Useful tips on how to choose flea collar for dogs

Useful tips on how to choose flea collar for dogs

This article is devoted to the flea collar for dogs as the appearance of fleas causes a lot of trouble not only to the animal but to its owner as well. That’s why nowadays you can see a great number of various methods to get rid of these unpleasant insects. The range you can choose from is really great: from pills to drug solutions, it is important to be able to select the appropriate safe and effective medication.

In this regard, special attention should be paid to the special flea collars which are helpful to fight with ticks too. For dogs it is often used as the preventive remedy. There are many opinions about its effectiveness which have been divided recently: some are satisfied with the result when others consider flea collar for dogs to be just a waste of money.

First and foremost such kinds of collars are considered to be a preventive measure against fleas and ticks. To understand how justified use of flea collar is, let’s find out in detail what it is, how it works and the most important factor is how safe it is for your favourite pet. With the invention of the Internet, most dog owners have become much more literate than twenty years ago, we all know about the external parasites, about the dangers they pose and how to get rid of the pesky bloodsuckers. One of these ways is to use flea collars for dogs – simply, effectively, available in any vet shop. However, not many people can answer the question about how safe the most common method of destruction of ticks, fleas and other “intruders” is. We are going to give the answer to all questions that you may be interested before choosing flea collar for your pet.


What is the flea collar for dogs

If you have seen it already, you must know that flea collar for dogs is just the plastic product which is usually made in the form of a flexible belt with a buckle, sometimes having a characteristic odor due to the presence of highly toxic chemicals in its formulation intended to fight with unwanted insects.

When is it necessary to hurry to purchase the flea collar for your dog:

  1. the beginning of March
  2. the end of October (including)

Accessory for fleas and ticks is the required attribute from this period during the year because there is too much risk of catching bebioz, paraplazmoz that mites can infect.

Important: The mentioned diseases are very serious and often end in death.

How does the flea collar work

Any flea collar for dogs presents a tape impregnated with some substance or substances and has a devastating effect on the parasites. What is necessary to make an active ingredient work? You just need to put the collar on the dog! Yes, it is very simple! But what is the principle of its work? What is happening inside when you can’t see any processes? They are the following:

  1. The tape heats,
  2. The poison gradually releases,
  3. It falls on the hair, skin and air.

After about two days, a pet is fully protected as the poison had to stand out in such quantities as to not leave any chance to the bloodsucker. Penetrating into the sebaceous glands, the active compound is distributed evenly over the entire surface of the skin, and now the poison is not going to be washed off with water, not afraid of changes in temperature and is maintained at the desired concentration at all times until the dog wears a collar against fleas . Keep in mind that, for example, mites that threaten the health and live of your pet may vary depending on the area of their habitat. Malicious microorganisms which are typical for one country are often resistant to flea collars that are developed and produced in another one. In addition, the drugs are developed with the “eye” on the part of the parasite living in that definite area, without considering the peculiarities of the other parasitic flora. It means that the flea collar you are going to choose will work for that area where it is produced as sometimes insects can differ in their types according to the place of living.

Important: You shouldn’t remove flea collar even at night to get the good effect.

Kinds of flea collars for dogs

Have you ever faced a problem of buying a flea collar for your pet? If you carefully consider the types of collars for dogs, it immediately becomes obvious that you will need more than one. Firstly, a puppy needs daily analogue, as well as against ticks and fleas. From here the question arises, how to choose a dog collar from fleas and ticks for dogs and not to be mistaken? To do this, you need to understand what types exist and what is the function of each one.

A wide range of dog collars often puts owners at an impasse: what to choose? There are several criteria that may be helpful.

At the moment there are three main categories which we can divide the types of flea collars in:

The first group of flea collars for dogs: Insecticidal collars ( contain special substances which affect insects negatively)

Insecticidal collar contains powerful insecticide. Before putting on the dog, the tape needs to be stretched a few times until the white plaque appears in order to make it work properly.

Active ingredients which the flea collar consists of are:

  • organophosphates
  • carbamate pesticides

Both ingredients destroy fleas at all stages throughout the day. All fleas and any other insects that jump on your pet will definitely die.

