Flea & Tick Treatment & Medicine for Dogs
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Fleas and ticks. Is there anything worse than having these pests infest your pet and your home? We don’t think so. Let’s take a look at how you dog can get fleas and ticks and, more importantly, how you can prevent and get rid of them with safe, yet powerful, tick and flea treatment products.
Your dog can pick up fleas and ticks from other pets, from wildlife like squirrels, raccoons, chipmunks, deer or opossums, and from nature, generally tall grasses or bushes. When a female flea or tick living on an animal lays her eggs, they fall off onto the ground. When those eggs hatch and the larvae grow into adult fleas and ticks, they hop onto a host. And if pets cross their path, it will be them. After a dog becomes a tick or flea host, they can suffer some health risks, ranging from minor irritations to potentially deadly diseases.
When fleas bite a dog, their saliva leaves the skin irritated, leading to your dog itching and biting at the location. The irritation is uncomfortable to your dog and could even lead to her scratching to the point of fur loss. Fleas can also transmit tapeworms to your dog. Tapeworms are parasites that will live in your dog’s gut, leaching important nutrition from your dog’s diet. And then there’s ticks. When they latch onto a dog they can transmit a range of diseases—Lyme disease, rocky mountain spotted fever, tularemia and more.
When it comes to getting rid of fleas and ticks, you have options. Bayer, Hartz, Sergeant's and Frontline all make great flea and tick products. There are flea and tick spot treatment solutions, collars, oral treatments, flea and tick dog shampoos, dog flea sprays and wipes for your pet, as well as spray treatments and foggers for around your home and yard. It’s important to treat your home, yard and pet if you want to end an infestation for good. If your pet already has fleas or ticks, look for a solution that kills fleas and ticks at both the adult life stage and the larvae stage. This is important, because if your pet has fleas or ticks, there’s a good chance larvae are hiding in carpets, furniture, your lawn and even in your pet’s fur. Following the manufacturer’s guidelines for use and application will ensure your tick and flea treatment is swift and absolute. If you’d prefer to avoid these headaches all together, take some preventative measures before your dog even becomes a flea or tick host, with oral flea and tick medications for dogs or with a dog flea collar. You can find all of your dog supplies right here at Chewy's online pet store!
The fastest way to get rid of fleas on a dog is with a flea shampoo or fast-acting pill treatment that kills fleas within hours. Careful flea combing can also rid your dog of existing fleas. These methods will get rid of any fleas that are currently on your dog, but you will need to apply a long-acting preventative to truly get rid of fleas by preventing re-infestation. A combination of approaches works best for both short and long-term flea control.
The best flea and tick medicines for dogs are products that provide continuous protection to keep your best friend safe and comfortable. Choose a product that is easy to administer, like a long-acting topical or oral flea control product, and consider options with added tick, heartworm or parasite protection built in. Your vet can advise you on the best flea and tick medicines for your dog and help you choose the one that’s right for your best friend.
Vets recommend long-acting topical or oral flea and tick control medications for most pets, but your pet may benefit from other flea and tick control measures instead. Younger or ailing pets may not be able to use topicals or oral flea and tick meds, and those with heavy infestations may require multiple measures to get the problem under control. Vets sometimes recommend flea shampoos, yard and home flea treatments, or flea combing for pet flea and tick control. Follow your vet’s flea control instructions closely and be sure to read all the instructions on your flea and tick products carefully.
Most flea and tick prevention does kill existing fleas and ticks, but some products take time to show progress and break the persistent re-infestation cycle. For heavy infestations, multiple methods may work best initially to get the situation under control. Washing pet bedding, vacuuming, treating the home and yard and flea shampooing your pet may be recommended before beginning a topical, collar or oral flea prevention regimen. Your vet can give you guidance and recommend the best flea and tick treatment and prevention products for your situation.
Dog flea and tick treatment works in different ways, and the method of action depends on which product you use. Flea shampoos and fast-acting chemical treatments kill fleas and ticks on contact but won’t prevent re-infestation. Topical and oral flea and tick treatments work by spreading over your pet’s skin and killing fleas and ticks on contact for up to a month. Many also include hormone growth regulators that prevent flea eggs and larvae from hatching and developing. These tend to be more effective long-term because they break the flea lifecycle and prevent parasite re-infestation.