Flea & Tick

Flea and Tick Medications: What Are Your Options

In the midst of a flea or tick infestation, it can be hard to choose the right treatment. Refer to this list of the most popular options available.

flea and tick

Fleas and ticks are not only a nuisance to you and your pets, when left unchecked, they can lead to serious health complications and deadly diseases. When it comes to fighting fleas and ticks, a good offense is always the best defense. Using regular preventatives before the biting pests become problematic will always be easier and more effective than battling the bugs once they’ve proliferated.

Refer to the list of popular flea & tick remedies below to better under your options when treating your furriest family members.

Topical Treatments:

flea and tick

Also referred to as spot-on treatments, these flea & tick medications are in liquid form, usually applied to the dog’s back, between the shoulder blades and in a line down the spine. They are known to be effective against fleas & ticks in cooler climates, but have limited efficacy in warmer climates where fleas and ticks thrive year-round.

If you choose a topical flea and tick preventative, read reviews, research products, and select only those made by trusted brands. This is not an area where you want to make your selection on price alone. At best, a bad topical flea treatment will not work. At worst, it could seriously injure or kill your dog. Remember, these are pesticides and chemicals being applied to your dog.

Some commonly used and recommended brands include: K9 Advantix, Revolution, and Frontline.

As always, it’s important to consider risks when using any topical pesticide on your dog. Before going this route, consider the cautions and concerns reported by the FDA, here.

Oral Treatments:

flea and tick

Oral flea & tick medications are typically given once per month, either as a chewable treat or tablet. Although oral medications are generally the most effective against fleas and ticks – especially in warmer climates – they can cause dangerous side effects. As with any medication, it’s important to consult a veterinarian before administering and always follow dosage instructions carefully.

While most oral flea and tick treatments are only available from a veterinarian, certain brands can be purchased over-the-counter, like Capstar or PetArmor FastCaps. These products are generally only used for controlling an infestation, killing all living fleas on your dog’s body. They are only effective for 24-hours, after which you must provide a more long-term preventative.

It is also important to note that many oral flea and tick preventatives also include medication to prevent heartworms. These all-in-one products, while approved by the FDA for use in dogs, have shown to sometimes have serious, life-threatening side-effects, including neurological disorders, seizures, and death. Always discuss risks with your veterinarian before giving your dog Trifexis, Sentinel, or other all-in-one flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives.

Flea & Tick Collars:

flea and tick

Once the most popular form of flea & tick prevention, flea & tick collars are typically less effective against today’s hardier fleas and ticks. Collars are most often used in addition to either a topical or oral treatment as extra defense against infestation during outdoor activities where exposure to the pests is increased.

However, new developments in these collars have shown to be effective, sometimes for up to 8 months at a time, when used and worn correctly. The collars must be worn at all times and must fit close to the skin (meaning long-haired breeds may not have good results). Among these new flea collars, the most popular, most trusted brand is Seresto by Bayer.

Remember, before using any flea & tick preventative or treatment, consult a trusted veterinarian to discuss which is most appropriate for your dog.

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flea and tick
In the midst of a flea or tick infestation, it can be hard to choose the right treatment. Refer to this list of the most popular options available.

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