Top 5 Best Flea Collars for Dogs (**2019 Review**)

Looking for the best flea collars for dogs in 2019?

Then you're in the right place!

In this pet guide you'll learn:

  • The differences between cat fleas and dog fleas
  • How dog flea collars are different from cat flea collars
  • If dog flea collars are actually effective
  • And our top 5 recommendations when it comes to dog flea collars

Click here to skip to our top choice.

best flea collar for dogs

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

(updated as of 8/16/2019)

Seresto Flea Collar

  • Uses a slightly safer pesticide combination
  • 8 months of protection from fleas, ticks, mange, and lice!
  • Fleas don't have to bite your dog to be killed with this collar

Out of the dog flea collars we reviewed our top pick goes to the Seresto brand of flea collars.

Why?

Because it just works as opposed to these knockoff brands that sell essential oil based collars (which do not work as well). Most of those brands are also using fake reviews to make it appear as though they are working, but it's all just misleading. 

That, and it's actually the safest flea collar we've seen out of the bunch being sold and on the market for dogs. This is due to the chemical profile Seresto uses.

More specifically...

Seresto uses the pesticides imidacloprid (10%) and flumethrin (4.5%), which are marginally safer than formulations that contain tetrachlorvinphos (or TCVP) other brands are using. For example, if you see a flea collar (like the Adam's brand) with the active ingredient TCVP then be extra careful as this has shown to have adverse reactions to pets and animals.

There's actually an ongoing effort by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to get the EPA to ban this pesticide and protect the environment.

The one downside of Seresto is their price. They do charge quite a bit of money, but it IS worth it in our opinion. If you simply can't afford but still want to protect your pup, we have covered alternative collars.

Continue reading for those other reviews and general best practices to consider when putting a flea collar on your dog.

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Exterminator For Your Flea Problem?

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Top 5 Best Dog Flea Collars

Short on time? Check out our short list of recommended dog flea collars in 2019!

What're The Differences Between Dog Fleas And Cat Fleas?

Ctenocephalides canis, otherwise known as the dog flea, is an ectoparasite, or a pest that lives on the outside of their host, and feeds primarily on mammals.

We can find dog fleas on both domestic dogs and cats and a host of other mammals. However, the dog flea is not the most common flea we find on dogs.

Read Also: Does your dog even have fleas?

The cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, is the most common flea on both dogs and cats. The two species of fleas are similar, but there are some differences.

The cat flea has a longer head and its hind legs have six notches versus the dog flea which has eight. Dog and cat fleas both have the capability to transmit other parasites and diseases to your pet. One of the primary concerns is tapeworm. When a dog or cat ingests an infected flea, the tapeworm can develop in your pet’s intestines.

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Exterminator For Your Flea Problem?

Click here to check out our exterminator search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) exterminators in your local area.

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Are dog and cat flea collars the same?

Dog and cat flea collars are not the same and should not be used interchangeably. Using a dog collar on a cat can be deadly. One thing that determines the toxicity from insecticides is the weight of the animal.

Dogs and humans have the ability absorb a certain level of chemicals and their bodies can break them down effectively. Because cats are smaller, they are not capable of breaking down some of the chemicals fast enough, which could cause a fatal reaction. Always read the label of your collar completely to make sure it is designed for your specific pet and their weight. Follow all instructions including washing your hands after touching the collar.

dog itching from fleas

Do I have dog fleas in my home?

If you have determined that your dog has fleas, the chances that you have them in your home is extremely high. By the time you notice your dog scratching and biting excessively or you see a flea in their fur, there could already be thousands of eggs and larvae in your home. These would be found in areas your dog frequents such as the bed, couch, carpeting or rugs, favorite sleeping spots, and feeding areas.

Adult female fleas lay up to 50 eggs each day. These eggs don’t stay on your pet. They fall behind your dog in areas called source spots. These are the few spots where you dog spends his time the most. Up to 95% of the flea eggs and larvae in your home can be found in these source spots.

Read More: What do fleas look like?

How did my dog get fleas In The First Place?

The fact that your dog and home has fleas does not reflect poorly on your ability to keep your home clean. People from all walks of life get flea infestations because fleas are relatively easy to transmit.

When young fleas are in their cocoons, vibrations, sounds, and heat trigger them to hatch and look for a host. Their ideal host is a dog, cat, or other mammal, but sometimes they will jump on humans and feed if necessary. Fleas also have the amazing ability to jump up to 2 feet. This means you, and your pets, can pick up fleas from anywhere and bring them into your home.

Some of the common areas where you might involuntarily pick up these annoying hitchhikers are dog parks, in your yard, hotels, and other people’s homes. There are some ways you can limit your exposure to fleas and prevent an infestation.​

Dog parks, yards, and other people’s homes

When you go to dog parks or other outdoor areas, make sure your dog is wearing a flea collar that repels fleas. There are also sprays and spot treatments, which will help to keep fleas from jumping on your dog. Also make sure you spray your shoes, socks, and bottom of your pants with a bug spray that repels fleas as well. Some of the natural repellant sprays for dogs can also be used on humans.

Hotels and vacation homes

When you take your dog with you to a hotel or shared vacation home, you can do two simple tests to check for fleas. Take a white washcloth and dampen it with some water. Wipe the cloth on carpeting, the bottom of the drapes, and furniture. Look for red or rust-colored streaks, which could be “flea dirt” or digested blood.

