Dog Flea Collars – Balancing Safety & Effectiveness

Medical review by K9 Healthcare Council of America (K9HCA). Intended for educational purposes only. Always seek medical advice from your veterinarian.

Dog Flea Collars: Pet Owner Concerns About Safety

As devoted dog owners, our furry companions are not just pets; they are cherished members of our families. Yet, amid the joy of wagging tails and playful barks, a shadow of concern looms over us – the safety of flea collars for our beloved canine friends.

Each time we fasten that tiny band around their necks, we grapple with worries that linger in the corners of our minds. Will it truly keep the fleas at bay without harming our precious pups?

— Or are there hidden dangers lurking within those seemingly innocuous strips of fabric?

The weight of responsibility settles heavily upon us as we strive to protect our faithful companions from harm, seeking reassurance amidst a sea of uncertainties. In this article I will review the good, the bad and the ugly about chemical flea collars for dogs and offer some natural alternatives to keep your dog protected.

Seresto Flea Collar – The Risks for Pets & Children

If you use a Seresto flea collar for dogs … BEWARE! These flea collars are not safe!

AUTHORS UPDATE: Seresto collars settlement for $15 million in pet deaths. How to claim (news-journalonline.com)

The internet and even mainstream press are buzzing with news about Seresto flea and tick collars. Reports say these popular collars are harming not just pets but even children. Even the US Congress has taken action to get the collars recalled.

But that hasn’t happened because the manufacturer insists the collars are safe. So, they refuse to take any action…even to warn pet owners about the risks.

Seresto flea collar dog
Seresto Flea Collar Warning: Reports that the collars may have caused hundreds of pet deaths, tens of thousands of injured animals and thousands of injured humans.

Seresto Dog Flea Collar

Seresto collars were created by Bayer Healthcare. Elanco Animal Health bought the company for about $7 billion in 2019. So, Elanco now owns Seresto collars as part of that acquisition. And it’s a highly successful product for them.

What Are Seresto Flea Collars?

Seresto collars for dogs are flea and tick repellent collars that stay on your dog 24/7.

They’re odorless and water resistant (even after a bath). The collar lasts for 8 months, making it a very convenient option. It costs around $60, but you could pay a much steeper price–because these collars are not safe for your dog or even your family.

How Do Seresto Collars Work?

Seresto collars are impregnated with the active ingredients flumethrin (4.5%) and imidacloprid (10%). These ingredients release over your dog’s skin and coat during the 8-month period. The company doesn’t disclose the inactive ingredients, so we don’t know what else is in the collars.

Seresto flea collar reviews
Seresto flea collar reviews. Even with a plethora of data indicating adverse effects, many veterinarians are still in favor of these pesticide coated collars, seeking to blame the adverse reactions on supposed fake collars for the extensive list of health problems in dogs and humans.

Side Effects of Seresto Flea Collar Ingredients

First, let’s take a look at Seresto collar side effects from the individual active ingredients. Imidacloprid and flumethrin are pesticide ingredients with known side effects, but we’ll see when they are combined how more adverse the reactions are.

Flumethrin in Seresto Dog Collars

Flumethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid. That puts it in the same category as insecticides like permethrin.  Pyrethroids work by paralyzing the insects’ nervous systems. In mammals, flumethrin causes nausea, vomiting and seizures. These problems are more frequent with increased severity in dogs at the higher dosing levels.

Imidacloprid in Seresto Dog Collars

Imidacloprid is a neonicotinoid insecticide. Neonicotinoids are widely used for crop protection as well as pet insecticides. Neonicotinoids are one of the main reasons for the loss of honeybees. And in dogs, Imidacloprid is known to cause problems including:

Farm workers have experienced skin or eye irritation, dizziness, breathlessness, confusion, or vomiting from exposure to imidacloprid pesticides. Imidacloprid has caused skin irritation in pet owners after applying spot on products to their animals. Also, Imidacloprid is banned in the European Union for outdoor use!

