The Best Flea Medicine for Dogs

Fleas bites are no fun for you or your dog, and it’s important to take measures to protect your pet against these stubborn pests. Flea medicine for dogs is a great solution for year-round pest protection. That’s why many pet parents rely on it to prevent an infestation that can cause serious health problems for pets and people.

We reviewed dozens of flea medicines to identify the best of the best, based on factors including Amazon reviews, affordability, convenience, and performance. We then narrowed down our search to 5 of the top-rated flea medicines for dogs that will protect your pet against parasites.

Top pick

Bayer K9 Advantix II Extra Large Dog

A popular and effective flea medicine that’s perfect for extra large dogs.

We’ve identified Bayer K9 Advantix II Extra Large Dog as our top pick of flea medicines for dogs. Suitable for extra large dogs, it’s veterinarian-recommended, waterproof, and formulated to kill fleas at all life stages.

The 5 Top-Rated Flea Medicines for Dogs

Editor’s PicksBrandRating
Best OverallBayer K9 Advantix II Extra Large Dog4.5
Runner UpFrontline Plus for Dogs Large Dog4.3
Best Budget BuyAdams Plus Flea & Tick Spot On Treatment3.8
Best Oral Flea Medicine for DogsNovartis Capstar Flea Tablets for Dogs and Cats4.1
Best Topical Flea Medicine for DogsFrontline Plus for Dogs Small Dog4.2

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: Bayer K9 Advantix II Extra Large Dog

Bayer K9 Advantix II Extra Large Dog is a reliable, veterinarian-recommended flea medicine that’s powerful enough to repel and kill fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes on extra large dogs. It is also convenient to use, and kills fleas within 10 minutes of application.

This flea medicine stood out to us because it kills a wide variety of parasites through contact with no biting required. This means that your pet is protected from irritation and deadly diseases that can be transmitted by pest bites. Reviewers say Bayer K9 Advantix II Extra Large Dog is highly effective, affordable, and easy to apply.

Bayer K9 Advantix II Extra Large Dog Key Features:

  • Veterinarian-recommended
  • Kills fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes through contact
  • Kills fleas at all life stages
  • Waterproof
  • Easy to apply

Our Runner Up Pick: Frontline Plus for Dogs Large Dog

Runner Up

Frontline Plus for Dogs Large Dog

Long-lasting flea and tick medicine for large dogs.

Frontline Plus for Dogs Large Dog is a waterproof flea and tick treatment with a fast-acting, long-lasting formula that kills fleas and ticks at all life stages. The product is designed for use on dogs 45-88lb., and gives non-stop flea and tick protection for a full 30 days.

Frontline Plus for Dogs is a proven flea and tick medicine that has been trusted by veterinarians for nearly 20 years. This product is a good choice for pet parents looking for a reliable flea medicine from an established market leader.

Frontline Plus for Dogs Large Dog Key Features:

  • Waterproof flea and tick treatment
  • 30-day protection
  • Fast-acting, long-lasting formula
  • Trusted by veterinarians

Best Budget Pick: Adams Plus Flea & Tick Spot On Treatment

Best for Budget

Adams Plus Flea & Tick Spot On Treatment

Long-lasting flea and tick medicine for large dogs.

Adams Plus Flea & Tick Spot On Treatment is a budget-friendly alternative to the leading brands that contains the same powerful active ingredients. The waterproof formula kills fleas and lice, dries quick, and prevents reinfestations for up to 30 days.

The convenient, easy-to-apply topical solution kills fleas at all life stages. Many reviewers say the product works just as well as more expensive brands and can be relied upon to kill fleas and lice.

Adams Plus Flea & Tick Spot On Treatment Key Features:

  • Affordable price
  • Effective for up to 30 days
  • Contains the same active ingredients as leading brands
  • Waterproof and quick drying formula

Best Oral Flea Medicine for Dogs: Novartis Capstar Flea Tablets for Dogs and Cats

Best Oral Flea Medicine for Dogs

Novartis Capstar Flea Tablets for Dogs and Cats

A single-dose oral flea treatment for household pets.

If you’re looking for an oral flea medicine from a trusted brand, Novartis Capstar Flea Tablets for Dogs and Cats are an excellent choice. The single-dose tablets kill fleas on dogs within 4 hours of application, and can be easily administered by placing the pill directly in your pet’s mouth or hiding it in food.

This product is great for dealing with an infestation, and is safe for use in dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens that are at least 4 weeks old and weigh 2 pounds or over.

Novartis Capstar Flea Tablets for Dogs and Cats Key Features:

  • Kill fleas fast
  • Easy to administer
  • Single-dose treatment
  • Suitable for dogs and cats

Best Topical Flea Medicine for Dogs: Frontline Plus for Dogs Small Dog

Best Topical Flea Medicine for Dogs

Frontline Plus for Dogs Small Dog

A safe and effective topical flea medicine for small dogs.

If you’re the proud pet parent of a small dog, Frontline Plus for Dogs Small Dog is the perfect solution for keeping pests at bay. The long-lasting, waterproof formula kills parasites fast, and works non-stop for a full 30 days.

This product is designed for use on dogs 5-22 lbs. It can be relied upon to kill fleas, flea eggs, lice, and ticks and prevent the establishment of new infestations.

