Fleas are the bane of every dog owner’s life. Fleas are just horrible, they can get everywhere and they’re not just a nuisance, they can be detrimental to your pup’s health. A single female flea can lay up to 2,000 eggs during her three-week life span, so it’s vital you act fast to kill them. It’s very easy to take action to stop your dog’s fleas from setting up a permanent home, which is why we have reviewed the best flea pills for dogs.
We reviewed dozens of flea pills for dogs to identify the best of the best. We have looked at their active ingredients, how quickly the flea pills take to work, natural flea pills and alternative flea treatments for dogs including soft chews that get rid of fleas.
There is one flea pill that stood out as a clear winner, Capstar Fast-Acting Oral Flea Treatment for Small Dogs. With over 4,500 reviews on Amazon, this fast acting flea pill is clearly a firm favorite with dog owners. It kills fleas fast with one convenient table that starts to work within 30 minutes and is safe to give daily. What more could you want to oust the flea from your life?
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Flea Pills for Dogs
|Best Overall||Capstar Fast-Acting Oral Flea Treatment for Small Dogs||3.8|
|Runner Up||Capstar for Dogs over 25 lbs||3.9|
|Best Budget Buy||EcoFlea by ColoradoDog||3.5|
|Best Natural Flea Pills for Dogs||Only Natural Pet EasyDefense Barrier Bites||3.3|
|Best Flea Soft Chews for Dogs||Advantus Soft Chew||3.3|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Capstar Fast-Acting Oral Flea Treatment for Small Dogs
Capstar Fast-Acting Oral Flea Treatment for Small Dogs is our top pick for best flea pills for dogs because with over 4,500 reviews on Amazon averaging 3.8 stars, this flea medicine gets to work fast. It kills adult fleas before they have a chance to infest your dog, you only need to give your dog one fast acting tablet to start to remedy the flea situation. The pill begins to work within 30 minutes.
This fast-acting flea treatment is one of the most affordable over-the-counter flea medicines you buy at about $25. Plus, this flea medicine is safe enough to administer daily until the active flea infestation on your pup has been brought under control.
Capstar Fast-Acting Oral Flea Treatment for Small Dogs will kill almost all adult fleas from the first administration, starting to kill fleas within 30 minutes and achieving greater than 90% effectiveness against adult fleas within 4 hours for dogs and 6 hours for cats.
This oral flea pill will treat flea infestations in dogs, puppies, as well as cats and kittens over 2 lb in body weight and 4 weeks of age or older. It can be given with or without food.
Capstar Fast-Acting Oral Flea Treatment for Small Dogs Key Features:
- One convenient tablet starts killing fleas within 30 minutes
- Capstar may be administered once a day
- Fleas will die within 4 hours for dogs
Our Runner Up Pick: Capstar for Dogs over 25 lbs
Capstar for Dogs over 25 lbs is the runner up pick, receiving glowing reports from customers citing it as the most effective flea pill in comparison to the others on the market. Reviewers have raved about the product being the only flea pill that has kept the fleas at bay, using Capstar every day for a couple of weeks and then every other day to remain flea free.
Other customers have recommended purchasing these flea pills for large dogs and then cutting them down to size for use with little dogs, however this isn’t recommended unless you know the specific dosage of flea pill needed for the weight of your dog.
These flea pills don’t kill the flea eggs on your dog; they target the adult fleas and only for 24 hours. However, Capstar is the only flea pill that is safe for use on Collies who have the genetic MDR1 mutation, a gene that reacts badly to other flea killer products.
Capstar for Dogs Over 25 lb Key Features:
- Suitable for dogs over 25 lb
- Fast acting but only effective for 24 hours, daily doses are required
- Safe for dogs with the genetic MDR1 mutation
Best Budget Pick: EcoFlea by ColoradoDog
EcoFlea by ColoradoDog is the obvious winner for the best budget pick. Not only is it one of the cheapest flea pills for dogs available at $25, but it is also an all natural flea and tick prevention.
