It’s no wonder that the market is full of products claiming to be the best flea comb. These devices are popular. Almost as popular as the animals they service.
As even the quickest glance at your social media of choice will tell you, people love animals. With around 70 million dogs and 75 million cats living in the US alone, it’s easy to see how popular pets are. And these fluffy bundles of love bring many things into people’s lives.
Unfortunately, one of those things is fleas. Bloodsucking bugs are nobody’s idea of a good time, and while just about anyone can suffer from a flea infestation in their home, the reality is you’re far more likely to get fleas if you have pets. Furry pets like cats and dogs, that is. Your prize axolotl Steve will be perfectly safe.
That’s where a good old-fashioned flea comb comes in.
Why Use a Flea Comb?
Flea combs have been around probably as long as humans have kept pets, going all the way back to the hunter-gatherers who used fine-toothed combs on the shaggy fur of their companion mammoths. Okay, I made that last bit up.
But flea combs have been around for a long time. That’s because they work. To be sure, they come with downsides as well but the perks of flea combs far exceed the cons.
Let’s take a quick look at both, shall we?
Pros of Using a Flea Comb
- Price. Flea combs are cheap. Even the best models won’t cost more than a few dollars. The price of a single fancy cup of coffee will get you a comb which will provide instant relief to your pet.
- Safety. Since combs physically trap fleas and also remove eggs and flea dirt, there are no pesticides involved. They are safe to use as a flea treatment on puppies and kittens that can be sensitive to chemical treatments.
- Ease-of-use. You only need to look at a flea comb to see exactly how it’s designed to be used. While there are some tricks to the procedure, it is not a difficult thing to figure out.
- Environmentally friendly. With no chemicals involved, you don’t need to worry about your flea comb harming the environment. Until it’s time to throw it in the garbage, anyway.
Cons of Using a Flea Comb
- Time-consuming. Flea combs don’t do much by themselves. To have any effect, you need to brush your pet. Over and over again. This can take a lot of time, especially when you consider you will need to do it more than once. And not all pets will cooperate.
- No residual protection. Unlike some pesticides, a flea comb will do nothing to stop more fleas from coming back to bite you. A flea comb will only kill the fleas it catches.
- Scratches and bites. No one knows your pet better than you. Some animals will actively enjoy the process of being combed. Others won’t. If you have the kind of pet that doesn’t enjoy prolonged physical contact, you may have a fight on your hands when trying to comb it.
What are the Best Flea Combs?
With something as low-tech as a flea comb, you might think that one model is just as good as the next. Not necessarily.
Although all flea combs are built along the same lines, some are better and easier to use than others. Here’s some of the best flea combs on the market!
Safari Flea Comb for Dogs
Ever wanted to go on safari? If so, this comb can’t help you. Unless the animals you most wanted to see on safari were fleas. In that case, you’re in luck.
The teeth on this comb are long enough to deal with both short and long-haired breeds of dog. Also, the teeth are set in a double row to make it harder for fleas to escape. The molded plastic handle means the comb is comfortable to use even on big dogs.
The double row of teeth on this comb makes it great at trapping fleas. However, you may find it traps them a little too well. The fleas can get stuck between the rows of teeth and be extremely difficult to get out. You may find yourself having to use a toothpick or similar thin item to get between the rows and clean them properly.
With that said, though, this is an effective comb that will provide instant relief for your pets. And it goes without saying – it does a very thorough job.
Safari Flea Comb for Cats
This cat comb looks at first glance very similar to the dog version made by the same company. It has the same ergonomic handle the comes in a variety of colors, so you can match your comb to pet’s collar or to your fingernails if you so choose.
There is one important difference, though: this cat comb only has a single row of teeth.
This means that the cat version of the comb doesn’t suffer from the same problem of fleas getting stuck between the rows of teeth that the dog comb does.
But how well this comb works is going to depend to a large extent on your cat. Some of them love being combed. Some hate it.
In either case, it’s a good idea to comb your cat with a regular brush before using the flea brush to make sure there are no tangles in the fur for the comb to get stuck in.
Hartz Groomer’s Best Flea Comb
What sets this comb apart is that it is rated for use on both cats and dogs. As a result, it’s kind of medium-sized, designed to work on animals with a variety of different body sizes.
So if you’ve got multiple pets suffering from fleas – this is a great, versatile flea comb.
Another thing that sets this flea comb apart from the rest is that the stainless steel teeth of this comb have tiny rubber tips to prevent damage to your pet’s skin. The brush is very light, and the handle is well-sized for most people’s hands, so you can brush comfortably for a long time.
For cat owners, probably the best news is that this comb is extremely popular with felines. Most cats love being combed by this item. It makes the whole process far easier when you have your pet’s willing cooperation.
The comb also works just as well on dogs of all sizes, with one exception – as versatile as this comb is, it can fall short if your dog has exceptionally long hair, since the teeth on this comb may not be long enough to get all the way through your dog’s fur.
If you’ve got a long-haired dog on your hands, you may be better off with a long-teeth flea comb like this one by Hertzko.
Sentry Flea Comb For Cats
This may be the most expensive comb on our list, but don’t let that make your purchasing decision for you. When talking about flea combs, the price differences usually only amount to a dollar or two.
For the extra money, this comb feels solidly built. The handle has a good shape that allows you to take a strong grip for brushing. It also has a slight bend, which reduces wrist fatigue during long grooming sessions – trust us, you’ll get what we mean after a few vigorous combing sessions.
And the teeth are well spaced to pass through dense hair without tugging, yet still fine enough to trap fleas and pick up eggs.
All in all, this is a good comb that is still a relatively reasonable price. The only issue is that the steel teeth aren’t as sturdy as they could be. If you hit a tangle of fur, you may end up bending some of the teeth, reducing the effectiveness of this item. Detangle first to avoid that snag.
Sentry Flea Comb for Dogs
You probably saw this coming. Sentry also offers a flea comb for dogs which is basically a slightly larger version of the one designed for cats.
The teeth on this comb are also a bit longer, which is great if you have a long-haired dog. Ultimately, though, you could use this comb on either cats or dogs with equal effectiveness. Only if you have one of the longest hair dog or cat breeds would you feel the need for this larger comb.
With the same design as the model listed above, this comb suffers from the same problem. The teeth aren’t as strong as they could be, and easily get bent out of shape.
While it’s possible to bend them back with a pair of pliers, you’ll never get the teeth perfectly into position, and this makes it more likely that fleas will escape the comb. To avoid that situation, detangle your pet first.
How To Use A Flea Comb
You don’t need a Ph.D. to figure out how to use a flea comb. However, it’s not quite as simple as, say, brushing your hair. There are a few tricks you should know before using this method to get fleas off your pet.
- Use a comb on dry fur. Wet fur is more likely to tangle and clump, reducing the effectiveness of the comb.
- Brush your pet first. Remove old tangles and snarls from your pet’s fur with a regular pet brush before attempting to use the flea comb on them.
- Have a dish of soapy water nearby. After every pass with the comb, dunk the teeth into some water mixed with dish soap. This will kill any fleas on the comb before they can jump away.
- Keep lots of treats handy. Done right, combing for fleas can be a great bonding experience for you and your pet. Done wrong, it can add to the stress the animal is already feeling from having fleas in the first place. Use lots of treats and affection to reassure your pet while you use the comb. Do it right, and your dog or cat may come to enjoy the experience.
Now that you’re armed with the best flea comb for your pet(s) and some tips, you know what to do. Good luck, especially if your flea-ridden pet in question is an ornery cat.