dog flea collar

Do Flea Collars Work? How Efficient Are Those? What Are the Side Effects?

Flea collars are the best means to prevent your pets from all the chemicals hazard, significantly to kill and repulse the fleas that are often found in the open environment. They provide a smooth way to deliver all the ingredients required to kill the fleas. But how exactly do flea collars work? And are they actually efficient enough? 

Do you have a specific question about flea collars and their efficiency? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

How do flea collars work?

Typically flea collars are the ring-shaped pieces designed to be put around the dog’s neck. And then, they gradually release active components that sometimes might also be responsible for the pungent smell. 

These active components are believed to flow from the region of higher concentration (which the flea collar itself) to the lower concentration (which includes the pup’s skin and coat). That enables the spread of powerful substances into the pet’s body. This way, when fleas get in contact with the pet, the bug-killing chemicals kill them.

dog in a flea collar

Do flea collars work instantly?

Flea collars rather work slowly than instantly. They work by emitting a sufficient amount of active components from the collar to the dog’s body.

 The only things flea will usually do is bite and run. Hence, the active ingredients must be spread over the regions where the flea is supposed to step in. The entire process may take some time; therefore, it is quite unreasonable to believe that flea collars work instantly. 

Moreover, some collars provide full-body coverage to the pet. And thus deduce that the more readily the ingredients would transfer to the pet’s body the sooner the flea collar could emerge into action.

How long does it take for a flea collar to work?

As mentioned above, the flea collar usually set off to work as soon as the active ingredients are widely spread throughout the body. However, according to a few of the sources, flea collar activates within 24 hours. Whereby active ingredients are said to release and eventually kills the deadly fleas within 3 weeks only. The collars last for up to 5 to 8 months and expire after that. This also depends on the brand and the type of flea collar that you are willing to buy.

How effective are flea collars?

checking dog with the fleas

Flea collar effectiveness depends on many factors. For instance, the exposure that the fleas make with your pet and the invasiveness of the fleas. Or how intact the flea collar is with the skin, the quality of flea collars. And that just to name a few. 

Generally, a flea collar ensures that the pet is safe from fleas and is not contagious to human beings. (Because bug bites can cause various diseases that can transfer from animals to humans). Therefore, it does not only protect the pets but as well as humans. 

They are cost-effective and easier to use. So it can be really handy for those pet parents who have a busy schedule and cannot take their furry babies for routine check-ups. 

Do flea collars work if your dog already has fleas?

dog with the fleas scratching

Flea collars do not only treat the already infected pets but also prevents the flea attack that the pet might suffer from. Keeping this viewpoint in light, there are two ways to treat this flea infection. In one way, the pest is supposed to bite the dog to enable the pesticide to kill it. And the other way includes the active ingredients to kill the bugs when they try to contact the pet. However, in this, the flea doesn’t necessarily have to bite the dog. 

Generally, new products are being tested to find out its efficiency. The methodology includes infesting the dogs with 50-100 fleas, after which the test collar was placed on the dog. The results indicate that the effective collar is more likely to kill at least 75% of all the fleas. So flea collars definitely can work well even if your dog already has fleas.

Do flea collars work for bed bugs or ear mites?

Fleas are a bit different from bed bugs, and hence what can be used to treat the flea infection cannot be used to treat bed bugs. Fleas spread out on your pet; however, bed bugs are found in your home premises and not on your pet. Therefore, it can be smoothly said that flea collars wouldn’t be the right choice to treat bed bugs and ear mites.

dog in a flea collar suffering form bites

Which is better flea collar or drops?

The flea collar is more cost-effective and budget-friendly. It provides an easier transaction of the poisonous ingredients that kill the fleas. It works for approximately 8 months and prevents you from daily hassle. In contrast to this, drops are the liquid treatments that are usually sprayed on your pet’s skin and have a lasting for about 1 month. 

Considering this, flea collar seems to be more useful than the drops due to the long-lasting and provides better coverage to the pets.

Flea collar side effects

Flea collars are considered to be dangerous as well if not tackled properly. They contain hazardous substances like carbamates, organophosphates, pyrethroids, and amitraz. These powerful ingredients can cause seizures, diarrhea, vomiting, cardiac and gastrointestinal problems if the collar has been applied inappropriately. 

Some of the symptoms of flea collar poisoning may include increased salivation, excessive heart rate, muscle twitching, blurred vision, body weakness, tremors, etc. 

dog scratching

Are flea collars safe for humans?

Flea collars can be very harmful to humans and cause chemical burns and skin irritations on the hands and body. As highlighted by the research, flea collars can release a wide range of toxins easily transferable from the pets to the objects and finally to humans and children. 

The was a research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the VBD or Vector-Borne Diseases Workshop. It postulated that children suffered adversely with skin problems and incidental ingestion when contacted with the collared dogs.

Do natural flea collars work? 

Natural flea collars work temporarily but are not as effective as the flea collars that contain chemicals. While on the other hand, natural flea collars are considered the safest means to treat your pets because they are free from harmful toxins and don’t have side effects. It also has a refreshing fragrance because it is infused with plenty of infused natural oils. 

Flea collars that work

Every dog is different, just like every flea collar’s formulation. So some products might work for one and cause allergies in other pups. However, my two best recommendations combine decent formula, good dog parents’ experience, versatility, efficiency, and price. If you are curious to check them out, my suggestions would be this one by Rolf Club and this more natural milder formula by Craveit. 

Credits: thanks for the cover photo to Canva.

dog paws

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