia canis bacteria. German Shepherds are particularly susceptible to the disease.
Ehrlichiosis is found worldwide and is one of the most common tick-borne diseases. Its symptoms include bloody noses, watery eyes, swollen limbs, swollen lymph nodes, loss of appetite, and respiratory distress.
Hepatazoonosis – This tick disease is a little different. In all of the other tick diseases in this list, the disease is caused by the tick biting the dog. In this case, this disease is caused by the dog biting the tick or ingesting it in some way. The ticks in question here are the Gulf Coast tick and the brown tick.
Common symptoms of Hepatazoonosis include bloody diarrhea, runny nose, muscle pain and watery eyes.
There are two types of Hepatazoonosis: Old World Hepatazoonosis and American Canine Hepatazoonosis. The Old World strain is found primarily in Europe while the American Canine version is found right here in the Good ol’ USA.
Common Active Ingredients in Over The Counter Flea and Tick Prevention Medications.
Fipronil – Fipronil is an insecticide that works against many pests including ants, beetles, and fleas. It is a member of the phenylpyrazole chemical family. Fipronil works by messing with the nervous system of the insects that come in contact with it or eat it.
S-Methoprene – S-Methoprene is a chemical insecticide that behaves like a growth hormone in an insects body. It is used in over 500 insecticides on the market today. S-Methoprene enters the insect’s body and begins to alter their normal growth and development. It can affect the insect’s ability to lay eggs and for those eggs to hatch thus disrupting the lifecycle of the insect. Fipronil and S-Methoprene are often combined in flea and tick prevention products for dogs.
Permethrin – Permethrin is a synthetic neurotoxin. It attacks the nervous system of the flea and causes muscle spasms, paralysis, and death. Cats are not able to metabolize the synthetic neurotoxin and should not be given flea control products that contain Permethrin. The chemical is relatively harmless to dogs and humans unless exposed to high quantities. If using a permethrin-based flea and tick prevention product on your dog, you should keep your cats away from the dog for at least 72 hours.
Imidacloprid – Imidacloprid is another neurotoxin. It was developed for its low toxicity to humans and animals. Imidacloprid blocks the neuropathways in an insect’s body which leads to paralysis and death. Permethrin and Imidacloprid are often combined in flea and tick control products.
Moxidectin – Moxidectin attacks a flea’s central nervous system and causes paralysis and eventually death. Products containing Moxidectin come in oral delivery, injectables, and topical treatments. Consult your veterinarian and ensure you are giving the correct dosage.
Nitenpyram – Nitenpyram is the active ingredient in flea and tick control products like Capstar. It is an oral treatment that effectively kills fleas in as little as 30 minutes. Nitenpyram only stays in your dog’s bloodstream for about 5 hours. It is related to Imidacloprid and works against the nervous system of the flea in much the same way.
Lufenuron – Lufenuron acts against the female flea. When she ingests it, she passes the chemical along in her eggs. Once in the eggs, Lufenuron keeps most of the eggs from hatching. This helps stop the lifecycle of the flea. There has been some controversy over the use of Lufenuron and its side effects in the animals treated.
Best Flea and Tick Prevention for Puppies Chart
|Product||Active Ingredient||Minimum Recommended Age of Animal||Application||How It Works|
|Advantage Multi for Dogs||Imidacloprid Moxidectin||For dogs 7+ weeks and 3+ lbs Do NOT use on cats.||Topical: Once/month||Kills adult fleas. Does not kill ticks.|
|K9 Advantix II||Imidacloprid Permethrin Pyriproxyfen||For dogs 7+ weeks Do NOT use on cats.||Topical: Once/month||Kills flea eggs and larvae. Kills and repels fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. Repels biting flies. Kills lice.|
|Capstar||Nitenpyram||For dogs and cats 4+ weeks, and 2+ lbs||Oral: As needed (can be given daily)||Kills adult fleas. Starts to work in 30 minutes; no residual activity.|
|Frontline Plus for Dogs||Fipronil Methoprene||For dogs 8+ weeks||Topical: Once/month||Kills adult fleas and ticks. Prevents flea eggs, larvae and pupae from maturing. Treats and controls chewing lice. Aids in the control of sarcoptic mange.|
|Frontline Spray for Cats and Dogs||Fipronil||For dogs 8+ weeks and cats 8+ weeks||Topical spray: Once/month||Kills adult fleas, ticks, and chewing lice. Aids in control of sarcoptic mange in dogs.|
|Frontline Top Spot for Dogs and Puppies||Fipronil||For dogs 8+ weeks||Topical: Once/month||Kills adult fleas, ticks, and chewing lice. Aids in the control of sarcoptic mange.|
|Program Flavor Tabs for Dogs and Cats||Lufenuron (IDI)||For dogs 4+ weeks and cats 4+ weeks||Once/month||Stops the development of flea eggs. Does not kill adult fleas. Does not kill ticks.|
|Revolution||Selamectin||For dogs 6+ weeks and cats 8+ weeks||Topical liquid: Once/month||Kills adult fleas, flea eggs, and American dog tick; treats and controls ear mites, controls sarcoptic mites (dogs).|
|Sentinel Flavor Tabs||Lufenuron (IDI), Milbemycin Oxime||For dogs 4+ weeks, and 2+ lbs||Oral tablet: Once/month||Stops development of flea eggs and larvae. Does not kill ticks or adult fleas.|
|Trifexis||Spinosad Milbemycin Oxime||For dogs 8+ weeks, and 5+ lbs||Oral tablet: Once/month||Kills adult fleas|
|Vectra for Dogs and Puppies||Dinotefuran||For dogs 8+ weeks||Topical liquid: Once/month||Kills adult fleas; controls all flea stages|
|Vectra 3D||Permethrin Dinotefuran||For dogs 7+ weeks Do NOT use on cats||Topical liquid: Once/month||Repels and kills fleas, ticks, mosquitos, lice, sand flies, and mites.|
Life Cycle of a Flea
The adult female flea lays her eggs on the host animal.
The eggs fall off of the host animal’s skin and lands in the environment
The egg hatches and the larvae is born.
The larvae molt from a stage 1 larvae to a stage 3 larvae.
After two weeks, the stage three larvae builds a cocoon. The adult flea will emerge from this cocoon.
Adult male and female fleas find their way onto a host body where they feed mate and lay their eggs beginning the process over again.
Fleas and ticks pose a serious threat to you and your pets. If not treated properly, you could be overwhelmed with vet bills and sick animals. Make sure if you are getting a puppy that you are taking the proper steps to safeguard them from fleas and ticks. By buying the best flea and tick prevention for puppies the first time, you will save yourself a lot of time, money and grief.
If you have questions or comments, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment below.