A disadvantage of this type of product is the high toxicity of insecticides, so they are only suitable for adult and healthy animals. Sometimes, in rare cases there may be allergies or even poisoning. It is absolutely not allowed to chew the product, but if it happens, it must be removed immediately.

It is necessary to choose only quality insecticidal flea collars of the famous brand, since many of them are dangerous not only to animals but to humans as well.

Important: The average period of validity of the tape is about 2 months. Expensive German and American collars may work up to 7 months.

The second group of flea collars for dogs: Biological collars (based on herbs and oils)

Flea collars with essential oils and herbs which have the properties that can take insects away are popular for the reason that they have no contraindications because:

  • They are environmentally friendly
  • They are safe for pets and their owners.
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You need to wear such flea collars before the fleas have infected the animal or after the anti-flea processing. This type of flea collar for dogs won’t be effective for animals which have already got fleas or any other insects.

Important: The effect of such a collar against fleas is about two-three months and then it must be replaced by a new one.

The third group of flea collars for dogs: Ultrasonic collars (based on ultrasound which repels insects)

Ultrasonic collars are safe for both humans and animals, as the chemicals in them are absent. What is the mechanism of action here?

  1. The device emits ultrasound waves
  2. The parasites become nervous
  3. They quickly leave the collar range.

Note: If you use an ultrasound device, you should also use the spray or drops on the withers of the dog. Especially such measures are necessary before and after going for a walk. Ultrasonic collars are used only for a walk, as the insects are not found in the house.

Important: This kind of flea collars works from batteries, the validity of the collar is limited to the resource device only. The most common device from this group looks like a stick on the dog’s collar.

Which flea collar will suit your pet

The choice of the flea collar for dogs should be guided by:

  1. the size of the dog
  2. the owner’s preferences.

If you have a dog of the large breed, it is best to consider buying a chemical or biological version of the flea collar. For small and medium breeds you can use any of them. Such version of the flea collar as an ultrasonic collar deserves to be mentioned separately. These accessories make sounds that a person is not able to hear, however, the insects won’t come even close to the animal wearing such flea collar. If you look for reviews of such devices, you will find out that they are very controversial.

Taking into account the huge number of ticks, particularly in spring and early autumn, the question arises: When can you wear a flea collar on your puppy? As a rule, this accessory can be worn if your pet is not younger than 4-5 months. Some brands can be used only after the age of six months. However, there are some producers who make the collars from fleas and ticks specially for puppies and you can wear it since the age of six weeks.

Interesting: Nowadays ultrasonic charms that are in the form of the medals are gaining popularity as they are easily attached to a conventional collar for dogs.

Recommendations for use

It is better to wear flea collar a few days before the expected walks in nature. According to its operating principle, it does not bring instant results: perhaps, it will work immediately when used in the complex treatment of fleas. But to protect the dog from ticks it is necessary to accumulate a certain protective layer on the skin.

You should remember that even the best quality flea collars require the observance of the rules, otherwise you may not only be dissatisfied with the result but also your pet may suffer. Here you will find some useful tips on what to do with the flea collar for dogs to have good effect.

How to wear the collar in the right way:

  1. open the packaging;
  2. remove the plastic bridges;
  3. stretch and wear on the animal’s neck with a gap of 1.5 cm,
  4. cut an extra piece of a ribbon.

Important: Each flea collar for dogs should be chosen individually.

How to choose the collar for each animal individually

You should be guided by the following criteria:

  1. choose only among the well-known manufacturers,
  2. read reviews about it;
  3. select the appropriate size;
  4. read the information on the packaging to see what is the concentration of the active ingredient and which animals fit this definite collar;
  5. don’t buy very cheap products: at least – there won’t be any effect or even worse – pet can be poisoned with the substandard drug.

It is better to find reviews of specific manufacturers and firms producing flea collars for dogs not just in the forum by users, but also the opinion of experts. As it was mentioned above, one of the most important criteria while choosing this accessory is getting acquainted with the instruction which is attached to the product, in which there is all necessary information about the toxicity and concentration, as well as recommendations on the use of this definite collar taking into account age and weight. The choice of size is important just because the dog should feel comfortable in it around the neck. And the last point in the list that was mentioned was price. Remember the proverb:” Miser pays twice”. While choosing the brand you should pay attention to the quality-price ratio, and if you haven’t read the reviews, you cannot just waste money, but also harm the dog.

