In the battle against fleas and ticks you might consider putting a flea collar on your dog. However, what happens if you happen to have a cat flea collar, are they safe for dogs and are they interchangeable?
Many small dog owners who own cats, might opt to put a spare cat flea collar on their dog to save money. However, before you do, please read this advice including why I don’t recommend flea collars at all.
Can dogs wear cat flea collars? Yes, small dogs can wear cat flea collars, but I do not recommend it. The chemicals in cat and dog flea collars are different, and it could induce an allergic reaction in your dog. Recent research also suggest flea collars are not safe for dogs.
The risks are potentially fatal. I explain it all below.
Are cat flea collars safe for dogs?
Before you decide to put a cat flea collar on your dog, consider the following risks.
- Choking risks: Cat flea collars are smaller and could choke your dog, especially if they have no safe release mechanism.
- Toxicity risks: In 2021 a report revealed how 1,700 pets had died from exposure to toxic chemicals in Seresto flea collars. Based on that, I would not let my dog wear a cat flea collar, or any flea collar for that matter.
- Allergy risks: There are different chemicals in cat flea collars and dog flea collars. Cat ones have a substance called pyrethrins in the collars, dogs have permethrin. If either animal wears a flea collar intended for the other, it could “possibly” lead to an allergic reaction.
Now, technically a dog can wear a cat flea collar, but in practical terms it makes no sense. The collar will be small around the dog’s throat, might not have the correct dosage in it, and could even make them sick.
I would not risk the medicine designed for another species on my dog, and don’t suggest you do either.
Can a cat flea collar make a dog sick?
Then there’s the potential risk of poisoning.
In 2021 there was a lot of coverage in the news explaining how flea collars are not safe for dogs. A study explained how 1,700 pets had died from exposure to toxic chemicals in the best-selling Seresto flea collars.
As a result, some pet stores have now stopped selling toxic dog flea collars containing the dangerous pesticide tetrachlorvinphos.
Given that both cat and dog flea collars are made by Seresto, it’s not worth the risk.
Are cat and dog flea collars the same?
No, cat and dog flea collars are not the same. So, what is the difference between a cat and a dog flea collar?
Well, as touched on earlier, the chemicals in the flea collars can differ, as well as the size.
Alternatives to using cat flea collars on dogs
Based on what we now know, plus the risks of dogs of strangulation when wearing a collar, I don’t believe that dogs should wear flea collars.
There are alternatives to flea collars that are safer for dogs.
Flea and tick preventatives are also available in the form of pills and topical applications.
For example, here’s are flea remedy pills on Amazon.
The spray on application uses the same active ingredients as a flea collar and is subject to similar precautionary measures. This will have the advantage of drying quickly and not leaving a powdery residue.
As with before, you can buy the flea spray on Amazon by clicking the image below.
Your dogs could experience a measure of discomfort though. My dogs tend to disappear when I bring out the vials. Either, the smell is a deterrent, or the application irritates their skin for a short while.
It is not advised to come into close physical contact with the dog for a day or two after application. The dog should also not swim, be bathed, or spend time out in the rain until the active ingredients have been absorbed into the bloodstream.
You might find your dog acts a bit weird after being sprayed or ingesting flea treatment.
You could consider natural remedies for dog fleas.
You can create your own flea powder deterrent, using diatomaceous earth. It has a similar desiccating effect on fleas.
Bath your dog and comb it with a flea comb to ascertain if your dog has a flea infestation.
Apply diatomaceous earth liberally, but carefully, on the dog’s back and comb it into the fur. It comes in the form of a fine powder so be careful not to breathe it in or create clouds of dust.
Identify any potential cracks and crevices in your home that could serve as a base for the fleas. Sprinkle the diatomaceous earth in these areas. You will need to monitor the situation for progress in eradicating the pests. Vacuum and reapply the powder regularly until there are no more fleas.
If you would prefer a liquid solution, make a tea of witch hazel, aloe vera juice, lavender oil, cedar wood oil, and lemon in the form of juice or essential oil. The first two ingredients are gentle on the skin and have anti-inflammatory properties. The rest repel insects.
You can use this tea in the form of a spray, which you apply round your dog’s neck and ankles, or you could soak a bandanna in the solution and hang it around your dog’s neck.
This remedy can be made and applied on an as needed basis, as it does not last as long as the chemical alternatives.
It is safe for humans to use, and it is recommended that you spray it around your ankles before walking through tick infested areas.
Can a dog survive eating a flea collar?
If your dog happens to eat a flea collar belonging to a cat, call a vet immediately. Flea collars contain toxic ingredients that can poison a dog if eaten.
To conclude, there are differences between dog and cat flea collars, so it’s not worth putting a cat one on your dog. And actually, I don’t agree with flea collars at all on dogs due to the current risks being highlighted in the media.