Are Flea Collars Safe for Dogs?
Although the flea collars can kill fleas and ticks, it comes at the cost of the health of your family and the dog.
Fleas and ticks are responsible for causing various diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis in dogs. These fleas and ticks lurch onto your pet and make their life miserable as hell. You can use many different ways to get rid of ticks and fleas from your pets, such as preventative medication, topicals, powders. One of the most common solutions for getting rid of fleas and ticks is the collar flea.
A flea collar is defined as a collar that contains chemicals that kill fleas and ticks. These chemicals include polyvinyl chloride, polyacrylate, and polymethacrylate esters and makeup 35-70 percent of the weight. These are toxic chemicals and can impact the central nervous system and are also responsible for causing cancer. Therefore to determine whether flea collars for dogs are safe or not, you have to understand the working of these collars.
Types of Flea Collars
There are mainly three types of flea collars that include high frequency, gas-based, and absorption-based collars.
1. High-Frequency Flea Collars - These types of flea collars are also known as ultrasonic or electric collars. Moreover, these high-frequency collars also come in the form of pendants and use high-pitched, ultrasonic sound waves that repel fleas and tick.
2. Absorption-Based Flea Collars - The gas-based flea collars have insecticides inside them and penetrate the dog’s skin and eliminate ticks and fleas. Thus it is considered the most effective method for killing ticks and fleas and is commonly used by people. There are two ways on how the insecticides penetrate the dog's skin are explained below.
- Fat Layer - In some high-frequency collars, the insecticides penetrate the fat layer of a dog's skin. When the ticks and fleas bite your dog, they intake the poison and die as a result. Therefore after the ingestion of the poison, there are no ticks and fleas on the dog.
- Spreading into Natural Skin Oils- While other high-frequency collars work by mixing the insecticide with the natural skin oils via active ingredients on the skin. As soon as the ticks and fleas come in contact with the natural skin oils, they are killed.
3. Gas Based Flea Collars- These collars contain gas pesticides responsible for killing ticks and fleas. The pesticides work by repelling the fleas and ticks on the skin of the dog. However, the gas-based flea collars can only kill the ones that come near the dog’s neck. Thus, it’s not the most effective collar because it won’t kill the fleas and ticks and fleas that don’t come near the neck.
Features of Best Flea Collars for Dogs
Effectiveness - High-quality flea collars are quite effective at killing pests and ticks and keep your pet safe.
Long-Lasting - Each flea collar has a specific life expectancy, and some last for more time than the others depending upon their build-quality. It's better to buy the flea collars that last for a long time so that you don’t have to purchase another one.
Practical - Dogs love playing outside and have to wear flea collars all the time. The flea collars can get damaged if they are not water-proof and don't feature high-build quality. Plus, sometimes flea collars can get stuck and harm your dog, so the flea collar must be safe to wear.
Safety - Safety is the utmost priority of pet parents, and a safe flea collar is pure natural like this one by DEWELPRO however a relatively safe chemical flea collar contains only chemicals in lower concentration that is safe for a dog. Some insecticides are more toxic than others and pose a threat to your dog’s health.
- Deltamethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid chemical that kills flea and pests without harming you and your dog. It is less dangerous than other chemicals used in flea collars and poses less threat to your family and the dog.
- Pyriproxifen is another chemical that isn’t that toxic as compared to the others. It works by sterilizing the dog’s skin and targets the fleas and ticks’ larvae and eggs. Thus the chemical prevents the reproduction of fleas and ticks on the dogs.
- Tetrachlorvinphos is a toxic chemical found in flea collars and serves as a carcinogen for humans and pets. It can also pose a threat to children, and you should never buy a flea collar that contains Tetrachlorvinphos.
- Propoxur is another chemical that you must avoid when purchasing a flea collar. In case you're purchasing one, then it should never come in contact with the children, and you must always wash your hands after touching the dog. However, it’s better not to purchase a flea collar that contains Propoxur.
Are the Flea Collars Effective at Killing Fleas and Ticks?
The flea collars effectively kill fleas and ticks to some extent as they can get rid of these parasites. For example, absorption-based flea collars can extinguish all the fleas and ticks on the dog’s skin. However, the gas-based and high-frequency flea collars can’t kill the fleas and ticks effectively. Therefore the flea collars are a great solution in some cases but not in others.
Can Flea Collars Compromise Your Dog's Health?
Although the flea collars can kill fleas and ticks, it does it at the cost of the health of your family and the dog. The toxic chemicals inside the flea collars can harm your animal and act as a carcinogen. These kinds of substances are responsible for causing cancer among humans and cause various diseases in animals. The younger animals are more vulnerable to such diseases due to their severe negative impacts. Therefore it can be concluded that flea collars aren’t the safest option for killing ticks and fleas.
Non-Toxic Ways of Getting Rid of Fleas
Here are some ways that you can adapt to get rid of fleas and ticks in a non-toxic manner.
- Grooming Pets - The soap can help you kill the matured fleas on the dog. All you have to do is take ordinary soap and water and wash your pet. You can also get rid of fleas and ticks by combing the pet’s fur with a flea comb and putting all the critters into the sudsy water.
- Cleaning - You must clean the pet’s bedroom and the furniture with ordinary soap and water weekly. Cleaning can make a huge difference, especially when you’re trying to get rid of fleas and ticks.