Important: If there are no contraindications for the best result it is possible to use other means in parallel: such as shampoos, essential oils. The first 2-3 days of use of the accessory it is necessary to refrain from forest walks and swimming.

Risks of using a flea collar of bad quality

With the appearance of a puppy in the house, the world is changing for the better. Now the house is filled with joy and fun. The task of each owner of a dog is to grow a healthy and obedient dog from the beloved puppy. In any case, it is easier to prevent the appearance of fleas than to fight them. All flea collars are more preventive remedies than independent agents able to kill parasites, so it is always recommended to carry out the ant-flea pet treatment.

In case of purchasing the flea collar which quality that is under doubt or if it doesn’t suit your pet due to any reasons, there are two possible consequences:

  1. An allergic reaction
  2. Poisoning with intoxication

Don’t forget about the possibility of allergic reactions, regardless of the brand of the product.

The collar must be chosen taking into account the individual characteristics of your pet.

It is interesting that even high-quality collar can cause severe poisoning of a dog or a small child, if one of them accidentally chews the tip of the collar, so conscientious manufacturers should indicate in the instructions the name of an antidote to the doctors and veterinarians to be able to help in time.

Important: When choosing a collar it is important not only to give preference to a particular brand, which is time-tested and the experience of other breeders, but also to study the characteristics of the product carefully and take into account age-related features of your dog and its health.

Advantages and disadvantages of using flea collar for dogs

As any product has positive and negative sides, the flea collar for dogs is not an exception. Let’s consider which minuses and pluses it has in order to be sure that you need to purchase this preventive anti-flea method.

Drawback number 1: the insects are killed only after they bite a dog. So, the risk of transmission of dangerous diseases like piroplasmosis, worms, etc. is rather high. To prevent bites, manufacturers add to the pesticide such substance as the repellent. After this flea collar for dogs not only kills the parasite, but also deters its unpleasant smell, reducing the chance for a dog to be bitten. However, repellents, unlike poisons quickly erode. About a month later, repellent feature almost disappears. But the owners rarely notice termination of the repellent’s action, as the parasites continue to die from the poison (the collar against flea for dogs is usually designed from three to five months). That is, over the past months a pet is being bitten by ticks, fleas and other bloodsuckers. They die fast and cannot penetrate deeply into the skin and drink the blood for a long time but still able to bite. What does it mean? It means that the saliva of the parasite, containing:

  1. the eggs of worms,
  2. protozoa,
  3. viruses,
  4. bacteria
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Important: All mentioned parasites fall into the dog’s bloodstream.

Drawback number 2:

In order to make the flea collar for dogs work for a few months, it is impregnated with:

  1. heavy toxins
  2. pesticides,
  3. agrochemicals

And other harmful things are there. To the credit of manufacturers, usually the instruction contains complete information about possible side effects and the composition of active substances. The immediate reactions include:

  1. allergic dermatitis
  2. swelling,
  3. itching,
  4. sneezing,
  5. salivation
  6. lacrimation,
  7. excessive excitement.

What are the contraindications of using flea collar for dogs?

The manufacturer warns that flea collars are not suitable for:

  1. old and / or chronically ill dogs,
  2. pregnant and lactating female dogs,
  3. puppies and pets recovering from illness.

Unfortunately, the minority of the owners reads the instructions carefully, ignoring advertising “safe, reliable, high quality.” Even the best producers don’t mention the possible delayed impact after using flea collar for dogs. And the consequences are really dangerous:

  1. the thyroid disease,
  2. diseases of kidney,
  3. liver and gastrointestinal tract issues
  4. diseases of the respiratory system

After all, the poison is absorbed into the subcutaneous layer, inevitably gets into the blood, spreads throughout the body and alters the cell tissues of the internal organs.

Important: Of course, if you use a collar against ticks for dogs only occasionally (for example, put on the day before the trip to nature), so serious consequences are unlikely to come. However, this method of protection is attractive because it does not require constant monitoring and repetition manipulation: just put and forget.

