So, you found a flea on your dog? Fleas might seem small and harmless — more of a nuisance than a serious hazard. But these puny pests have a history of spreading disease to both people and animals. To protect your pet and your household, flea and tick medicine for dogs is your best defense against these insect invaders.

Keeping dogs free of fleas, ticks, and other parasites is essential to their overall health and well-being. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dogs are very susceptible to tick bites. And there are no vaccines that target most tickborne diseases in dogs.

Managing an illness in your pet is significantly more stressful and costly than proactive prevention. Luckily, there’s no shortage of preventative treatment options on the market.

In this article, we’ll share expert veterinary insights on flea and tick medications for dogs to help pet parents to choose the right one.

All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Vetstreet may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

What is the Best Flea and Tick Medicine for Dogs? 

To find the best flea and tick medicine in every category, we considered recommendations from leading organizations, like the American Kennel Club, as well as what happy (and unhappy customers) had to say. Then we narrowed in on the best options based on effectiveness, ease of use, and availability.

Our Picks

Best Dog Flea and Tick Medicine: 10 Top Picks

Ready to learn more about the best flea and tick medicines for dogs? Here, we’ll dig in and explore the benefits that earned each product a spot on our list. from tablets with full-spectrum pest protection to long-lasting collars. 

Best Oral Flea and Tick Medication for Dogs

Our Pick: NexGard

flea and tick medicine for dogs from NexGard

Afoxolaner is the main ingredient in this edible flea and tick medicine, which is absorbed into your dog’s bloodstream after ingestion. NexGard works by infecting and killing fleas and a variety of ticks that might bite your pet. It’s our pick for its tempting beef flavor, which compels pups to not only chew it up but swallow it, making it more like a treat than a treatment. It also kills fleas quickly before they have a chance to lay eggs. 


  • FDA-approved to prevent Lyme disease in dogs
  • One dose is effective for an entire month
  • Safe for puppies as young as eight weeks and dogs weighing 4 pounds or more

Things to Consider

  • At an estimated $30 per pill, NexGard is one of the pricier flea and tick treatments
  • This medication is not recommended for dogs with a history of seizures or neurological disorders
  • Side effects can include stomach upset and vomiting

Best Flea and Tick Chews for Dogs

Our Pick: Bravecto Chews

Bravecto chewable flea and tick medication for dogs

This chew begins killing fleas and ticks within hours and lasts for up to three months. Its main ingredient, fluralaner, reaches tissue fluids under your dog’s skin where pests bite. The tasty pork flavor entices pups to take their medicine.


  • It’s easy to remember to give four chews annually for year-round protection
  • Chews come in five sizes based on your dog’s weight (4.4pounds and larger)
  • Bravecto Chews are safe and effective for use in pregnant, breeding, and lactating dogs

Things to Consider

  • While Bravecto Chews boasts 12 weeks of protection against most tick types, they only protect against Lone Star ticks for up to eight weeks
  • The minimum age for Bravecto Chews is six months
  • If your pet doesn’t care for the pork taste, it could make administration tricky

Best Topical Flea and Tick Treatment for Dogs

Our Pick: Frontline Plus

Frontline Plus for dogs topical flea and tick medicine

If you’re looking for a traditional topical to provide pest relief, Frontline Plus for Dogs kills 100 percent of adult fleas within 12 hours and ticks and chewing lice within 48 hours. Employing insecticides fipronil and S-methoprene, the medication is absorbed into your dog’s sebaceous glands and gets wicked out of hair follicles, meaning the active ingredients are continuously re-applied to the coat. Each dose lasts for one month.


  • This topical is waterproof and approved for pets who swim
  • Frontline Plus also treats sarcoptic mange infections
  • One pack comes with three doses for three months of protection

Things to Consider

  • Topicals are not ideal in households with babies or small children
  • Consider your pet’s size; dosing is considerably more if your dog weighs 88 to 89 pounds.
  • Expect temporary irritation at the application site

Best Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs

Our Pick: Seresto

Seresto large dog collar for dogs

Not interested in dealing with a pill, chew, or liquid? Seresto’s collars (for large and small dogs) are a low-maintenance alternative to the hassle of providing your pet with constant flea and tick protection. The collar slowly releases two active ingredients (flumethrin and imidacloprid) into the fatty layer of your dog’s skin to ward off pests. It remains effective for a duration of up to eight months, allowing you to simply apply it and then not worry about it!


  • Based on a 2023 survey, Seresto is the most veterinarian-recommended flea and tick collar
  • Effective for the better part of the year, Seresto keeps the cost of flea and tick protection to a minimum — about half the price of other treatments
  • A ratchet release mechanism means Seresto is designed to snap if your pet becomes tangled in their collar

Things to Consider

  • While Seresto is approved for dogs as young as seven weeks, they must be over 18 pounds to wear it
  • If ticks are present when the collar is applied, they still need to be removed manually
  • Seresto kills lice on dogs but only for one month

Best Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs

Our Pick: SimpleSource

SimpleSource flea and tick dog shampoo

If you want to avoid the toxic substances used in other flea, tick, and mosquito repellent for dogs, consider a more natural solution. SimpleSource shampoo uses lemongrass, cedarwood oils, and other plant extracts to kill ticks, mosquitos, and fleas — including flea eggs and larvae — on contact. Not only will you protect your pooch, but they’ll also smell great, too.