A Combination of These Two Pesticide Ingredients is Even More Toxic

Research shows that the combined ingredients in Seresto Flea Collars are more deadly to fleas; but given the number of complaints of neurological symptoms like seizures, the evidence supports a more toxic product for dogs and children.

In 2021, the US House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy called on the manufacturer, Elanco, to temporarily recall its collar. The company refused.

Sadly, In June 2022, after a 16-month investigation, the committee released a 24-page report titled: Seresto Flea and Tick Collars: Examining Why A Product Linked To More than 2,500 Pet Deaths Remains On The Market.

The reported adverse incidents involving Seresto collars now stand at 98,000 (up from 73,000), with 2,500 (up from about 1,700) pet deaths from the use of Seresto Flea Collars for dogs.

Seresto flea collar side effects
Seresto flea collar side effects as reported by pet owners include mild symptoms of fatigue & depression to more severe adverse reactions including tremors, seizures or even death as a result of using these collars.

Seresto Flea Collar Reviews – Pet Owners Vs Traditional Veterinary Medicine

Pet owners in the US have report serious problems from even short-term application of Seresto Flea Collars in their pets including:

  • Seizures
  • Ataxia
  • Tremors
  • Lethargy/fatigue/depression
  • Lack of appetite
  • Diarrhea, vomiting, blood in stool
  • Skin problems
  • Vision problems
  • Hair loss
  • Tumors
  • Death

Many veterinarians, on the other hand, are still in favor of these “poison straps” blaming the adverse reactions on supposed ‘fake collars’ for the extensive list of health problems, recommending owners ensure they’re buying genuine collars by buying directly from veterinarians, reputable online pharmacies, or big box stores.

In essence, vets are saying it’s not a fault of the manufacturer…the product is somehow adulterated by counterfeit collar makers from China and that’s the cause of your dog getting sick or dying (read that again!).

What Should You Do to Protect Your Pet from Fleas & Ticks?

Whether Seresto collars caused the reported deaths and injuries or not, we do know the ingredients can be harmful to dogs (and children), especially when they’re combined.

Is it really worth the risk when there are so many safe ways to protect your dog from fleas and ticks?

If your dog has a Seresto collar on now, please consider taking it off! Return it to wherever you bought it and ask for a refund.

Maybe your pet hasn’t had a reaction YET! But that doesn’t mean he couldn’t get seriously ill in the near future.

Safer, Natural Methods of Pest Control for Dogs

Keeping fleas and ticks at bay without resorting the chemical-laden solutions is a priority for many pet owners.

There are several natural methods to help keep fleas and ticks off dogs, although their effectiveness can vary depending on the dog and the environment.

Dog flea collars.
Best dog flea collar. The safest and most effective pest control for pets is prevention. The best way to prevent fleas is to bathe your dog regularly with mild shampoo and water to help remove and deter fleas and ticks from attaching to your pet’s skin and coat.

Here are some options:

  1. Regular Baths: Regular baths with a gentle, natural shampoo can help to remove and deter fleas and ticks.
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar: Mixing apple cider vinegar with water and spraying it on your dog’s coat can repel fleas and ticks due to its acidity.
  3. Essential Oils: Certain essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, and cedarwood have natural insect-repellent properties. Dilute a few drops of the essential oil in water and spray it on your dog’s fur (make sure to research proper dilution ratios, as some oils can be harmful if used incorrectly).
  4. Diatomaceous Earth: Food-grade diatomaceous earth can be sprinkled on your dog’s bedding and around the house to kill fleas and ticks. Make sure to use food-grade diatomaceous earth, as other forms can be harmful to pets if ingested.
  5. Regular Grooming: Regular grooming with a flea comb can help remove fleas and ticks from your dog’s coat before they have a chance to settle in.
  6. Yeast and Garlic Supplements: Some people believe that adding small amounts of brewer’s yeast or garlic to your dog’s diet can help repel fleas and ticks, although the effectiveness of this method is debated and should be used with caution.
  7. Keep the Environment Clean: Regularly vacuuming your home, washing your dog’s bedding, and keeping the yard tidy can help reduce the presence of fleas and ticks in your dog’s environment.

