You know that feeling when the weather is finally starting to warm up. You notice a dandelion popping up here, a bud beginning to form there. It’s a refreshing feeling, saying goodbye to winter and hello to warmer months. But as with anything, spring comes with downfalls — like the oncoming of insects. For some areas, you aren’t as lucky to even have a winter break. Controlling these pesky parasites can be difficult. It seems like you see one and suddenly, they’re everywhere.
No one wants to deal with a flea infestation, especially not your dog. So, we rounded up the 10 best flea sprays that we could find so we could check them out for you. Below, you will find our honest reviews of each product so you can gauge what the best choice is for your dog — hopefully cutting out hours of searching.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (2022 Update)
The 10 Best Flea Sprays for Dogs
1. Adams Plus Flea and Tick Spray – Best Overall
When it comes to the best flea spray for dogs, our vote goes to the Adams Plus Flea and Tick Spray. There are plenty of things that make it worthy of this position. You can safely use the spray on your household furniture items, on your pet, and carpets to treat both live fleas and flea larvae.
It is a trusted brand that does the job. Once you apply the spray to the fur, you can see the fleas die on contact. Even after the spray dries, subsequent fleas that latch on will also die from exposure. It kills fleas, larvae, and eggs for up to two months.
A little goes a long way, so you don’t have to saturate their fur thoroughly, but do be liberal with treatment. Adams also offers a shampoo that you can use in unison with the spray for optimal flea control. It does have a strong alcohol smell, so be sure to apply with proper ventilation.
2. Vet’s Best Flea Spray for Dogs– Best Value
If you need quick flea control but want an inexpensive product, the Vet’s Pet Flea Spray is the best flea spray for dogs for the money. In addition to killing fleas, it also rids other parasites like ticks and mosquitos, which can carry diseases.
It’s a price-friendly, all-natural plant-based formula, making it an especially attractive pick. It has essential oils included, the main oil being peppermint. It smells fresh without the chemical odor. The minty smell remains on the animal’s fur and household fabric.
It can irritate if it comes in contact with the eyes, so be careful when applying it around sensitive areas. One issue is that it works well as a preventative, but it doesn’t work as well when it comes to killing on contact.
3. Wondercide Flea Spray for Dogs – Premium Choice
If you need the best-on-the-market efficiency for flea management and you’re willing to pay a little extra, Wondercide Flea Spray is our premium selection. While it may be pricier than others, the quality may make it worth the price. First, it works for dogs and cats. This is great if you’re looking for a product that can tackle both without shelling out for separate products.
It has a fresh lemongrass scent that lasts long after use. It is a combination of natural essential oils, making it safe for your dog or cat to ingest without adverse side effects. It doesn’t seem to work as effectively for ticks. So, if you are a frequent hiker or your dog is outside a lot, it may not work as well as a preventative.
4. Hartz Flea & Tick Spray
Hartz Flea & Tick Spray didn’t make it in the top three, but it still has much to offer in terms of effectiveness. It is formulated to kill fleas and ticks on contact up to seven days after use. It’s also safe enough that you can reapply once weekly to act as a preventive.
This product should not be used on cats, as it can have adverse effects on them. However, this is perfectly fine for puppies 12 weeks and older. If your dog has an issue with dry skin, the formula has aloe added to keep your pet’s fur soft and moist.
Because this is not an all-natural product, you do run into the risk of it reacting badly on your dog. Each dog will have unique sensitivities, so you may want to test it out on a small portion of the skin before vigorously spraying the fur.
5. MDXconcepts Zuba Dog’s Flea & Tick Spray
The MDX Concepts Zuba Dog’s Flea and Tick Spray may arguably be the best-smelling spray on the list. It has a soft, pleasant peppermint scent that isn’t overwhelming. It leaves fabric fresh and smells fantastic on your pet as well.
This item also kills fleas on contact. You can spray it on and see that it instantly starts doing its job. The essential oils provide a repellent property with ticks and fleas, and the scent relaxes your dog. It’s a win-win in that respect.
This is another spray that doesn’t seem to do the trick on those pesky ticks upon contact. It may make them stay away but it won’t kill them directly. If ticks are a focal point when deciding, you may want to look at these other products instead.
6. TropiClean Flea & Tick Spray
TropiClean Flea and Tick Spray can provide your pet with relief from troublesome fleas. This has a noticeable cinnamon scent. It’s advertised as citrus, which you can detect, but the cinnamon stands out above the lemongrass, cedarwood, and clove.
It seemed to kill live fleas slowly, but reinfestations occurred. So, it may not be effective on larvae as it claims. It does, however, seem to be a decent repellent for parasites. While it may not kill the eggs or larvae directly, it does work on new live fleas.
You can apply this to the coat, and it is soap-free. So, you don’t have to worry about it being harsh on your pet.
Frontline Flea & Tick Spray is another product you may want to consider. Frontline has been making pet products for many years, being one of the most well-known companies around. Their reputation for parasite control precedes them. You can use this on cats and dogs as young as eight weeks, which is the youngest recommendation of all these products.
Unlike the other sprays, it not only helps ward off ticks and fleas, but it also controls a wide array of other parasites, including lice and mites, which cause mange.