- Preemptive Measures - You can also introduce nematodes to kill fleas and ticks in your garden, where your dog spends the most time.
- Natural Flea Collar For Dogs by Dewel Pro - There are plenty of flea collars to choose from, but DEWELPRO is the only all-natural flea treatment. Here are a few of the many benefits you and your cat will enjoy with this product:
- Costs only $20
- One treatment lasts eight months
- All natural ingredients
- No harmful side effects
- Repels mange and other pests as well as fleas and ticks
- Fast-acting formula banishes fleas in 48 hours
- Repels parasites before they bite
- Contains no pesticides
- Eco-friendly and hypoallergenic
- Safe for pets, children and adults
How To Naturally Get Rid of Indoor Fleas in 8 Steps
Step 1 for indoor flea control;
- Treat your pets against fleas.
The first best step for treating your indoor flea infestation is to first treat your host which is your pet. You might want to click on this article which talks about everything you need to know about fleas on dogs
Step 2 for indoor flea control;
- Spray indoors with flea fogger or spray:
The second step is to go ahead and spray the inside of your home. A highly recommended spray for indoor home is something called “knockout spray” by Verbeck, and there is also one called “Sip Charles spray.” These sprays can be found locally in a veterinary clinic. When you use any kind of these sprays, you want to read the instructions very carefully.
It is an easy to use spray. Here is a piece of brief information on how to use these sprays. Remember that fleas are great travelers, but they don’t jump as high as you think they do. A lot of people spray all over their house up to the ceiling. Now, fleas can jump up to 200 times their height, but that is approximately a foot to a foot and a half. So when you spray your house, you should only go ahead and keep it from your thigh level down. And also, when you are spraying, remember that fleas like to hide behind couches, under cushions, behind your bed, under your bed, and around your carpeted areas especially near the entryway doors.
Remember that before you spray, if you have birds or fish, you may take the birds out of the house, and if you have fish in the tank, you may want to turn the tank off and cover the tank. You should also protect any foods that you have in the house, and anything else that you might not want to apply chemicals on.
After spraying, before you go back to the area, you should make sure that the spray is completely dry. It usually takes between one to two hours. Make sure it is a well-ventilated area and it will dry quicker. While doing this, you should go ahead and vacuum routinely to suck up any eggs or larva that might be hiding in your carpets.
Step 3 for indoor flea control;
- Use a powerful vacuum to vacuum the floor of your house often:
As discussed earlier, an adult female flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day. This can go on throughout its life time. Adult female fleas lay eggs when they are attached to a host which can be your pet. The eggs are unattached and fall off to the ground where it will remain until they hatch.
For some house and pet owners, rugs are used to decorate mainly the sitting room. It is quite difficult to clean up a rug than a carpet. However, these eggs can drop into the rugs where they will remain until hatching. When they are hatched, they can crawl right under the rug without you knowing, and get attached to any host (dog or cat) resting on this rug.
To prevent this from occurring, all you need to do is to carefully vacuum the whole area, especially the rugs, cushions, beds, and curtains. These areas are good hiding spots for these fleas. After carrying out each flea control method, always vacuum the area to keep the house free of fleas.
Step 4 for indoor flea control;
- Wash all bedding:
Wash all beddings including your pet’s beddings in hot water. Fleas fall during itching which is mostly done on your pet’s resting place. Also, were your beddings in hot water incase your pet loves to share your beddings with you. Most fleas cannot survive the heat or high temperature or hot water.
Step 5 for indoor flea control;
- Discard old bedding:
Get rid of old bedding if the infestation is extremely severe. Getting rid of old beddings will help to drastically reduce flea infestation because a lot of fleas are removed at once. Consider doing this only when the flea infestation can no longer be controlled and severe. Get new bedding after the old one has been gotten rid of.
Step 6 for indoor flea control;
- Make use of a steam cleaner:
Use a steam cleaner for a pet bed, carpets, rugs, etc. High heat and soap combination is one of the enemies of a flea in all stages. In this case, you have to pay serious, special, and close attention to hotspots where your dog rests or lies down.
Step 7 for indoor flea control;
- Consult your vet often:
Consulting your vet on flea matter will give you a wider knowledge of how to control flea infestations. Your vet can recommend quality and working methods that will help in the eradication of fleas in your home. Your vet can also inspect your pet for any possible damages caused by the flea on your dog, and possible solutions.
Step 8 for indoor flea control;
- Bath your dog with flea shampoo:
There are lots of effective pet shampoos that contain pyrethrin, an extract that is derived from chrysanthemum flowers. This shampoo has a special effect that not only gets rid of fleas but also prevents them from getting attached to your pet.
It can be quite upsetting detecting a flea infestation but do not worry. With appropriate measures, a flea infestation can be completely eradicated in little or no time. Follow these simple instructions, vacuum your home every day.
Always clean your lawns to reduce the movements of fleas and stop them from getting inside your home, wash every bedding and linen in hot water to remove and also kill stubborn fleas.
Always ensure that you wash all linens and articles of clothing regularly and at high temperatures to destroy eggs of fleas and kill the fleas.
The last and the most important thing is do not forget that you must always treat your home at the same time as treating your pet, yard. Doing this at the same time will help prevent flea re-infestation.
Read more: What Is the Best Flea Treatment for Dogs?