How to Kill a Dog's Fleas

Fleas can jump over six feet to get to your pup.

Fleas can jump over six feet to get to your pup.

The battle of fleas is an annoying and frustrating part of dog ownership. Your pet scratches and chews his skin, but you can't get the flea population under control. To rid your pooch of fleas, kill them on your dog and kill them in his environment.

Remove the adult fleas from your dog's coat. Choose from a flea dip, flea comb and soapy water or an oral tablet that will start killing fleas within 30 minutes.

Purchase a flea dip containing pyrethrin. Shampoo your pet before applying the dip. Follow the instructions on the flea dip by mixing the solution with water before sponging on your dog. Begin sponging from the top of the head to the tip of the tail. Let your dog air dry.

Comb your dog with a fine-toothed flea comb. Comb in the opposite direction of fur growth. Pick off the fleas and drop them in soapy water. The water will kill the fleas. This is an arduous task but does not involve any chemicals or medications.

Give your dog an adulticide oral flea medication for killing adult fleas. Nitenpyram (Capstar) and spinosad (Comfortis) kill adult fleas within 30 minutes of ingestion. Comfortis is a chewable tablet and Capstar is a tablet you can put in your dog's food or directly in his mouth. Both oral medications are FDA approved.

Begin a flea prevention program for your dog. Sprays, powders, flea collars, spot treatments and oral medications are available. Consider a product that contains an insect growth inhibitor, which breaks the life cycle of fleas.

Vacuum twice a week and discard the vacuum bag. Wash your pet's bedding once a week. Purchase an aerosol spray containing adulticide and insect growth inhibitor. Spray on your carpets, drapes and furniture.

Remove all debris in your yard and keep the lawn cut short. Purchase an adulticide and insect growth inhibitor product for lawns.

Check your dog periodically for fleas by using the fine-tooth flea comb. If you see fleas, you must start the flea eradication process over again.

Items you will need

  • Flea dip
  • Fine-tooth flea comb
  • Oral flea medication
  • Insect growth inhibitor
  • Flea prevention aerosol
  • Flea prevention lawn treatment


  • Foggers are another choice for killing fleas in your home. You set the fogger off in the middle of the house and leave for a minimum of two hours. Make sure all pets are with you.
  • If you have multiple animals, all should be treated for fleas.


  • If you have cats, do not use a dog flea product on your cat.

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About the Author

Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.

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