You might think that dealing with fleas is an unavoidable side effect of dog ownership, but that doesn’t have to be the case. If you attach a quality flea collar to your pooch, you shouldn’t have to deal with any of those annoying, biting insects, regardless of where your dog likes to roam.
However, the sad fact is that many puppy flea collars are basically worthless. Even worse, it’s next to impossible to determine if a collar will work by just looking at it, so it’s incredibly difficult to separate the good products from the losers.
In these reviews, we’ll share which collars actually worked to keep fleas at bay and which ones were mere decoration. That way, you’ll be able to let your dog go outside without forcing him to become an unwilling buffet — and even better, you won’t have to worry about finding any fleas on you.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (2022 Update)
The 10 Best Flea Collars for Puppies
1. Bayer Seresto Flea & Tick Collar for Dogs – Best Overall
This collar may seem outrageously expensive at first, but when you do the math, it’s actually quite reasonably-priced — and better than that, it works like a charm.
Each one will protect your pup for up to eight months, so when you prorate the cost over that timeframe, you’ll see that you’re not paying that much at all. You can buy a single one and have it protect your dog for the entirety of her puppyhood.
It works on contact, which means fleas don’t actually have to bite your dog to die. This saves her some unnecessary suffering, while also increasing the likelihood that bugs will fall off and die before they make it into your home.
In addition to full-grown fleas, it also kills flea larvae, ticks, chewing lice, and sarcoptic mange, so you’ll shield your dog from a variety of undesirable skin nuisances.
Each one is only intended for dogs up to 18 pounds, though, which may be all you’ll ever need if you have a small-breed pup. However, if you adopted a Rottweiler, it may not take very long before you have to upgrade to a bigger collar.
The Bayer Seresto was by far our top pick for the best flea collar for puppies.
2. Hartz UltraGuard Collar – Best Value
If you’re skeptical that a puppy flea collar will actually work (or your pup is a Houdini at wriggling out of collars), the Hartz UltraGuard is one of the least expensive options on the market. It’s also one of the more effective, though, and we believe it’s the best flea collar for puppies for the money.
The collar has a fresh scent, so while fleas might find it repulsive, you won’t be disgusted every time you snuggle your pooch. It comes in a variety of sizes and is unobtrusive enough that you can slip it under her existing collar without her noticing.
The formula is water-resistant, so the thing won’t instantly be rendered worthless if she decides to wander out into a monsoon. We would recommend taking it off before allowing her in the pool, though.
The manufacturer claims that each collar works for about seven months, but we found that to be wishful thinking. Expect to replace it every few weeks or so, but given the price, that shouldn’t be much of an issue.
While the Hartz UltraGuard isn’t quite ready to offer serious competition to the Bayer Seresto, its overall value and effectiveness make it superior to most other collars out there, which is why it earns the silver medal here.
3. Arava Flea & Tick Prevention Collar – Premium Choice
If you’re worried about wrapping a chemical-filled strap around your pup’s neck, the Arava Prevention uses only natural ingredients, like essential oils, to keep bugs at bay.
The company claims to use micro-injection technology to ensure that the oils are released slowly so that each collar will last six months or longer. We can’t say whether they actually use micro-injection technology or not, but we found they only lasted about two or three months.
Still, that’s pretty good, even if it doesn’t quite boost the value enough to completely make up for the initial cost.
It’s waterproof, though, so you can just put it on and forget about it for a while — until your puppy outgrows it, that is. Luckily, that’s not an issue with this collar, as it’s easily adjustable, so it can grow with your little ankle biter.
The company donates a portion of its profits to animal-rights charities, so you can feel good about buying this collar. It’s not quite enough to allow the Arava Prevention to weasel its way into our top two, but it’s a nice touch nonetheless.
4. Rolf Club 3D FLEA Collar
You have to wait up to two days for it to start working, but once it’s rolling, the Rolf Club 3D does a great job of keeping jumping insects off your dog.
It doesn’t have much of an odor at all, so while fleas don’t like it, it shouldn’t be strong enough to keep you away from your pet. Of course, that also makes it difficult to tell when it’s time to replace it, but since each one lasts nearly six months, that’s not much of a problem.
It keeps away fleas in every stage of their life cycle, so you won’t just knock out the adults, only to have the next generation rise up with a vengeance.
The Rolf Club 3D is easy to put on, even if your dog is a squirmer, but that also means that she can get it off with a little bit of effort, so keep an eye on it.
Ultimately, this collar is a worthy option, but it has just one or two too many issues to warrant placing in the top three.
5. Pedicine Dog Flea Collar
Another collar that uses essential oils instead of harsh pesticides, the Pedicine Collar releases small amounts of castor, thyme, clove, and lemongrass over a period of eight months. However, you may find yourself resenting the fact that it lasts so long, as the smell is absolutely overpowering.
Many dogs seem to find it uncomfortable to wear, which makes sense given how much stronger their noses are than ours. At least you know that the fleas will also find it off-putting, though, and it’s very easy to determine when it’s time to replace it.
It’s non-greasy, so you won’t get any repellent on your hands when you put it on. Your hands will still smell, though, so expect to wash them immediately afterward.
Each collar is 25 inches long, which is more than enough for most dogs. It’s easy to adjust it to fit your pup, so you can size it right up to her neck and extend it as she grows.
The Pedicine Collar is long-lasting and effective, but many dogs (and owners) may find it too strong to tolerate, which is why it only ranks in the middle of our list.
