Flea Collars and Your Dog
Flea collars are the original long term flea-combating solution for pets throughout North America. The collars themselves are a combination of plastic resins and insecticides designed to be non-toxic, pliable, long-lasting and economical. The most important factor in flea collars is that the toxin is strong enough to kill the fleas without harming the animal either by prolonged exposure to skin or orally if the dog chews his collar.
Every company is different but the average lifespan of a flea collar is around four to six months. Some companies have developed ways for the collar to replenish itself with one in particular working so well it replenishes lost molecules every time it rubs against an object or the pet’s fur.
Do flea collars work? Although there may be newer, more efficient ways to kill fleas on the market these days, flea collars still have a firm hold on part of the pest-killing population. As for how efficiently they kill, it depends on the collar and how long the collar is left on the pet. In one study, in a 48 hour period, the flea collar tested killed 75% of the fleas killed by a similar aerosol product with the important part of the equation is that the collar will continue to kill at those levels for months where as the spray may only be effective for 48 to 72 hours per application.
Flea collars are preferred:
- For semi- feral or wild cats and dogs where an owner may only be able to handle the animal once every few months
- For pets with sensitivities or allergies to topical insecticides
- For situations where fleas are relatively uncommon so the collar is purely a preventive measure
- For households where the $10 – 15 a month application of topical insecticides is not realistic
- For areas where part of the year is nearly free-flea so the collar is a cheap form of prevention during that time whereas the remaining part of the year, topical insecticides are predominantly used
One company’s brilliant innovation is to include anti-tick insecticides within the collar so that not only are they protecting against fleas for up to four months but ticks as well for one month. In grassy areas where fleas abound, more often or not ticks are their woodland neighbors!
Flea collars are also moving forwards with technology and fashion. One flea collar company promises to have collars in various colors and with the ability to interlock letters and number, personalizing the collar. Another company is looking at a way for the collar to be injected by the pet owner to recharge the flea-busting properties. Innovative styles and designs with new, less toxic chemicals continue to be produced and keep old-fashioned flea collar sales from stagnating or becoming a relic of the past like so many other products of yesteryear.