Drawback number 3:

Thanks to the honest producers who don’t hide that these products are not completely safe for people as well. For example, you cannot sleep with the dog (collar on the night cannot be removed, generously allocating poison into the air, which the whole family breathes and the pet as well). After contact with a pet you need to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water to neutralize the effect of the venom left on the skin of palms. The producers also warn that flea dog collars can cause poisoning of a pet and a small child (after chewing the belt tip). Poisoning, by the way, can be very strong with the following signs as:

  1. convulsions
  2. loss of consciousness.

Important: Some manufacturers even specify the name of the antidote that physicians can react instantly.

Are there only drawbacks and no benefits? Sure not, now it is the turn of talking about the advantages.

Advantages of using flea collars for dogs

Despite the obvious risks (in fairness it must be said that many owners use the collars for years without facing anything bad).

  • It is cheap: this method of fighting with insects is cheaper than using drops. Even the most expensive flea collar will cost less than using special vet drops on a monthly basis
  • It is easy to use: as discussed above, the collar may be put on and forget it until the winter. Choosing flea collar is really easier compared to drops and sprays which should be used once a month and it is necessary to remember the last date of application, to run to the shop once a month and buy it.
  • It is hygienic. There is no need to wait until the hair dries. The dog won’t stain the upholstery of the house sitting on the couch

And compared to the spray or drops, it can rub the back on something valuable and spoil it.

Important: Following all instructions you will be able to avoid disadvantages and enjoy advantages of such an innovative method as flea collar for dogs.

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Dog collars

Every dog needs a collar, chiefly because they need something to hang their leash, license, ID and rabies vaccination tag on.

There are so many styles of collar out there that it’s easy to get one that reflects your dog’s (or your) personality.

Collars serve purposes beyond identification and decoration. Some may be used to train dogs, discourage them from barking, ward off fleas and ticks or protect injuries. Not all kinds of collars are appropriate for all (or even any) dogs.

Read on to figure out which type of collar is best suited to your beloved pooch.

Regular collars

This is the standard collar for dogs. It has a buckle or plastic snap («quick-release») closure and a ring for attaching identification tags and leash and is available in many colors and designs. A flat collar should fit comfortably tight on your dog’s neck. It should not be so tight as to choke your dog nor so loose that they can slip out of it. The rule of thumb says you should be able to get two fingers underneath the collar.


The martingale collar is also known as a limited-slip collar. This collar is designed for dogs with narrow heads such as Greyhounds Saluki, whippets and other sighthounds. It is also useful for a dog of any breed who is adept at slipping out of their collar.

The martingale consists of a length of material with a metal ring at each end. A separate loop of material passes through the two rings. The leash attaches to a ring on this loop. When your dog tries to back out of the martingale, the collar tightens around their neck. If the collar is properly adjusted, it will tighten just to the size of your dog’s neck and won’t choke them.

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Head collar

The head collar is similar in principle to a horse’s halter. One strap of the collar fits around your dog’s neck and sits high on the head, just behind the ears. The other strap of the collar forms a loop around your dog’s muzzle. The leash attaches to ring at bottom of muzzle loop.

The head collar is good for strong, energetic dogs who both jump and pull. Because the halter is around your dog’s muzzle, instead of their neck, your dog loses a great deal of leverage, and they will be unable to pull on the leash with the full weight of their body.

To be effective, the head collar must be properly fitted. And to be safe, make sure not to yank your dog’s leash while they are wearing a head halter. Some manufacturers include instructions and a DVD with the collar. Otherwise, ask your dog trainer or a knowledgeable sales clerk for assistance with fitting. Proper fit and use should minimize the risk of injury to your dog.

It may take some time, patience and lots of treats to get your dog accustomed to wearing a head collar. Put it on them for short periods until your dog is comfortable in the collar. Then they should only wear it when you are taking them out on a leash. Don’t leave the head collar on your dog all the time; eventually they will manage to pull off the muzzle loop and use it as their chew toy!

Aversive collars

Some trainers use aversive collars to train «difficult» dogs with correction or punishment. These collars rely on physical discomfort or even pain to teach the dog what not to do. They suppress the unwanted behavior, but they don’t teach the dog what the proper behavior is. At best, they are unpleasant for your dog, and at worst, they may cause your dog to act aggressively and even bite you. Positive training methods should always be your first choice.