  • Plant-based ingredients with no harsh chemicals
  • Instant relief
  • Cheap option at around $13 for a 12-ounce. bottle

Things to Consider

  • A bath will not provide continued pest protection for your pup
  • SimpleSource shampoo is not a flea and tick preventative
  • One application might not wipe out a flea infestation

Best Flea and Tick Meds for Dogs Over 55 Pounds

Our Pick: K9 Advantix II

K9 Advantix II flea and tick medication for dogs

Do you have a big dog? K9 Advantix II dosing is available in four weight brackets, with extra-large dogs considered 55 pounds and over. This topical combines permethrin and imidacloprid to kill and repel ticks, fleas, and mosquitos on contact.


  • This medication is fast-acting, killing nearly 100 percent of adult fleas in 12 hours, and even repels biting flies and chewing lice in addition to ticks and mosquitos
  • Each box comes with two one-month applications
  • This waterproof treatment remains effective following a shampoo or swim

Things to Consider

  • If your household has cats or other pets, they need to be separated from your dog after application for at least 24 hours
  • K9 Advantix II is not recommended for older canines or those with preexisting conditions
  • Does not protect against the Gulf Coast tick variety

Best Flea and Tick Meds for Puppies

Our Pick: Revolution

Revolution to prevent heartworm disease and prevent and control flea infestations

Even the littlest floof balls aren’t free from worrying about potential flea or tick bites. As their pet parents, ensure your puppies are protected as soon as possible. This means waiting at least seven or eight weeks for most medications on the market. With Revolution (Selamectin), your pup can be as young as six weeks to begin treatment with no weight requirement. This monthly topical comes in a three-pack and requires a prescription.


  • Protects vulnerable puppies from heartworm, ear mites, and mange, in addition to fleas and ticks
  • Revolution targets both internal and surface parasitic infections
  • A preferred flea/tick treatment for dogs who can’t take oral medication

Things to Consider

  • Side effects are uncommon but may occur in collies or herding dog breeds
  • You cannot give Revolution to your pet if they are already on a heartworm medication
  • It’s a pricier option at about $268 for a year of protection

Best OTC Flea Treatment for Dogs

Our Pick: Advantage II

Advantage II for dogs to prevent fleas

No prescription? No problem. If you need some flea and lice treatment, like yesterday, you can pick up Advantage II. This monthly topical is a flea preventative that kills adult fleas, larvae, and their eggs. It also treats and prevents lice. Advantage II does not treat ticks, so it must be used in conjunction with a tick collar. It’s a top pick for killing fleas on contact, meaning they don’t have to bite your doggie first in order to die.


  • No veterinarian visit or prescription is needed
  • Kills fleas within 12 hours of application
  • Advantage II is waterproof and fragrance-free

Things to Consider

  • You will need to layer protection as Advantage II does not treat or prevent tick bites
  • Not recommended for aging or elderly dogs, or pregnant or lactating females
  • Use a soap-free shampoo if you need to bathe your pet on this medication

Best Flea and Heartworm Medicine for Dogs

Our Pick: Trifexis

Flea and tick medication for dogs from Trifexis

Cover all your bases with the trifecta of protection that Trifexis provides. One beef-flavored tablet a month will defend your dog against fleas in all forms, heartworms, and intestinal worms. For dogs at least eight weeks old and weighing five pounds, Trifexis gets to work in just 30 minutes, killing 100 percent of biting fleas in four hours. However, this medication does not prevent ticks.


  • Fast-acting and FDA-approved
  • Kills microfilariae and larvae and prevents them from maturing into adult heartworms
  • Customer reviews state that most pets seem to enjoy the flavor

Things to Consider

  • May cause vomiting, which would result in offering another dose
  • Not the most cost-effective option at about $20-plus per pill without tick protection
  • Use with caution if your pet has a prior history of seizures

Overall Best Flea and Tick Medicine for Dogs

Our Pick: Simparica TRIO

Simparica Trio is a chewable tablet for dogs to prevent fleas and ticks

What does it take to be the best overall flea and tick solution for your fur baby? Simparica TRIO is a simple, chewable tablet that combines three active ingredients (sarolaner, moxidectin, and pyrantel pamoate) for a one-two-three punch to parasites. It targets and kills these pests, most importantly preventing heartworm infestations, fleas, five types of ticks, and intestinal parasites like roundworm and hookworm. Additionally, it is endorsed by the American Kennel Club.


