How Do I Choose the Best Dog Flea Collar?

Valerie Clark

If you're trying to decide which dog flea collar is the best for your situation, you must consider the effectiveness, longevity and safety of the product. Dog flea collars available in 2011 effectively kill adult fleas and ticks up to six months. As for safety, different manufacturers use different chemicals, most of which are not found in cat flea collars because of sensitivity differences between the two species. There also are natural alternatives available.

Pair of smooth-haired Dachshund puppies.
Pair of smooth-haired Dachshund puppies.

Just about every dog flea collar on the market in 2011 claims it can kill adult fleas and ticks. The best dog flea collar is capable of killing adult fleas and ticks, as well as flea eggs and larvae. The majority of flea collars also are water resistant, meaning they can get wet temporarily but should always be removed during bathing and swimming.

A flea.
A flea.

Active ingredients most commonly found in a dog flea collar are deltamethrin, amitraz, or a combination of amitraz and pyriproxifen. The presence of pyriproxifen indicates an additional component that effectively kills flea eggs and larvae. If a flea collar product claims to kill fleas, it can also control or kill ticks.

Dog flea collars can often kill ticks as well.
Dog flea collars can often kill ticks as well.

When it comes to safety, natural, chemical-free dog flea collars are considered the best. Rather than releasing a toxin to solve a flea problem, a natural alternative dog flea collar replaces these chemicals with a combination of herbs and oils. Another option uses a concentrated thyme and castor oil solution that is absorbed when a few drops are placed on a cotton collar. Natural flea remedies such as these may be best for families with children or multiple dogs.

Using a flea collar alone is not always enough to get rid of fleas. Most experts recommend using a flea collar in conjunction with other flea treatments, such as shampoos. The flea-killing toxin released by a flea collar is concentrated primarily around the head and neck — the area immediately surrounding the flea collar. Flea collars are good for dogs that spend a lot of time outside.

Purchasing the best dog flea collar does not require a trip to the veterinarian’s office, though a veterinarian can advise you about whether a flea collar is safe for your pet. They should not be used on pregnant or nursing dogs, debilitated or aged dogs, or puppies under the age of three months. If your dog is on any medication, check with your veterinarian before beginning a flea treatment of any kind. If a dog flea collar is not an option, you may want to consider an alternative method, such as a topical treatment or oral tablet.

Natural, chemical-free dog flea collars are great options.
Natural, chemical-free dog flea collars are great options.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


@Animandel - I disagree with @Drentel. I think the chemicals in flea and tick collars may be doing more damage than we know. Besides, with all we know about chemicals and pesticides in general it makes sense to use a natural flea collar. I could understand if we only had the old chemical loaded collars, but since we have chemical-free ones we should use them.

I think natural, chemical-free collars are even more important when you have cats because they are more likely to be affected by the harsh chemicals than dogs are.


@Animandel - I wouldn't believe everything I read about the flea collars and the chemicals used in them. People have been using these collars for a long time and most dogs do just fine with them, and never have any health problems.

When you put a new dog flea collar on an animal you should keep an eye on him to see whether you notice any changes in the way he acts. Some dogs do seem to get sluggish and lazy. When this happens you can just remove the collar and try another kind of dog flea protection. However, most dogs don't have any problems with the collars.


My family always bought flea collars rather than flea spray or some other kind of flea protection for our dogs when I was a kid. The collars worked pretty well. I think they worked better controlling the ticks than the fleas, but there were fewer fleas when we used the collars.

Now, I have been hearing that all of the chemicals in flea collars are bad for dogs and in the long run they can be as bad for the animal as the pests they are made to kill. I am encouraged by what I read about the natural flea collars mentioned in this article. Has anyone tried them?

Post your comments
Forgot password?