Choke chain

As the name implies, this collar is made of metal links and is designed to control your dog by tightening around your dog’s neck. It is supposed to sit high up on the dog’s neck just behind their ears.

Unlike the martingale collar, there is no way to control how much the choke chain tightens, so it’s possible to choke or strangle your dog. It can also cause other problems, too, such as injuries to the trachea and esophagus, injuries to blood vessels in the eyes, neck sprains, nerve damage, fainting, transient paralysis and even death.

It is best for your dog if you avoid using a choke chain. More humane collars and good obedience training should make it unnecessary to resort to this aversive collar.

If you insist on using one, consult an experienced trainer to learn how to properly size, fit, and use it. And never leave a choke chain on your dog as their regular collar; the chain could catch on something and choke your dog!

Prong or pinch

The prong or pinch collar is similar in style to the martingale. The control loop that the leash is attached to is made of chain. The loop that fits around your dog’s neck is made of a series of fang-shaped metal links, or prongs, with blunted points. When the control loop is pulled, the prongs pinch the loose skin of your dog’s neck.

Like the choke chain, the prong collar must be properly fitted. The size of the prong links should be appropriate for the size of your dog. The collar should sit high up on your dog’s neck, just behind their ears. The fit should be snug, so the prong links can’t shift to the front of your dog’s neck where they might pinch your dog’s trachea.

More humane collars and good obedience training should make it unnecessary to resort to this aversive collar. If you insist on using one, consult an experienced trainer to learn how to properly size, fit, and use it.

Shock collars

Shock collars use electric current passing through metal contact points on the collar to give your dog a signal. This electric signal can range from a mild tickling sensation to a painful shock.

Shock collars are sold as training devices and to stop barking. They are also used with pet containment (electronic fencing) systems.

The least humane and most controversial use of the shock collar is as a training device. The trainer can administer a shock to a dog at a distance through a remote control. There is a greater chance for abuse (delivery of shocks as punishment) or misuse (poor timing of shocks). Your dog also may associate the painful shock with people or other experiences, leading to fearful or aggressive behavior.

Electronic fencing uses shock collars to delivers a shock when the dog approaches the boundaries of the «fenced» area. Typically, the shock is preceded by a tone to warn the dog they are about to get shocked.

Caution! Shock collars can irritate and inflame your dog’s neck. Take theses steps to avoid problems:

  • Don’t leave the electronic collar on for an extended length of time.
  • Clean your dog’s neck and the contact points that touch your dog’s neck regularly.

Special-use collars

Bark control

Though several types of collars are available to control excessive or unwanted barking, none of them address the root cause of the barking. Dogs can bark for several reasons, such as fear or territorial behavior. Though some bark collars may reduce barking, they will not reduce the stress that causes a dog to bark.

  • Spray: Barking causes these collars to emit a burst of citronella or air, which interrupts and deters your dog from barking. Spray collars sometimes don’t react to high-pitched barks, making them ineffective.
    Tip: Don’t use a spray collar when your dog is with other dogs. Another dog’s bark may trigger your dog’s collar.
  • Shock: The least humane is the shock collar which delivers an electrical shock to your dog when they bark.
  • Ultrasonic: When your dog barks, the ultrasonic collar interrupts them by emitting a sound only your dog can hear.

Flea/tick collars

This collar is impregnated with chemicals and helps protect your dog against fleas and ticks. It is worn in addition to a regular collar. The flea/tick collar is effective for only a short time and must be replaced periodically.

Vibrating collar

Use vibration, not electric shock, to get your dog’s attention. Vibrating collars can be useful to train a deaf dog who can’t hear your voice or a clicker.

Elizabethan collar

The Elizabethan collar, or E-collar as it is often called, is a wide, plastic, cone-shaped collar used to prevent your dog from licking or scratching wounds while they heal.

Typically there are tabs or loops on the Elizabethan collar so it can be attached to your dog’s regular collar. Some models have hook and loop closures to secure it. These collars come in a variety of sizes to ensure proper fit for your dog. They should be able to eat and drink with the collar in place but not be able to get at the injury.

GPS collar

This collar uses global positioning satellite technology to help locate your pet if they get lost.

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