6 Best Flea Combs for Dogs: Our 2019 Comb for Fleas Guide

It’s finally Friday after a long week at the office. You plop down on the couch ready to watch your favorite movie. All is right in the world until you notice the dog won’t stop scratching. “I’m sure it’s nothing”, you say to yourself until you see tiny black dots bouncing around on your dog’s back. Along with ruining you and your dog’s Friday night, fleas can multiply by the hundreds in just a few weeks and bring on some serious problems if left unchecked. Enter the flea comb, your best weapon to combat this unwelcome onslaught dead in its tracks. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to flea combs for dogs. Your dog may be small, have short hair, have curly hair or be sensitive to rough contact. Fortunately, we’re here to help.

Key Components to a Good Flea Comb

  • Finely spaced teeth to trap fleas, flea eggs & flea droppings
  • Teeth suitable to your dog’s type of fur – longer teeth for long hair and shorter teeth for short hair
  • A sturdy & comfortable grip – dog coats can be difficult to comb through
  • An owner loving enough to wield them

Flea Combs vs Lice Combs

The good news is that lice are much easier to eliminate. The bad news is that fleas are much more common. (Basics, 2019) Regardless, there are combs designed specifically to remove lice. These are commonly referred to as ‘nit’ combs, referring to the eggs lice lay that end up sticking to hair follicles. The main difference between combing for lice versus combing for fleas is that you will need to apply a (Basics, 2019) treatment shampoo to loosen the lice eggs before combing. Other than that, lice and flea combs can be used interchangeably.

5 Tips on How to Use a Flea Comb

  1. Ensure your dog’s coat has been brushed with a regular dog brush to eliminate knots. You can use the flea comb on wet or dry hair as long as it’s free of tangles. (Olesen, 2019)
  2. Have a bowl or bucket of hot soapy water available so you can rinse your comb during brushing.
  3. While brushing, follow your dog’s coat starting at the head and moving back over the neck, shoulders, back and tail. Be sure to focus on popular flea hiding places like under the arm-pits and groin as well.
  4. After each comb-through inspect your comb for fleas & flea dirt and dispose of either in your soap water. Bear in mind that any flea dirt will turn red when exposed to soapy water.
  5. Fleas won’t just give up after your first comb-through, so be sure to repeat this process several times a day until you stop seeing debris and dirt in your comb’s teeth.

The 6 Best Flea Combs for Dogs

Safari Double Row Flea Comb

Key Features:

  • Two Parallel Rows of Teeth
  • Comfortable Easy-Grip
  • Suitable for all Breeds

The Overall Best – Averaging a four-and-a-half-star rating among 2400 Amazon reviews, this comb deserves the praise it’s received. The parallel rows of finely spaced teeth enable it to catch more fleas, eggs & debris on a single pass than other combs and offer more stability when combing through thick hair. The easy grip plastic handle fits nicely into the owner’s hand, making for a comfortable combing experience.

While the comb’s cost is higher compared to the competition, the price point is justified simply by the comb’s ability to function at a high level. Countless owners consider this the best treatment for flea-infested dogs not just in the comb department, but out of all flea treatments on the market. Not to mention you get to pick from one of three colors – blue, pink or green. A great fit for any breed.

Pros:

  • More teeth enhance the ability to trap fleas & dirt
  • Comfortable grip
  • Functional on all hair types
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Expensive

Hartz Groomer’s Comb for Dogs & Cats

Key Features:

  • Extra Fine Single Row of Teeth
  • Ergonomic Handle

The Most Affordable – A great choice if you don’t want to break the bank shopping for a flea comb. This little baby still packs a punch despite its cost-friendly price point. The extra fine teeth make it a solid tool for removing fleas, dirt & flea eggs as well as grooming your pet around sensitive areas like the face and paws. Additionally, the comb comes with an ergonomic handle for those particularly long combing & grooming sessions.

It is worth mentioning that the comb’s cost is related to the durability of its teeth. Since they are built to be very fine, the teeth have a tendency to bend or break much easier than other combs. Still, if handled with care this is a perfect comb to use on dogs with finer hair or dogs that need special attention around their eyes, snout, ears and paws.

Pros:

  • Fine teeth for grooming face & paws
  • Inexpensive
  • Ergonomic handle for comfort

Cons:

  • Fine teeth break & bend after heavy use

Safari Wood Handle Flea Comb for Dogs

Key Features:

  • Wood Handle
  • Contoured Grip
  • Long Teeth

The Most Stylish – Shaped like an old-school straight razor, the Safari Wood Handle Comb is an exceptionally stylish and sturdy tool for removing fleas and grooming your beloved canine. With a contoured handle, the comb is easily handled while gliding through your dog’s coat. You also get longer teeth with this piece, which enables you to penetrate your dog’s coat down to the skin. This makes cleaning debris and fleas out from under your dog’s coat a little easier than other combs, which may require you to press down harder to acquire the same results. Longer & sturdier teeth give the comb a long shelf-life as well, even with frequent use.

Contrary to what you may be thinking given all of its perks, our wood- handled friend sports a very reasonable price-point. Sitting comfortably between the affordable Hartz Groomer’s and pricier Safari Double Row alternatives, this comb remains an affordable option for those in the market.