  • Just one monthly chew knocks out nine different types of pests
  • This medication can be given to dogs as small as 2.8 lbs.
  • Recommended for dogs living in wooded areas or on farms

Things to Consider

  • Listed for about $35-$40 per pill (depending on dose), you pay for the privilege of multifaceted pest protection (that’s up to $480 a year).
  • Serious drugs can have serious side effects; be aware that seizures have been reported
  • Requires a prescription

Flea and Tick Medicine for Dogs: Why It’s Important

Unless you want to welcome invasive fleas and ticks into your home, protecting your pet from the dangers of parasites should be part of their routine care.

Parasites can wreak havoc on your dog’s health. Fleas and ticks can cause everything from superficial hair loss and itchy dermatitis to more severe flea- and tickborne illnesses like tapeworm, Lyme disease, or paralysis.

We spoke with Mariette Connelly, DVM, of New Jersey’s Freehold Animal Hospital, about the importance of regular flea and tick maintenance for dogs. She urges pet parents to be proactive when it comes to protecting their pets from dangerous parasites. Ideally, that includes flea, tick, and heartworm prevention. Heartworm disease, which is carried by mosquitos, can travel through your dog’s heart and lungs, causing congestive heart failure in the most serious cases.

“Many people think that if their pets stay inside, parasites like fleas, ticks, and heartworm-carrying mosquitoes can’t get to them — but they can,” Connelly warns. Fleas and ticks can be carried in from outside on clothing or other items and spread between pets, while mosquitoes can sneak through open doors or cracks in your screen.”

Though parasites are more active in warm weather, they’re not just a summertime concern. “Especially with the warmer winters that many states across the U.S. have been experiencing, parasite prevention should be year-round,” says Connelly. Your pet is still at risk when temperatures drop. According to an article published by the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, ticks can be active at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on where you live.

Types of Dog Flea and Tick Medicine to Consider

Just like some humans hate to swallow giant capsules or prefer to swig liquid medicine, dogs also have medication preferences. Thankfully,  prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) flea and tick medications come in a variety of forms. If your dog won’t consume a pill or chew a tablet, you can apply topical flea and tick treatments to your dog’s skin or fit them with a collar that provides flea and tick protection.

In addition to the form of the preventative, pet parents must carefully consider its function. Some flea protection simply kills existing fleas, while others also kill flea eggs to prevent future infestation. Some brands, like K9 Advantix II, prevent ticks from attaching to your pet, while others kill the pest once it is attached. Some parasite protection targets one insect, while others fight fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and more.  

How do you choose the right flea and tick medicine for your dog? There are many factors to consider, including your pet’s age, weight, and whether they are taking any other medications. Of all the options on the market, the one that is best for your fur baby is the one they will tolerate on a regular basis. Always talk to your veterinarian first to help select the ideal flea/tick treatment for your pet, their lifestyle, and the pests in your region.

Flea and Tick Medicine for Dogs Buyer’s Guide

Before going online or rushing to the store to purchase the first preventative you find, take a moment to think about what your pet needs. 

“It is important to check with your veterinarian before selecting a preventative for your pet,” Connelly advises. “There are newer preventatives that can cover fleas, ticks, heartworm, and intestinal parasites. [However] some only cover fleas and ticks, or heartworm and intestinal parasites, so they will need to be used in combination.”

“It’s [also] important to consider what is easier for your pet to get consistently. Some pets won’t take oral medicine. Some are on special diets, so they can’t have certain flavored tablets,” Connelly says. “Other pets have skin reactions to topical medications.”

To reiterate, the best flea, tick, and heartworm medication for your dog is the one that they’ll swallow/chew/tolerate on a routine basis. Be sure to check with your veterinarian for any potential contraindications. For example, pregnant and lactating dogs can use products like Frontline, which contains fipronil, but collars and topicals are less often advised.

Cocker Spaniel getting a flea and tick topical preventative applied.

Flea and Tick Meds for Dogs: Tips for Success

Now that you have a selection of flea and tick preventatives, there are several tips to remember.

First, always follow the directions listed for applying your pet’s flea and tick treatment. Instructions vary by product, so pay close attention to how and when to apply or use the product on your dog.

Wash Hands. No matter the format, it’s best to wash your hands thoroughly after applying the treatment. Consider wearing disposable gloves for a liquid or topical treatment (especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding). Consult with your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about administering the flea and tick medicine you chose.

Use Common Sense When Dosing. Ensure complete consumption of the tablet or chew, particularly if it’s broken up in food, to prevent regurgitation. If it’s topical, do not touch the application site for a few hours after applying, and reduce contact with flea/tick collars. If your dog loves water, make sure it stays dry after application.

Know When to Apply Products. “If your pet is active outside in water or gets bathed frequently, topical preventions can become less effective. It is best to apply topical preventions to your pet once they are fully dry and not to bathe them for at least 72 hours after application,” advises Connelly. “Treatments for flea-, tick- and mosquito-borne illnesses can be costly and carry certain risks,” says Connelly. “The best way to keep your pet healthy and disease-free is to be consistent with monthly preventatives.”