As an enthusiastic pet owner and advisor, I understand the love we have for our pets. We want to provide them with the best care, and that includes protecting them from pesky fleas and ticks. I personally live in an area infested with ticks due to deer and other small animals running around on my property. Management via natural sprays and pet products have helped tremendously.
Understanding Flea and Tick Infestations
Fleas and ticks are not just minor annoyances. These parasites can pose serious health risks to your furry friends.
Dangers of Flea and Tick Infestations
Flea and tick infestations are not just bothersome for your pets; they can also pose serious health risks. Below are some of the most significant dangers associated with these parasites:
- Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD): This is an allergic reaction to flea bites and is the most common skin disease among dogs and cats. Symptoms include severe itching, inflammation, and secondary skin infections.
- Anemia: Fleas are blood-sucking parasites. If the infestation is severe, especially in young, sick, or elderly animals, the loss of blood can lead to anemia, a potentially life-threatening condition.
- Tapeworms: Fleas can carry tapeworm larvae. If a pet ingests a flea while grooming, it can become infected with this internal parasite.
- Lyme Disease and other Tick-borne Illnesses: Ticks are known carriers of various diseases such as Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. These illnesses can cause serious health issues in pets, including joint swelling, fever, and neurological problems.
- Bartonellosis: Also known as cat scratch disease, this is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted to cats (and sometimes dogs) via flea bites. It can also be transmitted to humans through scratches or bites from infected animals.
- Discomfort and Stress: Aside from the physical ailments, the constant itching and discomfort caused by flea and tick bites can lead to significant stress and behavioral changes in pets.
Preventing flea and tick infestations with reliable products is crucial for pet health. Proper use of these products not only relieves your pets of discomfort, but it also safeguards them from the potential health risks posed by these pests.
Did you know that fleas can cause anemia in pets? And ticks can transmit diseases like Lyme disease? Yes, it’s serious stuff.
Signs of Flea and Tick Infestations
But how do you know if your pet has an infestation? Look for excessive scratching, visible tiny bugs, and red spots on your pet’s skin.
Importance of Choosing the Right Flea and Tick Product
Choosing the right product to tackle these pests is crucial. But with so many options on the market, how do you decide?
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Product
Consider your pet’s age, size, health status, and the severity of the infestation. Always consult with your vet before making a choice.
Review of the Top Flea and Tick Products
I’ve taken the liberty of reviewing some of the top products on the market. Let’s dive in!
- EFFECTIVE, WATERPROOF FLEA TREATMENT FOR DOGS: PetArmor Plus is a waterproof, flea & tick topical prevention for dogs that kills fleas, flea eggs, flea larvae, ticks, and chewing lice for up to 30 days after application.
- TRUSTED, VET QUALITY FORMULA: Containing fipronil and (S)-methoprene, the same active ingredients as FRONTLINE Plus for Dogs. PetArmor Plus for Dogs has a powerful formula that starts to kill fleas within 24 hours.
- BREAK THE FLEA CYCLE: Unlike other flea and tick treatments that may temporarily suppress flea activity, PETARMOR Plus Dog Flea Treatment works by effectively breaking the flea life cycle. Kill flea eggs and larvae to prevent re-infestation.
- FAST ACTING LONG-LASTING FLEA AND TICK PROTECTION: One application of PetArmor Plus lasts up to 30 days nose to tail. A 6-dose package lasts up to six months.
- EASY-TO-USE, LONG-LASTING: PetArmor Plus flea and tick treatment comes with three (3) waterproof topical applications that provides your pet flea protection and control for three months.
Active Ingredients: Methoprene, Fipronil
Benefits and Drawbacks
It’s easy to apply and starts working within 24 hours. However, some pets may experience skin irritation.
FRONTLINE Plus for Dogs is a fast-acting, long-lasting waterproof flea & tick topical that’s proven to kill fleas, flea eggs, flea larvae, chewing lice, and ticks that can transmit Lyme disease. Break the flea life cycle. FRONTLINE Plus for Dogs is specially formulated with fipronil and (S)-methoprene to kill existing adult fleas, flea eggs and flea larvae to guard against further infestations for flea control.