Frontline Plus for Dogs Small Dog Key Features:

  • Works non-stop for 30 days
  • Easy-to-use topical formula
  • Kills pests fast
  • Waterproof

Who Should Buy Flea Medicine for Dogs

Administering flea medicine for dogs is a safe, effective, and convenient way to repel and kill fleas and other parasites. A flea infestation in your home can lead to severe discomfort for pets and people. Flea bites can also endanger your dog’s health by causing conditions such as anemia and spreading diseases including Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD), bartonella and tapeworms.1

For these reasons, it’s important that every pet parent takes measures to protect their dog from fleas. If you’d like more information about flea control, check out our article, How Can I Get Rid Of Fleas On My Dogs?

Top pick

Bayer K9 Advantix II Extra Large Dog

A popular and effective flea medicine that’s perfect for extra large dogs.

Important Features to Consider

Flea medicine for dogs should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting flea medicine to protect your pet against stubborn pests.

Oral or topical treatments. There are two main types of flea medicines for dogs; oral and topical treatments. Oral treatments are usually given in the form of a tablet, and contain insecticides that travel into your dog’s bloodstream. When fleas bite your dog they ingest the insecticide and die. Oral treatments typically only last for around 24 hours, and are best for rapidly controlling an infestation. Topical treatments are concentrated liquid formulas that are applied to your dog’s skin. They take longer to work, but unlike oral medications, they protect your pet against fleas at all life stages for up to a month.2

Protection period. Always read the manufacturer’s product information to check the protection period of the flea medicine and how often to administer it. As stated above, oral treatments provide short-term protection while topical treatments will protect your pet for up to a month.

Waterproof. If you decide on a topical treatment, consider choosing a product that’s waterproof. This will help ensure that the flea medicine stays effective for as long as possible.

Protection against other parasites. Some flea medicines kill other parasites such as ticks, lice, mosquitoes, and even internal parasites like roundworm and hookworms. These products can be an excellent choice for pet parents looking for a complete pest control solution.3

Safety and effectiveness. Before purchasing flea medicine for your dog, do some research to find out which products are the safest and most effective at killing fleas and other parasites. The best way to do this is by looking at the manufacturer’s product information to identify the active ingredients. You can then research the ingredients online to find out more about them. Amazon reviews can also be a good source of information on the safety and effectiveness of flea medicine products. You should also seek out the advice of your veterinarian as many over-the-counter products may be dangerous to your pet.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is dog flea medicine and how does it work?

Dog flea medicine is used to repel and kill fleas and other parasites. It contains chemical or plant-based insecticides and repellants that kill adult fleas, eggs, and larvae. Oral treatments enter the bloodstream and kill fleas when your pet is bitten. Topical treatments are absorbed into your pet’s oil glands and spread over the body to eliminate pests. 4

Should I choose an oral or topical dog flea medicine?

Oral dog flea medicine is the best solution for rapidly killing fleas and controlling an infestation, while topical dog flea medicine is ideal for long-term protection against fleas and other parasites.

Can you use vinegar to get rid of fleas on a dog?

Yes. Vinegar is a natural product that can help get rid of fleas on dogs. It contains acetic acid which has a strong smell and taste that fleas avoid. Please be aware that vinegar is best used as a flea preventative for pets and may be less effective than commercial products. Also, use vinegar sparingly as it can really dry out the skin and cause irritation.5

Does baking soda kill fleas on dogs?

Yes. Baking soda mixed with table salt is a natural home remedy that can be used to eliminate fleas. It works by dehydrating fleas and their eggs, leading to their death. Baking soda and salt is most effective at killing fleas when applied to infested carpets and furniture. Be careful applying to your pet as it can dry out and irritate the skin.6

  1. Anderson S. Flea Allergy Dermatitis: What Your Clients Need to Know. Todaysveterinarynurse.com. https://todaysveterinarynurse.com/articles/flea-allergy-dermatitis-what-your-clients-need-to-know/. Published Spring 2018. Accessed Jan 19, 2021.
  2. Sayers Animal Hospital. Flea Preventative Medications: Oral vs. Topical. Sayersanimalhospital.net. https://www.sayersanimalhospital.net/customer-resources/flea-preventative-medications-oral-vs-topical/. Published Mar 19, 2018. Accessed Jan 19, 2021
  3. External Parasites. AVMA.org. https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/petcare/external-parasites. Accessed Jan 19, 2021.
  4. PetMD Editorial. How Do Common Flea Medications Work? PetMD.com. https://www.petmd.com/dog/parasites/evr_multi_how_do_common_flea_medications_work. Published May 20, 2011. Access Jan 19, 2021.
  5. Welch S. How to Get Rid of Fleas. Farmanddairy.com. https://www.farmanddairy.com/top-stories/how-to-get-rid-of-fleas/439305.html. Published Aug 22, 2017. Accessed Jan 19, 2021.
  6. Does baking soda kill fleas on dogs? CPCcares.com. https://www.cpccares.com/blog/does-baking-soda-kill-fleas-on-dogs/#:~:text=By%20mixing%20baking%20soda%20and,do%20not%20reproduce%20and%20spread. Published May 12, 2020. Accessed Jan 19, 2020.
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Dr. Chyrle Bonk