This natural flea pill comes in a tasty all-natural dog treat to help prevent tick and flea infestations from the inside, out. They are easy to administer, simply give to your pet as a treat, and let the natural ingredients get to work to safely and effectively remove fleas.
The EcoFlea treats contain only natural ingredients known to be effective in the deterrence of tick and flea bites, as well as other parasites, and because the treats are all natural and completely safe for your pets, they are safe to use around other pets in the house too. But best of all? These custom-formulated natural flea pills are produced in the USA.
EcoFlea by ColoradoDog Key Features:
- EcoFlea works by being accumulative, which means over time (normally 7-10 days) it builds up a protective barrier
- All natural dog treats
- Made in the USA
Best Natural Flea Pills for Dogs: Only Natural Pet EasyDefense Barrier Bites
Only Natural Pet EasyDefense Barrier Bites were the obvious choice for the best natural flea pills as they are completely safe as a supplement for every day use, as they contain no harmful chemicals. These natural flea pills are instead formulated from proven ingredients such as garlic, brewer’s yeast, and complex b-vitamins that work to maintain your dog’s healthy skin and coat by maintaining proper skin and tissue function.
Only Natural Pet EasyDefense Barrier Bites are an easy-to-administer bacon and pork flavored soft chew that holistically protects your dog against fleas and ticks from the inside out. The combination of the natural ingredients work to create a powerful barrier around your pet, making them less tasty to biting critters and an unwelcome home.
Your dog will see these bites as treats and not medicine, meaning you can feed them to him every day to keep up the natural protection against fleas.
Only Natural Pet EasyDefense Barrier Bites Key Features:
- Easy-to-administer bacon and pork flavored soft chew that holistically protects your dog
- Suitable to be consumed every day
- Two in one supplement that deters fleas and ticks
Best Flea Soft Chews for Dogs: Advantus Soft Chew
Advantus Soft Chew is our best flea soft chew for dogs because they are available for both small and large dogs, they kill fleas fast and they start working within 1 hour.
These flavored soft chews contain no animal protein and are safe to administer daily, if required. You can feed them to your pup as long as they are over 10 weeks old and weigh more than 4 lb. Advantus is available in two strengths: 7.5 mg for dogs weighing 4-22 lb, and 37.5 mg for dogs weighing 23-110 lb. Both strengths are available in 7-count or 30-count bottles. Weigh your dog to select the appropriate product strength.
Advantus Soft Chew Key Features:
- Patented flavored soft-chew technology
- Safe to dose daily as needed
- Kills fleas fast and starts working in just 1 hour
Who Should Buy Flea Pills for Dogs
If your pup is suffering with fleas, or if you are just keen to prevent an infestation from occurring, you should consider buying flea pills for dogs.
Flea pills for dogs are one of the most effective methods for killing fleas fast and for preventing future outbreaks. If you aren’t keen on giving your dog daily doses of chemicals you can opt to go down the holistic route. We have included a few options in our top 5-rated products, as well including more in the ‘other products we reviewed’ section.
Take note though, before you buy flea pills for dogs, know what you are hoping to achieve from the flea pills as they all have slightly different active compounds that work in different ways. Some flea pills act immediately but don’t provide long term protection, others work via a cumulative effect. Some target the adults before they lay eggs, whilst others target the larvae.
Maintaining your pup’s health is important for ensuring your beloved four-legged friend’s longevity, and that means flea and tick prevention, heartworm prevention, regular vet checkups and vaccinations, and maintaining your dog’s oral health, as well. Check out our review of the best dog toothpastes for the best products to keep your pup’s smile bright and healthy.
Important Features to Consider
Flea pills for dogs can treat flea infestations and prevent their future recurrence. However, like all medicines, there are some factors that you should consider when selecting which type of flea pill you should use for your dog.
- Your situation. The right type of flea pill for your dog will depend on your dog’s needs and your personal situation. Some dogs just need a pill to prevent future infestations, other dogs will require treatment immediately. And each situation will require a different type of flea pill. Essentially, you need to choose between preventative and fast acting treatment.