Because it has chemical content, it may be a harmful spray for a sensitive pet. Be sure to read the ingredients before purchase and test on a small area before applying overall. It may cause a chemical burn in some dogs or cats. It also has an overwhelmingly strong alcohol smell.
Natural Care Flea and Tick Spray is a terrific product to help you gain control over a potential infestation. As the name implies, it’s all-natural, so you can use around the household safely, as well as on dogs and cats alike.
The formula includes peppermint oil and clove to kill and treat infestations proficiently. You can also use it on furniture and upholstery without any residue sticking to it. The smell is overpowering, possibly stronger than the rest of our natural selections. Some people may not like just how potent it is, and some pets may be sensitive to the smell on their fur.
This product didn’t seem quite as useful as the other four when we made the comparison. It’s another one that didn’t have much of an impact on ticks.
While it may not be the best product we could find, the Pet Naturals of Vermont FLEA Spray is an honorable mention. You can use this safely on dogs and cats at any age, so that is positive.
Something misleading about this product is that it is a repellent. It may keep fleas and ticks at bay, but it won’t work to rid an infestation if that’s what you have. This is a preventative measure — not an all-purpose solution.
Otherwise, it has a supple scent with no harsh chemical-like smell. It’s safe to use on household items and evening bedding. While you won’t want it to get in anyone’s eyes, it’s otherwise harmless to pets and children.
The Bayer Advantage Flea & Tick Treatment Spray is only for dogs over six months of age. It isn’t suitable for cats or other animals. It contains pyrethrin, which is toxic to cats.
This is for healthy dogs only. If your dog has any skin sensitivities, is pregnant, is nursing, or is elderly, you may want to skip this one. It does seem to work very well in killing fleas on contact. It seemed that as soon as the spray the skin, the fleas began to die.
While it appears to do the job efficiently, it won’t be suitable for every situation. Do make sure to read the label entirely before use.
Buyer’s Guide – Finding the Best Flea Sprays for Dogs
Putting any chemical base on your dog should include the utmost caution. After all, just like humans, dogs have wide ranges of skin sensitivities. Applying anything topically on your dog should first be well-researched and properly executed. When you buy a flea spray to take care of the pests, you will want to keep your dog’s health in mind while treating the issue.
How Is Flea Spray Effective?
There are quite a few varieties on the market today when it comes to flea treatment. You have sprays, shampoos, collars, and tablets. Of all the options, flea spray is one of the safer choices, and it’s efficient when used correctly.
Flea and ticks are usually included together regarding repelling and killing the parasites. The spray disrupts the nervous systems of the fleas, causing their bodies to shut down. They also contain ingredients that prevent growth, which kills eggs and larvae on the fur.
Common ingredients found in flea and tick treatments are Fipronil, etofenprox, pyrethrin, and tetrachlorvinphos. Others use peppermint, clove, and other essential oils.
What Negative Impacts Are Possible?
As with any treatment, there are potential negative side effects involved. Allergic reactions are possible. When this happens, it can cause skin irritation, hot spots, itchiness, and flaking. Treatments with isooxazoline can cause neurological reactions that are much worse, such as tremors or seizures.
Are There Natural Alternatives?
Many of the options on our top 10 list are all-natural flea sprays with no harmful additives. While some of them may not be as effective as chemical-based sprays, they are healthier for your pet. Natural sprays are typically safe for dogs, cats, and even other household pets.
Most of these products have essential oil as active ingredients. Common oils used are peppermint, clove, and lemongrass. They give your pet a fresh coat and don’t leave a strong chemical smell.
How Do You Safely Decide Which is Right?
Choosing a reputable brand with a proven track record is the first step in the decision-making process. Stay on the lookout for any harmful ingredients in the spray, such as methoprene and permethrin. These have dangerous side effects and you should avoid use if possible.
Before you apply liberally to the whole coat, you should try it on a tiny portion of the skin first and monitor any reaction.
How Do You Apply?
After you have tested the product to be sure there are no adverse effects on your dog’s skin or digestive system, you can begin the application process. Most sprays will advise that you wear gloves and spray into the gloves. Rub in the spray little by little on your dog around their eyes, nose, and mouth. You can spray directly on the coat if it is away from the face to reduce the risk of direct eye or mouth contact.
We hope you enjoyed these reviews and can decide based on the outcomes we found. We stand by our pick for the best flea spray for dogs, Adams Plus Flea and Tick Spray. It has the highest level of effectiveness at a moderate price and is gentle enough for most dogs.
If you were looking for a reasonably low-priced treatment, Vet’s Pet Flea Spray takes the cake. It smells fabulous, it’s completely safe, and it does the job. While it isn’t recommended for other pets, you can use it on your household fabrics without issue.
If you don’t mind paying a higher price up front, the Wondercide Flea Spray is our premium choice. It’s made with many useful essential oils, this product has a wonderfully aromatic smell, and it lasts for an extended time. You can use it on both dogs and cats, if you have them. While a bit pricier, it may just be worth the extra.
Only you can decide which of these products, if any, will be suitable for your dog. With any luck, we’ve cut out the time-consuming parts so you can treat your pets to rid the issue.