That’s a Wrap: Best Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs
At their best, fleas and ticks are a canine nemesis. At their worst, the little critters are a serious threat to your pooch’s health and well-being. Plenty of people turn to flea and tick collars to provide their buddy with long-lasting protection against these pests. Which one works best?
OUR PICKS FOR THE BEST FLEA TREATMENT FOR DOGS
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Why Fleas and Ticks Are So Problematic
We all know that fleas and ticks can make our dog become an itching machine and generally make his life miserable. What we may not know is that in some pooches, it just takes one bite from these wingless mini-beasts to cause scratchy suffering.
The issues that stem from flea bites are largely caused by your dog’s incessant itching, particularly if your pooch is hyper-sensitive to flea bites. Hair loss, inflammation, and skin infections can all flare up as an indirect result of a flea or tick attack.
In the cases of serious infestation, a flea or tick’s propensity to suck blood could lead to your dog suffering from anemia. This could result in secondary symptoms like pale gums or weakness. If your pooch happens to eat a flea or a tick infected with tapeworms, the parasite could develop in his digestive system.
How Flea Collars Work
The good news for pet owners is that fleas and ticks can be handled with the use of a treatment, and one of the more time-honored treatments are flea collars. As the name suggests, the device is a collar that you put around your dog’s neck. The way the collar works is more complex.
There are two basic ways a flea collar operates. One of the methods involves repelling the critters by emitting a gas. This particular method will essentially make your pooch an unpleasant host that parasites will detest. Some people prefer this treatment because it instantly stops the dog from getting bitten.
The second method involves the release of a medication or active ingredients that steadily spreads through the dog’s body. This medicine acts as an insecticide; usually taking the form of a neurotoxin that causes paralysis and death to the critter. While some collars require flea bites to occur in order to work, others do not.
Why a Flea and Tick Collar?
There are several reasons why a flea collar may be a winning option for you. Some of these reasons boil down to the methodology behind the device. Other reasons are tied to secondary metrics such as time and money.
One of the most attractive things about a flea and tick collar is that they tend to provide direct protection to a dog’s face, ear, and collar area, which are prime places for ticks to hang out and suck blood. The collar’s abilities will also spread throughout other problem areas, like the groin and the butt.
From a more practical perspective, collars tend to last much longer than your average spot-on or topical cream, which typically lasts for about 30 days. By way of comparison, there are some flea and tick collars that can last for as long as 8 months.
Flea collars also tend to be less expensive than other flea treatments. The only drawback here is the saying “you get what you pay for” tends to apply rather strongly. It’s okay to try to save money on a collar, but you’d be wise to not try to take care of the flea issue completely on the cheap.
Can I Make My Own Flea Collar?
If you’re living in an area of low flea infestation or if the flea season isn’t in full swing, a homemade flea collar can help out your pooch. All you need is a few essential oils and a handkerchief to repel the little critters. Bear in mind that a DIY flea collar aren’t effective for major flea infestations – you’re better off with a store-bought collar in those situations.
What Are the Disadvantages of Using a Flea and Tick Collar?
While flea and tick collars work well directly on your dog, they don’t solve the problem of attacking the area of infestation. If your pooch is constantly being overwhelmed by flea attacks, you may want to look to a solution that eliminates the critters in the places they lay in wait.
Sometimes, dogs have bad reactions to the gas or medication the flea collars. These reactions could be as mild as skin irritation or could be as extreme as illness or death. Additionally, dogs that are uncomfortable with wearing a flea collar may try to gnaw off the collar, which could also cause health problems.
Because of this, it’s wise to constantly monitor your dog’s behavior and health as he wears the flea collar. If you suspect that your dog is uncomfortable or is exhibiting sickness after you apply the collar, make an appointment with your vet immediately.
Things to Look for in a Flea and Tick Collar
The most important thing you should take note of when you’re buying a flea collar is to make sure you’re getting the precise type of flea collar you want. While some collars offer the ability to act as both a repellent and a treatment, others do not. You’ll want to read the product’s box carefully to ensure a proper purchase.
Fortunately, there are several key phrases you can look for on the box that will give you major clues to how it operates. If you see phrases like “repels fleas” or “keeps pests away,” then the collar will simply act to drive the critters from feasting on your dog’s flesh. Conversely, if the word “kill” in on the box, you have a treatment-based collar in your hands.
If you’re getting a treatment-based collar, be sure to seek out one that promises to not only wipe out fleas and ticks, but eradicate eggs and larvae as well. Taking care of multiple generations of critters will maximize your pooch’s protection and help to make a significant dent in any infestation occurring on your property.
OUR FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS
One of the attractive elements of a treatment-based collar is that the good ones offer long-lasting protection from fleas and ticks. That’s one of the big reasons why the Bayer Seresto Flea and Tick Collar may be a terrific match for your pooch. Its promise of being able to last 8 months makes it the longest-lasting collar on the market.
This lengthiness might be particularly attractive to owners that would prefer to take a less-intensive tack to helping their pooch overcome his flea-bitten condition. One of the advantages of using a collar is that they aren’t messy like a topical cream or a spot-on; just slip it on, and you’re good for a while. In this case, a long while.
Additionally, this particular collar provides your dog with the dual action of repelling fleas and ticks, and killing the critters that manage to get through. The repellant is important because you ultimately don’t want your pooch to get bit by these bloodsuckers at all. Inevitably though, you may find the occasional stray flea that braves the collar’s “elements.”
In a dual collar, the insecticide ensures that this is not only a bad decision on the flea’s part, it’s also the last bad decision he makes. In this particular collar, the insecticide is an active ingredient called imidacloprid and is seen in prescription anti-flea and tick products. This may ease you mind if you’re worried about the collar’s health risks.
If the thought of wrapping an insecticide around your dog’s neck makes you wary, you can always turn to an all-natural flea dog collar, such as the Pet Guard Herbal Collar. This collar acts not all that dissimilar to a DIY flea collar. The main advantage here is that all of the essential elements needed to repel fleas are already present.
The mix of aromatic herbs that are found on each collar smell nice to us, but they act as a natural repellent for fleas and ticks, who are averse to the pleasant odor. The collars come in a six-pack, and they don’t last as long as a collar enhanced with chemicals. However, that’s a small trade-off if you’d prefer to keep things all-natural.
Because it uses elements found in nature, it’s important to note this acts as a repellent and not as a treatment. However, this may be a perfect fit if you’re dealing with fleas in the “off-season” or if you live in an environment where the presence of fleas and ticks are minimal.
Ultimately, you are cognizant of your dog’s needs, including how you should handle his flea and tick issue. It’s important that you act upon this knowledge and help your four-legged friend overcome the problem in a way that protects him best. He’s your loyal buddy – can you do no less?