- The active ingredient. The most effective form of flea treatments will contain some form of pesticide in order to wipe out the fleas. However whilst flea pills are required to be approved by the FDA prior to public consumption, some pills still contain ingredients that are dangerous to humans and animals if they aren’t handled correctly.
- Active ingredients to avoid. There are a few harmful ingredients that you should avoid when purchasing flea pills for your dog:
- Tetrachlorvinphos – overexposure can cause nausea, dizziness and confusion and can even be fatal.
- Pyrethroids – exposure to humans can cause numbness, itching and burning.
- What else do you need it to do. Some flea pills are capable of taking care of other critters too, like ticks. So why not kill all the nasty bugs with one pill?
- Price. Not all flea pills are created equal, and some are more costly than others. Expect to pay more for your flea pills, the larger your dog.
- Action time. Some flea pills start to work instantly, whereas others take longer to get established.
- Correct dose. Different dog breeds and size of your dog will require different dosages. Make sure you follow the advised dosage accurately.
- Other pets. Check that the flea pills you choose for your pup are safe to be used around the other animals in your home.
- Natural flea treatments. There are natural flea treatments available on the open market, should you wish to treat your pet naturally. Look for essential oil based flea treatments, in particular clove oil, cedar-wood oil and lemongrass.
- Puppies. Don’t give flea pills to dogs under 8 weeks old, unless you have specific permission from your vet.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are flea pills for dogs and how do they work?
Flea pills for dogs are oral insecticides that when ingested can treat flea infestations, control fleas and prevent future infestations on dogs. There are many different brands and varieties of flea pills for dogs available; a few need to be prescribed by your veterinarian, but others are available over the counter.
Each type of flea pill will have differing levels of the active chemicals that target and control the fleas. Some common active compounds target the adult fleas, others the larvae, and there are even some that prevent fleas from being able to lay eggs.
In order for the flea pills to be the most effective, you have to know what stage of the flea’s life cycle they are in when you target them.
Some flea medicines are fast acting and get to work straight away, however they leave the dog’s system quickly, so aren’t good for long term protection against fleas. Whereas if your dog is suffering badly with fleas, you will want a fast acting solution to make his life happier, quickly.
Are flea pills safe for dogs?
All flea pills for dogs are tested, certified and approved by the FDA. However some flea pills can cause nerve reactions in pets, so it is important to only use approved products and those designed specifically for dogs, and to administer the proper dosage. If you notice your pet having an adverse reaction, cease treatment immediately and take your dog to the vet.
How does flea medicine kill fleas?
Oral flea medicine comes in either chewable form or pills. Both types are ingested by your pup and the medicine is transferred to the flea as soon as they bite your dog. The active chemicals in the different flea pills work in different ways: some targets the larvae, ensuring they don’t survive, others overstimulate the flea’s nervous system, killing it, others are a fast acting poison that can kill the flea in 30 minutes.
How long do flea tablets last?
This depends on the type of flea medicine. Some can be effective immediately and leave the pup’s system in a few days, others work the whole month, whilst others can last up to 8-12 weeks. Your situation will determine what you need from your flea tablets.
Other Flea Pills for Dogs We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other flea pills for dogs. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best flea pills list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your dog. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Fast Acting Flea Pills
This fast acting flea medication is suitable for dogs and cats.
- Begins working within 30 minutes
- Effectively treats current flea infestations
- Won’t kill the larvae or eggs
Flea pills that effectively treat flea infestations in dogs over 25 lb.
- Fast and effective
- Not suitable for prevention of flea infestation
- Kills adult fleas, not the larvae or eggs
These flea pills are suitable for small dogs, but they do begin working within 30 minutes.
- Are suitable for long term protection
- Incredibly fast acting on fleas
- Need to give daily to prevent further outbreaks
Sentry Capguard flea pills treat flea infestations with one easy tablet.