For the other test, take a pie pan or plate, and fill it with water and a few drops of dish detergent. Place the pan under a light source, like a nightlight, and wait for about an hour. If there are fleas in the area, they will be attracted to the light, fall into the pan, and drown.​

Your yard

Another preventive measure you can take is to treat your yard. In many communities, neighbors will walk their dogs in the grass along the sidewalk. Use an insecticide and repellent for your yard to prevent other dog’s fleas from becoming your problem.

dog check up for fleas

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Exterminator For Your Flea Problem?

Click here to check out our exterminator search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) exterminators in your local area.

Process Takes About 30 Seconds

How Effective Are Dog Flea Collars?

The effectiveness of dog flea collars varies by the type of insecticides used. There are ingredients designed to manage fleas during different stages of their life cycle. This is important to understand so that you purchase products which fit your current needs.

Repel fleas

Repellent flea collars are typically made with natural ingredients such as essential oils to ward off fleas. They are not recommended for current infestations as they are not effective in killing fleas.

Kill adult fleas

Collars with strong insecticides such as Permethrin and Tetrachlorvinphos are designed to kill adult fleas. These products tend to provide the most immediate relief for your pet, but are not effective in eradicating the rest of the flea population.

When you consider that adult fleas only make up 5% of the fleas in your home, you need to follow an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program to completely take care of the problem. A good IPM may include activities such as daily vacuuming, laundering sheets and bedding, and using a flea comb to check for fleas.​

Sterilize eggs and larvae

Insect growth regulators, or IGRs, effectively sterilize eggs and young fleas. This prevents the life cycle from continuing though it can take several weeks to work.

One factor that can reduce the efficacy of flea collars is whether or not they are waterproof. Waterproof collars allow for monthly bathing and the occasional exposure to rain without reducing their ability to work. Water resistant collars are not as effective if they are routinely submerged in water.​

Dog Flea Collar Reviews

You might think that all flea collars are the same, but the protections and capabilities they offer are quite different from brand to brand. Here are some of the top flea collars on the market today.

When it comes to name brand, you don't get more premium than Seresto.


We're a fan of the Seresto line of flea collars because they are the first flea collar to rival topical “spot-on” treatments in their effectiveness.

They target adult fleas and have an IGR to halt the life cycle eggs and larvae.

The collar is solid with the insecticide mixed with the resin. This allows the active ingredients, Flumethrin and Imidacloprid, to release slowly over time.

Pros

  • Kills adult fleas, eggs, and larvae
  • Last 6 months
  • Collar has a safety release mechanism
  • Non-greasy and no strong fragrance
  • Easy application with no messy drops

Cons

  • Some dogs may have a reaction around the neck area
  • More costly than other collars, but comparable to monthly drop treatments

This flea collar also features an adulticide to kill adult fleas and IGR, however the main insecticide, Tetrachlorvinphos, may cause reactions in some dogs. You will want to watch your dog for any signs of discomfort such as trouble breathing, lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea when using this product. Wear gloves when applying and wash hands after use. I would not use this product if I had children in my home.

Pros

  • Comprehensive flea control with an IGR
  • Lasts for 7 months
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • No safety release mechanism
  • Potentially harsh insecticide
  • Inexpensive

This collar is a relatively new one-size-fits-all collar on the market. It fits large dogs to small dogs, which is great and could save you a bit of money if you want to use one collar for multiple dog sizes.


It is a fipronil based collar, so not completely natural, but fipronil is proven to be an effective pesticide.


The one size fits all feature works by shipping you a really long collar. You then cut it to the desired length for your dogs neck size.


It's pretty easy to get going and definitely our top pick for budget conscious pet owners.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic
  • One Size Fits All
  • Protects for 8 months
  • Made In Germany

Cons

  • Strap tends to be a little bit weaker than competing brands (occasionally breaks)

This is the only all-natural collar to make this list. Clove is one of the ingredients that gives off a strong scent.

You may want to open the packaging and let the collar air out for a day before putting it on your dog.

I would give this collar a try once my dog was rid of fleas just to give him a break from insecticides.

Pros

  • No harsh chemicals
  • Repels up to 4 months
  • Diffusing collar offers no-mess application
  • Fragrant scent

Cons

  • Will need to use with a flea killing insecticide for comprehensive treatment
  • Even natural ingredients can cause allergic reactions in some dogs

Bio Spot Active Care offers the same formulation as the Adam’s Plus collar, but lasts for just 5 months instead of 7.

For this reason, I would probably choose the Adam’s collar if you're in between those two.

Pros

  • Kills fleas, flea eggs, and flea larvae
  • Waterproof
  • Can be used for puppies 6 weeks and older
  • No harsh odor

Cons

  • Need to your dog closely for any reaction to the active ingredient
  • Might not be effective in areas where fleas may have become resistant

Our Top Pick: Bayer Seresto

Flea collars that are used properly can be safe and effective for getting rid of and/or preventing new fleas on your dog.

In our opinion, the Bayer Seresto flea collar offers the most potent formulation for tackling fleas, and their eggs and larvae.

This collar along with treatment for your home and yard could help you remove a flea problem long-term if you continue with preventive measures.

One caution with this product would be to be careful with not overdosing your pet on insecticides. If your dog wears this collar, and you use additional products, such as flea shampoo and spray, the toxicity level could be too high. If you need to combine products, check with your veterinarian for the proper amounts to use to keep your dog safe.

Worried about your budget?

Check out the Hopewell Guard Collar. It's made with essential oils, which make for a great "natural" option and is much more affordable providing similar results. Worth a look!

We also recommend consulting with an exterminator before using any flea removal products. 

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