It’s no fun watching your four-legged friend deal with fleas. Fortunately, you have the power to help stop the itching, scratching, and general misery these nasty critters cast upon your pooch. One of the best ways to do this is to use a flea spray. But which one is best?
OUR PICKS FOR THE BEST FLEA SPRAY FOR DOGS
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The Importance of Taking Care of Fleas
Fleas can obviously be quite a nuisance for a dog. But these little wingless blood-sucking critters can do more than just cause your pooch to itch incessantly. If your pooch is particularly hypersensitive to flea bites, some pretty nasty ailments could manifest, which could ratchet the level of discomfort pretty severely.
Some of the issues that fleas can cause may be symptomatic of your pooch’s reaction to the bite, such as the development of hot spots or hair loss around the fleas’ point of attack. In some cases, the blood-sucking insects could cause parasitic anemia, which could lead to symptoms like pale gums and lethargy. Puppies are particularly prone to this condition.
Flea Sprays to the Rescue!
There are plenty of flea treatments on the market that can help your pooch overcome his flea problem, from a good old-fashioned flea collar to monthly topical creams. However, using a flea spray on your pooch does have several advantages. If you have a little ingenuity, you can even concoct a batch of flea spray yourself.
What to Look For in an OTC or Vet-Prescribed Flea Spray
If you don’t have the time or the patience to make a flea spray at home, don’t fret. There is an abundance of products that you can choose from. While some of these sprays can be prescribed by your veterinarian, many of these products can be purchased over the counter.
There are two things that you’re going to look for when buying a spray. You obviously want a spray that’s going to kill the bugs running roughshod all over your pooch’s fur. At the same time, you’re going to want the spray to wipe out eggs so that future generations of the pests won’t use your poor pooch as a host.
It will also behoove you to look for a flea product that can kill off ticks as well. Ticks are ruthless pests that are a particular hazard for dogs that hang out in outdoor environments. They are dangerous to dogs because they carry some especially nasty ailments that can get your dog really sick, such as Lyme disease.
How Does a Flea Spray Work?
The pesticide aspect of a flea spray isn’t that different from most other forms of flea treatment. The spray will contain certain chemicals that act as neurotoxins on the fleas and ticks, effectively paralyzing the bugs and causing them to die. Ideally, the spray will also contain chemicals that inhibit egg formation and larvae development.
There are two types of sprays that you can purchase on the market: aerosols and pump bottles. In both cases, it's important that you follow the directions before unleashing their spray. If you don't, you could end up doing more harm than good.
It's generally advised that you don't apply an aerosol blast to your pooch. Aerosols contain a powerful blast of highly concentrated chemicals and are generally used to treat the areas of infestation as opposed to the areas of the dog. If you use an aerosol, proceed with caution, as some could prove toxic to children.
Pump bottles, on the other hand, can be applied directly to your dog because they are designed to release a somewhat gentle mist on your pooch's coat. What's more, the sprays can do their handiwork for an extended period of time on your pooch, provided that it doesn't wash off or your dog gets wet.
What Type of Flea Spray Should I Use?
There are two key factors that should ultimately drive what kind of flea spray you should use. The first factor is your dog’s living environment. The second factor is the severity of the infestation.
Your pooch’s day-to-day living habits and breed-specific nature can weigh pretty heavily on the type of treatment. If you have a dog that thrives on outdoor living and extensive exercise, he may be subject to hanging out in places where flea infestations can readily manifest. A couch potato breed may not.
It’s also important to determine how big your flea issue is before you rush out and buy an aerosol. Your pooch’s flea problem could simply be driven by a few critters as opposed to a constant barrage of bugs. If this is the case, purchasing an aerosol instead of a pump bottle may be overkill.
What Precautions Should I Take in Using a Flea Spray?
The most important thing you can do while using a spray is to follow your vet’s or the manufacturer’s directions in totality. Remember, sprays have chemicals in them that are designed to do some pretty nasty things to critters. You would be wise to follow the adage “use only as directed.”
If you use an aerosol, it’s important that you keep your dog and your kids away from the sprayed area. And even though you can directly mist your dog with spray from a pump bottle, you should avoid spraying him near the face or his butt. The chemicals in the spray could cause irritation and discomfort in these areas.
You should also make sure that the area that you use the spray is as well-ventilated as possible. You don’t want the air to grow thick with chemicals, especially since you could breathe them in when you pass by the area that you sprayed. This will obviously be a bigger concern if your infestation is indoors instead of outdoors.
OUR FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS
If you have a serious flea and tick infestation, you’re going to need some serious stuff to wipe out the problem. Virback Knockout E.S. Flea/Tick Spray is about as serious as flea sprays get. While it is an aerosol, it does what it can to strip away the unpleasantness that can come with using an aerosol.
For one thing, when used as directed, the substance will not leave behind any foul odors or sticky residue on the affected area. This is a key metric to consider if you have to deal with an indoor infestation. After all, you don't want the critters feasting on your pooch, but you don't want your house to be stinky and slippery.
The other feature this aerosol delivers is its ability to deeply penetrate the nooks and crannies of your home to get every last bug. This is especially key when you consider that fleas are certainly small enough to hide in rugs, carpets, cracks in the floor, and more.
As any good spray should, this 16-ounce spray will wipe out the current and the next generation of fleas. Its preventative power can last up to seven months in a space as big as 2,100 square feet. This is particularly important to note if you’re worried about having to put a high volume of chemicals in the air on a frequent basis.
Not all flea problems are a result of heavy-duty flea infestations. Sometimes, all that is needed is a spritz of spray to get the job done. To that end, the Honeydew Natural Pet Spray for Dogs & Cats works wonderfully because it takes your dog’s well-being into consideration.
It does this by being an all-natural spray that uses environmentally friendly, safe ingredients that are found in nature as opposed to a laboratory. Some of the ingredients you’ll find in the bottle include lemongrass and citronella, which have been demonstrated to naturally repel fleas and ticks.
In a way, you can think of this spray as an all-natural home remedy for people that don’t have the time or diligence to create their own homegrown formula. This is good news if you’re a dog owner that may be a little freaked out about dousing your pooch with a chemical-laden substance.
The natural ingredients also allow the spray to have a pleasant smell. This is an easily overlooked aspect of a spray, but it’s worthy of consideration. After all, while your dog may pick up some interesting odors on his coat, a chem lab may be one smell you’d prefer to have down on the list of funky fumes.
It is important that you just don’t jump on one particular spray without completely assessing your environment’s flea situation. While it is important that you take care of your pooch’s flea issue in the short term, you should never discount knocking out the issue in the long term. Doing so will make life much happier for you and your dog.