Can CBD Comfort My Dog Exposed to Seasonal Fleas & Ticks?

CBD oil, derived from hemp plants, has gained attention for its potential health benefits for both humans and pets alike. While research on its specific effects on fleas and ticks is limited, CBD oil’s anti-inflammatory and calming properties may offer some relief to dogs bothered by seasonal pests.

One of the primary ways CBD oil may help dogs experiencing discomfort from flea and tick bites is through its anti-inflammatory properties. When a dog is bitten by fleas or ticks, the affected area can become inflamed, leading to itching, redness, and discomfort. CBD oil interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body, which plays a role in regulating inflammation responses.

By reducing inflammation, CBD oil may help alleviate the itching and discomfort associated with flea and tick bites, providing relief to affected dogs.

Furthermore, CBD oil’s calming effects can also benefit dogs experiencing stress or anxiety due to flea and tick infestations. Dogs that are constantly scratching or irritated by flea and tick bites may become anxious or agitated, leading to behavioral issues and decreased quality of life.

CBD oil for dogs
CBD oil has been shown to have anxiolytic properties, meaning it can help reduce feelings of anxiety and promote a sense of calmness in dogs. By helping to manage stress and anxiety, CBD oil may indirectly alleviate some of the discomfort associated with flea and tick infestations, improving the overall well-being of affected dogs.

It’s important to note that while CBD oil may offer relief to dogs bothered by seasonal fleas and ticks, it is not a replacement for proper flea and tick prevention measures.

Maintaining a regular flea and tick prevention regimen, such as using topical treatments, herbal collars, or oral medications recommended by a veterinarian, is essential for protecting dogs from infestations and the potential transmission of diseases carried by fleas and ticks.

Additionally, pet owners should consult with their holistic veterinarian before introducing CBD oil or any new supplement into their dog’s routine to ensure it is safe and appropriate for their individual needs.


FAQ’s About Dog Flea Collars

Q: How long does the flea and tick collar provide protection?

A: The duration of protection varies depending on the specific collar. Some collars offer protection for several months, while others may need to be replaced more frequently. Check the product label or manufacturer’s instructions for guidance.

Q: What types of fleas and ticks does the collar repel?

A: Flea and tick collars typically target a broad spectrum of pests, including common fleas, ticks, and sometimes mosquitoes. Be sure to choose a collar that addresses the specific pests prevalent in your geographic area.

Q: Can the collar be worn alongside other medications or treatments?

A: It’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian before combining flea and tick collars with other medications or treatments. Some combinations may interact adversely or diminish effectiveness.

Q: How should I properly fit and adjust the collar on my dog?

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for fitting and adjusting the collar to ensure a proper and comfortable fit for your dog. Typically, you should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck to prevent it from being too tight.

Q: Are there natural alternatives to chemical flea and tick collars?

A: Yes, there are several natural alternatives to chemical flea and tick collars, including herbal collars, essential oil-based repellents, and holistic treatments. These options offer effective pest control without exposing your dog to potentially harmful chemicals.

Q: What natural ingredients are used in the flea and tick collar?

A: Natural flea and tick collars may contain ingredients such as cedarwood oil, citronella, neem oil, and geraniol, which have natural repellent properties. Always check the product label to ensure the ingredients are safe for your dog.

Q: Do natural flea and tick collars have any known side effects?

A: Natural flea and tick collars are generally considered safe for dogs; however, individual reactions may occur. Monitor your dog closely for any signs of irritation or discomfort when using natural collars.

Q: How do natural flea and tick collars compare in effectiveness to chemical ones?

A: While natural flea and tick collars may be effective for some dogs, they may not provide the same level of protection as chemical collars. The effectiveness can vary depending on factors such as your dog’s size, coat type, and environmental conditions.

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