Best Flea and Tick Preventatives and Treatments For Dogs · The Wildest

Skip to main content

The Best Flea and Tick Preventatives and Treatments For Dogs

Because an infestation is the last thing your pup – and your home – needs 

by Rebecca Caplan
31 October 2023
A woman in beige overalls a striped shirt and a straw hat, smiling, with her arm around her black dog sitting in the grass on a green hill.
Alba Vitta / Stocksy

There are very few downsides to having a lovely ball of fluff in the family, but fleas and ticks are certainly one of them – and personally, I am over this boogeyman-bug horror show. Thankfully, there are more options than ever for combating these blood-thirsty pests and keeping both your pets and your non-fur family safe.

“Tick control is important not just to take care of pets, but also to prevent establishing a transmission cycle where the pathogens can be transmitted to the humans in the household,” says Dr Maria Esteve-Gasent, an assistant professor at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

Even better, more products are coming to the market that utilise natural methods to stave off fleas and ticks; these chews, collars, sprays and treatments can give you some peace of mind about keeping your pup safe from both bugs and harsh chemicals. Ahead, our choices for the best flea and tick preventatives for dogs to keep those pests at bay.

Btw, our editors (and their pets) picked out these products. They’re always in stock at the time we publish, but there’s a chance they’ll sell out. If you do buy through our links, we may earn a commission. (We’ve got a lot of toys to buy over here, you know?)

Best oral chew

In the last 10 years or so, the pet market has seen a huge surge of oral prescriptions for flea and tick prevention. Nexgard works against the most common ticks found in the UK, such as the Ixodes ricinus tick (known as the castor bean tick, sheep tick or deer tick) and the Dermacentor reticulatus tick (known as the ornate dog tick, ornate cow tick, meadow tick or marsh tick). Each prescription flavoured chewable is effective for 30 days and is available in dosages for dogs between 2–50kg.

Best oral chew for large dogs

Simparica Trio Flea and Tick Treatment in red box

For added protection, consider Simparica Trio, which also works against deer ticks and meadow ticks – in addition to fleas and heartworm. Released in 2016, Simparica is newer to the flea and tick game than NexGard, but has proven to be just as safe and effective. Simparica also comes in a flavoured chewable and is also prescription only. However, Simparica has the added bonus of having a larger weight range than NexGard, with doses available for dogs between 1.25–60kg.

Best topical spot flea treatment

K9 Advantix II Flea & Tick Spot Treatment in a box

When it comes to flea and tick prevention, topicals hold one key advantage over oral medication. “Tablets don’t work so much as a repellent, so the tick will still get on your pet, but the tablet will kill the tick fairly well once it bites,” says Dr Elizabeth Shines, an associate vet at Banfield Pet Hospital in Oregon. “Topicals tend to work more as repellents and then if the tick does bite your pet, it will still kill the tick.”

So if you’re looking for more of a repellent or your dog doesn’t respond well to oral flea and tick medication, consider this topical option by K9 Advantix. Available online and over the counter, K9 Advantix is applied between your dog’s shoulder blades and should not come into contact with water for at least 24 hours. This topical also works to kill fleas and ticks on contact, so neither bug has to bite your dog before dying. Available in monthly doses for dogs up to 40kg, K9 Advantix also claims to repel mosquitos, so your pup can stay comfortable in the summer, too.

Best flea and tick collar

Seresto Flea & Tick Collar large dog package

Applied simply by fitting the collar on to your dog’s neck, the Seresto Flea and Tick Collar works for up to eight months to both repel fleas and ticks and kill them on contact. This mess-free topical application works by slowly dispensing medication throughout its wear – so it should never be paired with other oral medications or topical treatments. The collar is available in two sizes, one for dogs under 8kg and one for dogs over 8.01kg, with no minimum or maximum weight limit. Just be mindful if you have a dog who likes to swim more than once a month, as it will reduce the collar’s effectiveness to five months against fleas and seven months against ticks.

Best all-natural treatment

Kin + Kind Flea & Tick Relief Shampoo bottle

If you’re looking to stay away from strong chemicals, the plant-powered Kin + Kind can get the job done just as well. Available in either lavender or lemongrass scents, this flea and tick shampoo is super-effective when used consistently. To use the shampoo, simply leave it on your pet’s fur for up to two minutes for maximum effectiveness and rinse. Kin + Kind also have a spray (£16.86) to use as a protectant before venturing out on tick-heavy activities or in tick-heavy areas. 

Best large spray

Keep in mind that even when using these products, experts recommend you be on the lookout for signs of any tick-borne illness after finding a tick on your pet. “Most of the clinical signs associated with tick-borne diseases are lethargy, fever, weight loss, joint pain and swelling, weakness, enlarged spleen or lymph nodes, and changes in gum colouration,” says Dr Esteve-Gasent.

Even so, these products are the first line of defence in keeping you and your pet safe.

rebecca caplan

Rebecca Caplan

Rebecca Caplan is a writer based in Brooklyn whose work has been featured in The New Yorker, Reductress, and Vulture. She lives in Brooklyn with her perfect, toothless dog Moose.

Related articles