6. Mozart Schobkind Flea Collar
The Mozart Schobkind doesn’t just repel fleas in all their life stages, it also deters over 100 other species of insects. However, seeing as how some fleas manage to slip through the cracks, we wouldn’t be surprised if some of those other bugs did, too.
It uses oils like citronella and cinnamon, so your dog will smell like a mix between a candle and a pack of Big Red. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be a little much on an indoor dog.
The collar is available in three different lengths, making it suitable for breeds of sizes. You have to trim off any excess, though, so it’s not really adjustable (it’s basically a scented zip tie). That said, it stays in place remarkably well, even on active dogs.
The Mozart Schobkind does a fairly decent job at keeping bugs away, although it’s not completely effective. It may be all you need if you live in an urban area, though, so it’s worthy of consideration — just not worthy of displacing the collars ranked above it.
7. Berku Dog Flea Collar
If your pup seems to be considering a career as a stunt dog, the Berku Collar is a good choice for her, as it has an emergency breaking point that allows it to snap off if it gets tangled in something. This prevents her from strangling herself or injuring her neck.
While that’s reassuring, it also creates a bit of a problem: these things are a devil to keep on. They fall off all the time, even if you’re careful to size them properly when putting them on. And while buying a new one won’t break the bank, they’re also not so cheap that you won’t care when one gets lost.
If you can manage to keep it on, though, the Berku will keep mosquitoes away as well as fleas, eliminating two of the biggest annoyances a dog can experience. This should also cut down on her risk of picking up a number of parasites.
It has a very strong odor, and while it will dissipate over time, that also means that the effectiveness is dissipating. Basically, if you want to protect your dog, you’ll also have to deal with the smell.
We appreciate that the Berku Collar is designed to be safe, but until they also figure out how to keep it fastened securely, it will struggle to rise up this list.
8. Natural Care Flea & Tick Collar
This option from Natural Care is extremely cheap — in all senses of the word.
It’s not quite as inexpensive as the Hartz model listed at #2, and it’s not quite as effective, either. The collar is made of thin nylon, and can easily be snapped off by a determined dog (or even just a stray foot during a vigorous scratching session).
The nylon isn’t terribly forgiving, either, so if it snags on something, it’s likely to dig into your dog’s neck. It’s coated in botanical oils, which means you don’t have to worry about pesticides or chemicals, but it also seems like it doesn’t give fleas much to worry about, either.
That’s not completely fair, as it does seem to be effective at first — but that effectiveness lasts a few days at most. Even given the bargain-basement price point, it’s not a cost-effective solution.
If for some reason you only need your dog to wear a flea collar for a week or so, then the Natural Care may just be perfect. If you need to protect her any longer than that, however, you’re better off buying something else.
9. Petsmont Flea Collar
Each Petsmont package is intended to protect your dog for a full year, as there are two 6-month collars inside. While it’s true that you can probably keep the collars on for months at a time, don’t expect them to offer much protection during that period.
It’s surprising that it’s so ineffective because you can smell the thing from down the block. The strong odor doesn’t seem to lessen, either; that may mean that it’s not losing its effectiveness, but since it doesn’t seem that effective to begin with, it’s hard to tell.
If you’re thinking of purchasing this collar to keep ticks away instead of fleas, it’s not any better at that. In fact, it’s not unusual to find a bloodsucker buried right underneath the collar.
On a positive note, it’s made with a hypoallergenic formula, so your dog shouldn’t be any more bothered by it than the fleas are.
While the Petsmont might seem like a good value at first, it doesn’t perform nearly well enough to justify ranking higher than 9th on this list.
10. Healex Dog Flea Collar
The marketing team behind the Healex Collar went through a lot of trouble to convince you that it’s just as good as our #1 pick, the Bayer Seresto. It’s unfortunate that their R&D team wasn’t willing to put in as much effort.
It uses five different essential oils to repel bugs instead of the pesticides that the Seresto uses. While you may feel that’s better for your dog, there’s no question that it’s better for the fleas, who don’t seem to mind the oils at all.
The primary oil used is citronella, which may be good for keeping mosquitoes away but does next to nothing to deter fleas. It definitely gives the collar a noticeable odor, though, so we hope you like hugging a candle.
It’s next to impossible to keep the thing on your dog. The one-size-fits-all collar may have seemed like a good idea, but it just means that it fits all dogs equally poorly. It should come as no surprise if your dog comes back from every bathroom trip sans collar.
To be fair to Healex, they do say that the collar works best when paired with a topical repellent. We suspect that’s because the topical repellent will do all the work, which leads us to ask why you’d bother with the collar at all.
Related Read: 10 Best Dog Collars – Reviews & Top Picks
If you want the best flea collar for puppies that actually works to keep fleas at bay, there’s no question that the Bayer Seresto is your best bet. It kills bugs on contact, and does so for up to eight months at a time, making it an excellent long-term solution.
While not in the Seresto’s league in terms of effectiveness, the Hartz UltraGuard nevertheless does an adequate job of keeping bugs at bay, and at a fraction of the Seresto’s price. It’s a good choice for those with mild flea problems (or those who can’t seem to keep a collar on their dogs for very long).
Trying to find a flea collar that actually works can be extremely frustrating, but it’s also vitally important. We hope these reviews have simplified the process a bit, so you can finally give your best friend a respite from the incessant itching and scratching.
Also, if you let your dog sleep in bed with you, we won’t tell anyone if you slip a collar over your wrist, just in case.
Featured Image Credit: Leo_65, Pixabay