Once weather breaks and the temperatures are steadily above freezing, it’s time to start using a flea and tick preventative on your pets. And depending on your pet situation, maybe even your indoor cat to avoid brother and sisterly transmission. Did you know, fleas prefer a cat’s fur coat over any other animal? Which makes them more at risk, even if they stay indoors. If you haven’t ever had the luxury of dealing with a flea or tick infestation, consider yourself one of the lucky few! But we will tell you from experience that it’s much easier, less stressful, and more cost effective to prevent than it is to get rid of those pesky buggers.
There are multiple ways to prevent fleas and ticks on your pets. We’ll cover them here so you can make the call which product or products will work best for your pet family. But before moving forward a quick PSA; it is crucial that you READ THE LABEL and instructions of any flea and tick product BEFORE using it on your pet. These products have all been approved as safe when used according to the directions. But using the wrong size, wrong dose, or heaven forbid a dog preventative on a cat, it can result in a terrible adverse reaction or even death. Treat your flea and tick products just as you would prescription medications and all will be well.
Spot-On Flea & Tick Preventatives (Topical Solution)
There are several spot-on flea and tick treatments with various active ingredients and even some all-natural options. Topicals work by applying drops on the back of your pets’ neck once a month. Spot-on’s have been protecting dogs and cats for more than 20 years. There are dog approved topicals on the market that are dangerous to cats because of their active ingredients. If you have a multi-species household, it will be important to take that into consideration.
After applying the topical preventative, keep your pet separate from other animals and children until the medication dries. Otherwise, your other pets may attempt to lick the residue off the treated pet. This would be harmful to your pets and would decrease the effectiveness of the treatment.
If you have a cat, keep them away from your dog until oils are no longer noticeable. In the first 24 hours after application the residue may rub off the animal when they are pet. If you happen to get some on your skin, wash off immediately to avoid irritation.
Chewable Flea & Tick Preventatives
New to the flea and tick preventative category is the chewable tablet. Most chewable options will require a prescription from your veterinarian, however they can be purchased at any animal pharmacy that carries them. Chewables are a good option for multi-pet households and families with small children. A chewable avoids any risk of another animal or human coming in close contact with a pet after a topical treatment. The mode of action is different with a chewable. Instead of absorbing into the skin from the skin, the tablets are digested, and the preventative is released from the inside out.
Chewable tabs are typically more expensive and puts a bit of pressure on the pet to consume the pill to get the adequate dosage. Most people do not have trouble, as the chews are flavored to be palatable. If you have a particularly finicky dog or cat, you may need to get creative to find ways to make your pet consume the medication.
Flea & Tick Collars
Flea and tick collars are a simple and cost-effective option for those on a tighter budget. You can find flea and tick collars for any size dog. Newer style collars contain flea and tick repellent chemicals that are continuously released from the flea collar and spread over the pet via the natural oils of the hair, coat and skin. These flea killing chemicals then adhere to the hair and skin and provide continuous protection. Most collars offer protection for 6-8 months and several options are waterproof as well. It is important to note that many flea and tick collars are not suitable for senior, pregnant, nursing dogs or young puppies.
There a large variety of products available for flea and tick prevention for your pet. We realize sometimes having SO many options can get overwhelming. The below chart is a great, quick-glance reference to compare the many types of flea and tick prevention medications available today.
If the above advice seems too late for your current situation and you currently have a flea problem, check out our blog on How to Get Rid of Fleas Fast.
UPCO has a knowledgeable staff with years of experience. They are available to help you find a solution that works best for your furry friend. Do you have a blog idea or story to share you think would be helpful to our pet owner readers? Send it to us at [email protected]
About UPCO Pet Supplies
Founded in 1952, UPCO® was one of the first retail animal supply companies in St. Joseph, MO. A third generation, family owned and operated company boasting a knowledgeable staff and offering products from over 700 brands. UPCO® provides pet and farm supplies to the local community and throughout the U.S. Customer service focused with low wholesale prices, they are the animal supplier of choice. Voted Reader’s Choice Winner for the past 12 years.
Located at 3705 Pear Street, Saint Joseph, MO 64503