While gripping wood may get a bit uncomfortable after an hour of brushing, this comb gives its owner a broad range of functionality paired with a sleek, elegant look. A worthy option for those looking to pair fashion with function.

Pros:

  • Elegant Design
  • Contoured Handle for Grip
  • Longer Teeth for Skin Contact
  • Sturdy Craftsmanship
  • Affordable Price

Cons:

  • Chaffing from Wood
  • Long Teeth May Hurt Smaller Breeds

JW Pet Flea & Fine Comb

Key Features:

  • Two-in-One Flea & Grooming Comb
  • Stainless Steel Teeth
  • Compact
  • Case Included

The Combo – The JW Flea & Fine Comb is a package deal, sporting both a flea comb with long teeth and a grooming comb with shorter fine teeth. Both combs come with stainless steel teeth, making it easy for the owner to glide through any form of dog coat. While the longer comb is designated for flea-removal, the shorter comb can also be used to accomplish the same in areas where the longer teeth may be damaging. Use the shorter comb near the eyes of your dog to avoid poking sensitive spots and the longer comb to brush over the back, stomach, legs and tail.

This dream team is very reasonably priced given that it comes with two separate combs. The one downside is that you don’t really get much of a handle, as the teeth are attached to a little half-circle of plastic that just fits into the palm of your hand. Still, it’s worth considering a combination of functionality in two separate combs. To top it off, the combs comb in a neat little case that’s super compact and easy to store.

Pros:

  • Two-in-One Functionality with Flea Comb & Grooming Comb
  • Stainless Steel Teeth
  • Compact
  • Storage Case Included
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • Small Grip Size

JW Pet Gripsoft Flea Comb

Key Features:

  • Ergonomic Soft Grip
  • Large Handle
  • Suitable for all Coats

The Most Comfortable – The Gripsoft Comb was probably designed by a team expecting owners to comb their dogs for hours at a time. With a thick, soft, ergonomically designed handle this comb was crafted to be used for long periods of time. With similar teeth to its competitors (think Hartz Groomer’s and Safari Wood Handle), this comb is set apart by the comfort it gives the owner. This makes it an ideal option for larger breeds with thick coats that require more attention.

Cheaper than the Safari Double Row but more expensive than other alternatives, the comb is a pricier option. However, if you’re anticipating spending a few hours working out those pesky fleas then this is a good one to consider. It’s also been known to be comfortable for anyone with joint issues in their hands like arthritis.

Pros:

  • Comfortable Grip for Larger Breeds

Cons:

  • Expensive

Master Grooming Tools Contoured Grip Flea Comb

Key Features:

  • Compact Design
  • Contoured Grip

The Most Compact – If you’re looking for a comb that fits in your pocket, this is the one for you. The Master Grooming Tools Comb is about the size of the average person’s palm and has a small row of narrow teeth. Although the teeth come straight out of the grip, it’s contoured to enable someone to grab it between their thumb and palm.

Its crafty small size does come with a hefty price point, as this is the most expensive option in our top picks. However, smaller can be better if you’re frequently out and about with your dog or just want to conduct routine spot checks no matter where you may be at present.

While a large breed may render this comb a difficult one to use, smaller and medium-sized breeds would be a great match for those often on the go.

Pros:

  • Compact
  • Comfortable Grip

Cons:

  • May be Too Small for Large Breeds
  • Fewer Teeth than Competitors
  • Pricey

FAQs

  • Are Flea Combs Effective? Yes, they are. They are particularly effective when checking if your dog has fleas. That being said, using a flea comb doesn’t guarantee ridding your dog of fleas for good. Combing is a good way to groom your dog and trap fleas, flea eggs and flea-related debris. However, fleas can be crafty and hide in places you miss so it’s a safe bet to pair your combing with an anti-flea shampoo or wash.
  • How do you kill fleas after combing them? The easiest way to kill fleas is by drowning them in hot, soapy water. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a bucket filled halfway to the brim while your combing for fleas. Every time you brush, rinse the comb in the water and ensure you shake off anything it catches. Fleas also like to live in your carpet, so be sure to vacuum any areas your dog may have deposited rogue fleas
  • Can you see flea eggs? Yes! They will look very similar to dandruff, small and white and sometimes translucent. (Chewy, 2019) Using your flea comb you can part your dog’s coat down to the skin to inspect for eggs as well.
  • How do you know if you combed all the fleas? Since fleas and flea eggs can be tricky to spot, the best way to determine if you’ve combed them all is to repeat the combing process several times until you don’t see any more fleas, eggs or flea dirt. If you’re having trouble ridding your dog of all fleas seek a vet for advice.C

Conclusion

Fleas can be a serious nuisance for you and your dog. Using a comb can be an excellent way to treat your pet if you’ve determined he or she has fleas, or to simply maintain your pet’s coat on a routine basis. Keep in mind that there are a lot of different combs on the market and the one you pick should be based on your preference and your dog’s breed. One size doesn’t fit all, but the right size will serve as a great remedy and help restore your Friday night to its former glory.

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