Updated February 2022
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Buying guide for Best flea collars for dogs

Flea collars are a convenient way to control and prevent flea infestations on dogs by simply wearing them as they would traditional collars. They come in various lengths and can be trimmed to fit, and they are made with plastic materials infused with insecticides that kill existing fleas and deter new pests. Some also work to control ticks and lice.

Flea collars for dogs are a reliable alternative to topical and oral flea medications that remain effective for several months. However, keep in mind that they typically have a medicinal or chemical odor that can be annoying to humans, and some dogs are prone to developing skin irritations from the pesticides.

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Fleas aren’t able to fly, but they can jump up to 150 times their own height, which is how they can find their way to your dog.

Types of flea collars for dogs

When shopping for a flea collar for your dog, there are three main types of choose from: pesticide flea collars, repellent flea collars, and ultrasonic flea collars.

Pesticide flea collars are the most common option. These collars don’t just repel fleas; they kill any bug that shows up on your dog. A pesticide collar works in one of two ways. Some transfer the pesticide into the dog’s fatty tissue beneath the skin. When a flea bites, it ingests the pesticide and dies. Others allow the pesticide to mix with the dog’s natural hair and skin oils, so a flea that touches the surface of the dog dies before it even gets an opportunity to bite.

Repellent flea collars don’t kill fleas once they’re on the dog. Rather, they keep fleas away in the first place. These collars work by releasing a toxic gas that can kill fleas and other pests within a certain range. A repellent flea collar is most effective in the dog’s chest and neck area, but some collars also mix with the dog’s natural hair and skin oils to provide protection for the rest of the body.

Ultrasonic flea collars repel fleas and other pests with high-frequency sound waves. They’re an ideal option if you aren’t a fan of collars that use chemicals.

Active ingredients

Some flea collars contain pesticides that are potentially toxic to your pet and family. Check the active ingredient list in any collar that you’re considering. Avoid flea collars that contain propoxur, tetrachlorvinphos, amitraz, or carbaryl. These are some of the most toxic pesticides used in inexpensive flea collars.


For a flea collar to be effective, you need the proper size for your pooch. It should be snug, so it comes into contact with the dog’s hair and skin, but it shouldn’t be so tight that it could choke your pet. If the collar fits properly, you should usually be able to place two fingers beneath it while your dog is wearing it.

The majority of flea collars are adjustable, so one size can fit a range of dogs no matter how big or small they are. Many collars can be trimmed down to prevent smaller dogs from chewing on the end. Check the product specifications for any flea collar that you’re considering to learn about sizing guidelines.


Flea collars are usually made of some type of plastic, which is durable and holds on to the active ingredients well. There are some brands that use other materials, such as fabric or leather. We suggest you choose the option that would be most comfortable for your dog.

No matter which material you choose, make sure the collar has smooth, rounded edges that won’t irritate your dog. The collar should be hardy enough to stand up to the rough-and-tumble play that most dogs are likely to engage in.

Additional pest protection

All flea collars obviously repel or kill fleas, but some also protect against other pests that are attracted to dogs. You’ll get more bang for your buck if you choose a collar that offers additional pest protection.

For example, many flea collars are also effective at repelling and/or killing ticks. That’s good news, because ticks can cause serious health issues for dogs, including anemia, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. If you live in an area with a significant tick population or take your dog for walks in spots where ticks are likely to be found, opt for a flea collar that can also protect your pet from ticks.

Some collars can also protect your pet from mosquitos, lice, and other pests.

Protection length

Flea collars don’t provide indefinite pest protection for your dog, so it’s important to consider how long any given collar would effectively guard against fleas and other parasites. Some products only last a month. Others provide up to eight months of protection.

Flea collars with longer effectiveness usually cost more, but purchasing one could actually save you money over time because you wouldn’t need to replace it as often. On the other hand, if you only need flea protection for a short period of time, such as a brief boarding stay for your dog, you could probably save money by buying a collar that only provides about a month of protection.


In the past, flea collars had a bad reputation for sporting a strong, unpleasant odor. Not only is a strongly scented collar likely to irritate your dog, but it could also bother the entire family. Instead, we suggest you consider an odorless flea collar. For many dogs and their family members, this is the more comfortable option.


Even if your dog isn’t a big fan of the water, chances are you’ll walk him in the occasional rainstorm or he’ll stumble into a puddle when he’s playing. That’s why it’s so important to choose a flea collar that’s water-resistant. You don’t have to worry about the collar losing effectiveness if it gets a little wet. And if your dog does enjoy the water, a water-resistant collar is all the more crucial.

Keep in mind that you should remove a flea collar when it’s time to bathe your dog. And because some flea collar ingredients are toxic to fish, you should remove it if your dog is going to swim in a lake, river, or ocean.

Flea collar prices

Flea collars for dogs vary in price based on the active ingredients and how long they’re designed to last. You can expect to pay between $5 and $60 for a dog flea collar.


Collars that offer only three months of protection or have potentially toxic active ingredients generally cost $5 to $10.


Collars that offer three to six months of protection and contain non-toxic active ingredients generally cost between $15 and $35.


Flea collars that offer six months or more of protection and contain non-toxic active ingredients usually cost from $35 to $60.


  • Before using any flea prevention product on your pet, consult with your veterinarian. Your dog may have health issues that make a flea collar a potentially dangerous treatment.

  • If you notice any irritation or hair loss around your dog’s neck when he’s wearing a flea collar, remove it immediately. Talk with your vet to determine if your dog has an allergy to one of the collar’s ingredients.

  • Never allow your dog to chew on a flea collar. Even non-toxic ingredients have the potential to make a dog sick.

  • Replace your dog’s flea collar promptly. If you leave an expired collar on your dog, he won’t have any flea or other pest protection.

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A female flea can lay as many as 50 eggs a day, which is why an infestation can develop so quickly.


Q. Can any dog wear a flea collar?

A. While flea collars are safe for most dogs, pregnant or nursing and senior dogs shouldn’t wear them. Puppies under three months of age shouldn’t wear a flea collar, either. If you’re unsure whether your dog is a candidate for a flea collar, ask your veterinarian to be certain.

Q. Is it safe to use a flea collar on my dog around my family?

A. The chemicals used in a flea collar could rub off on anything it comes into contact with, so your family may be at risk. Wash your hands every time you touch your dog or come into contact with the collar. If you have very young children at home who might put their hands in their mouth after petting the dog, it may be better to choose a different flea prevention product.

Q. Can I use a dog flea collar on my cat?

A. Cats are usually much more sensitive to flea treatments than dogs are, so products meant for dogs could actually be harmful to cats. Only use flea collars intended for use on cats on your cat.

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