- Contain nitenpyram, as recommended by veterinarians
- Fast acting – starts killing fleas within 30 minutes
- Kills adult fleas on your dog
Sentry also do oral flea control medication for large dogs, and these flea pills work within 30 minutes of administration.
- Fast acting, starts working in 30 minutes
- Kills adult fleas
- Easy-to-dose tablet format, no mess, can’t rub or wash off
For treatment of flea infestations on dogs and cats, these flea pills begin working within 30 minutes and a single dose should kill the adult fleas on your pet.
- Safe to give a dose as often as once per day
- Safe for kittens and puppies over 4 weeks of age and over 2 pounds of body weight
- Start to work within 30 minutes
Capstar’s fast acting oral flea treatment for larger dogs.
- Starts working in 30 minutes
- For large dogs from 25 to 125 lb
- Active ingredient is nitenpyram – 57 mg
Capstar oral flea treatment for dogs and cats between 2-25 lb. Capstar is safe for use in dogs, puppies, cats and kittens, 4 weeks of age and older.
- Flea pills suitable for dogs and cats between 2-25 lb
- For treatment of flea infestations on dogs and cats
- For oral use
PetArmor fast acting flea pills get to work within 30 minutes.
- Kills fleas fast
- Easy-to-dose tablet begins working within 30 minutes
- Available over the counter
Natural Flea Pills
Flea Away is an all natural flea repellent that is equally effective for dogs and cats.
- Flea Away is a vitamin complex, made to FDA human standards
- No pesticides
- The vitamin complex promotes healthier skin, reduces shedding, shinier coat, better joints
If you are after a natural flea pill for your pup, Only Natural Pet Brewer’s Yeast and Garlic is what you have been looking for.
- No chemicals, just all natural ingredients
- Works through cumulative effect
- Promotes healthy skin and coat
This natural flea medicine will keep your dog naturally pest free.
- The blend of brewer’s yeast and garlic is a natural flea deterrent
- Made in the USA
- The yeast and garlic scent is imperceptible to humans
Chewable Flea Pills
These natural flea pills contain garlic, a known flea deterrent.
- Supports skin and coat health
- Contains B vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
- Great liver flavor
Sprinkle these yeast and garlic wafers on your puppy’s food for a natural flea prevention.
- Nourish and strengthen your pet naturally with protein and the essential B-Complex vitamins
- Suitable for regular use
- Garlic is a natural flea deterrent
Comfortis is a monthly chewable tablet used to kill fleas.
- Comfortis comes in a convenient, beef-flavored chewable
- Starts to kill fleas within 30 minutes and protection lasts an entire month
- Spinosad, the active ingredient in Comfortis, is environmentally friendly
NexGard is a beef-flavored monthly soft chewable that kills adult fleas and is indicated for the treatment and prevention of flea infestations.
- Lasts for a month
- No messy application
- Kills fleas before they can lay eggs
Bravecto is a soft chewable that is given every 12 weeks.
- Easier, more convenient, and cleaner than spot-on applications
- A single oral dose every 12 weeks
- No need to isolate a treated pet as with spot-ons
Credelio (lotilaner) is a chewable tablet that’s easy on dogs and tough on ticks and fleas.
- Starts to kill ticks and fleas in just 4 hours
- 100% monthly efficacy against fleas
- A small and tasty, beef flavored, monthly chewable
Sentinel is a monthly oral preventive prescription that guards against heart-worms, adult roundworms, adult hookworms, whipworms, and prevents the development of flea eggs.
- One palatable monthly tablet
- Suitable for dogs and puppies over four weeks old and above 2 lb in body weight
- The temporary use of an pesticide product may be necessary to kill adult fleas
Advantus soft chews are a fast acting treatment of flea infestations on dogs and puppies 10 weeks of age and older weighing 4 pounds or greater.
- Starts killing fleas within 1 hour
- Flavored soft chew
- Kills adult fleas
- Use for daily prevention