Trusted by pet owners for over 20 years**— FRONTLINE Plus for Dogs can be used on puppies as young as eight weeks old, weighing 5 pounds or more, and is easy to apply. Applied to a single point on your pet, the flea and tick control treatment covers your dog’s entire body and deposits in the sebaceous glands. These glands act as a reservoir, continuously replenishing the treatment onto your pet, working even if your dog gets wet.
Just one dose of FRONTLINE Plus each month protects against fleas & ticks for a full 30 days. FRONTLINE Plus also comes in a formula designed for cats and kittens eight weeks of age and older, 1.5lbs. and over so you can protect the dogs or cats in your house from fleas and ticks with FRONTLINE Brand Products. Appropriately treat all pets in your household monthly to effectively control fleas and ticks and prevent the establishment of new flea infestations.
Benefits and Drawbacks
It kills adult fleas, ticks, and chewing lice, and also breaks the flea life cycle. On the downside, it’s a bit pricier than other options.
Give your dog long-lasting protection against fleas and ticks with a Seresto Dog flea and tick collar. Unlike other flea and tick protection, The flea and tick collars kill and repel fleas for eight continuous months. Serestol Dog flea and tick collars are recommended by veterinarians, stocked by 8,000 vet clinics* and have been trusted by pet owners for nearly a decade.
Seresto Dog collars make your dog’s comfort a priority by killing on contact. Pests don’t have to bite your dog to die. Existing fleas die within 24 hours of application. Re-infesting fleas are killed within just two hours – before they lay eggs – preventing further flea infestation. Re-infesting ticks die in as few as six hours, and tick infestations are eliminated within 48 hours of the initial application.
The dog collars protect against common pests like deer ticks, American dog ticks, brown dog ticks, and Lone Star ticks. The collars are also effective against chewing lice and aid in the treatment and control of Sarcoptic mange. Fleas and ticks not only cause discomfort; they can also transmit bartonellosis, tapeworms or Lyme disease. Check the product label for information on potential side effects.
Seresto Dog collars are for dogs at least 7 weeks old, and there’s no prescription needed. They’re odorless, non-greasy and water resistant to swimming, exposure to rain or sunlight, bathing, and shampoo treatment.**
Benefits and Drawbacks
It offers eight months of protection, but some pets may not tolerate wearing a collar.
*Vet’s + Best
This one of my personal favorites
If you’re tired of dealing with fleas and ticks on your furry friend, our top-rated Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Easy Spray is the perfect solution! Their product is scientifically proven to be effective against fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, while also helping to prevent future infestations.
Formulated by veterinarians and made with certified natural ingredients like peppermint oil and eugenol, this natural flea spray for dogs is safe for pups 12 weeks and older, and for use in your home, as it will not leave stains. Our dog flea and tick spray is made in the USA, ensuring the highest quality standards so you can rest easy knowing that your furry friend is protected from pesky parasites. And for those who want to take things a step further, our flea spray for home is an excellent option for all-around protection. Try our flea and tick spray for home and dogs today and say goodbye to those unwanted visitors!
K9 Advantix II
K9 Advantix II is an over-the-counter topical treatment effective against fleas, ticks, lice, mites, and mosquitoes, and can protect against these parasites for 30 days at a time. It’s safe to use on most adult dogs (including those who are pregnant or nursing) and puppies as young as seven weeks. The formula includes several potent insecticides, and while most dogs handle these chemicals fine, there are potential side effects to be aware of1.
The product is fast-acting and can kill off existing fleas in just 12 hours. It doesn’t require fleas to bite the dog to be effective as it works through contact with the dog’s coat or skin. It targets adult fleas, larvae, and eggs, which means it doesn’t just prevent but also eliminates existing infestations1.
K9 Advantix II is formulated with three active ingredients: imidacloprid, permethrin, and pyriproxyfen. Imidacloprid and permethrin target the nervous system of adult fleas, ticks, and other insects. While pyriproxyfen is key in defending against unhatched flea eggs and growing larvae1.
One application can provide protection against pests for an entire month. Once each dose fully absorbs into the dog’s skin—about 24 hours after application—the dog can return to its normal routine1.
Drawbacks of Treatments to be Aware Of
While most dogs handle these chemicals fine, there are potential side effects that owners need to be aware of before use. Read the label instructions and warnings. If in doubt, discuss this with a vet. It can also be toxic to cats and children, hence they must be kept away from the treated dog sometimes for up to 24 hours. There can be exceptions to this depending on the product. So again, review the product label before use.