One of the most important things that dog owners have to be careful about is fleas and ticks. While they are common all the year round, during the hot summer months, dogs tend to get more fleas and tick infections.
Additionally, fleas and ticks are not the only issue. Another common parasite for dogs is heartworm. Since this is a mosquito-borne parasite, dogs have a higher risk of developing it during the hot summer months, especially when the mosquitoes are so prevalent.
In this case, opting for treatment or preventative measures is a good idea. Given the wide array of options available, it often makes one wonder what is the best flea and tick prevention for dogs? We’re going to take a closer look at it here and how you should pick out the safest flea, tick and heartworm prevention for dogs.
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5 Things to Consider when Picking a Flea and Tick Treatment for Dogs
Before you pick an option, you also have to consider a few factors. You need to make sure that any medication or treatment you pick is safe for your dog. Remember that no two dogs have the same physiology, even if they are of the same breed.
This means that even if a product works amazingly for a dog, it may not work for your dog. This is why, when you are picking a treatment, the following are some factors that you should include in your decision:
1. The Age of the Dog
Based on the age of the dog, their immune system can become compromised if you use a strong medication on them. Not all flea and tick treatments are meant for use on puppies or senior dogs. Pay close attention to the age of the dog and the age restrictions for the treatment. Moreover, the skin sensitivity of the dog should also be considered. Some can have skin that requires gentle treatments.
2. The Breed of the Dog
The breed of the dog here mainly defines their coat type. Thicker and longer haired dog breeds may be prone to getting more fleas as well as cause issues in the application of topical treatments. Similarly, short-haired dog breeds may be better for topical treatments but, they may also self-groom and accidentally eat the topical medication.
3. The Health History of Your Pet
Flea, tick and heartworm medication can be rather strong and may cause issues for your pet, particularly if they already have a pre-existing health condition. Your pet’s health history will also ensure that you are able to avoid them having any adverse reactions, particularly if they are allergic to certain compounds of the medication. For example, it is possible for dogs to experience neurological problems when they are given ivermectin (heartworm preventative) along with spinosad (flea preventative).
4. The Lifestyle of Your Pet
The daily lifestyle of your pet is important to consider because making lifestyle changes can also help your pet. Some people spend a lot of time outdoors with their dogs, which can increase the likelihood of them getting fleas, ticks and heartworms. Similarly, if your dog has a lot of exposure to other pets like cats, they may catch fleas from them or give fleas to them.
5. Where you are Situated
Sometimes, the location you are in may be more prone to certain parasites. Houses near water-bodies may have more mosquitoes, which will increase the risk of heartworm. However, if someone lives near the woods, there is a higher chance of their dog getting ticks from the surroundings or even if they come in contact with the animals.
By considering all these factors first, you can then ensure that the mode of treatment you pick for your dog is going to not only be effective but also be safe for them. It’s always a good idea to be safe rather than sorry here.
Best Options for Best Flea, Tick and Heartworm Protection
Common options for flea, tick and heartworm prevention are easy to find and can be used as is or in a combination form to completely protect the dog. The following are some of the options that you can make use of:
Collars for Fleas and Ticks
Dog flea collars are extremely effective as they can kill fleas at multiple stages. Moreover, you don’t have to apply anything to the dog and only have to slip the collar on. Another added bonus here is that these dog collars can stay effective for as long as 8 months, as long as they are kept properly, which means that you don’t have to worry about monthly treatments.
One major downside here is that flea and tick collars do leave chemical traces while the dog is wearing them, not just on the fur of the dog but also on things around them. Given this factor, make sure to keep the collars away from young children and prevent your dog from putting the collar in their mouths.
Our Recommendation -Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs
These are extremely effective and comfortable for dogs. The collar lasts for 8 months, contains no harsh chemicals, is odorless and non-greasy. It’s effective against lice, fleas, ticks and also helps with sarcoptic mange.
Topical Flea and Tick Treatments
The second best option is the use of topical or on-spot treatments for your dog. Many people have found them to be extremely effective in keeping dogs safe not only from fleas but other parasites as well, including heartworms, hookworms, whipworms, roundworms, sarcoptic mange mites and fleas. However, topical treatments have to be applied every month, especially after a dog bath.
Many pet owners like to use topical treatments due to this. However, dogs have to be kept from licking the site of application for at least 30 minutes. Ingesting the medication can cause serious complications and health problems. Much like with flea collars, little kids should not be allowed to play with dogs right after they get a topical application of flea or tick medicine.
Our Recommendation – Frontline Plus – Flea and Tick Treatment for Dogs – 3 Doses
Frontline is a trusted brand and their topical treatments are known to be effective for dogs and cats. Frontline Plus is a waterproof formulation that is effective against fleas, ticks and chewing lice. This pack of 3 will easily last for 3 months.
Flea and Heartworm Pill for Dogs
Oral prescription medication, such as flea and heartworm pill for dogs, is one the safest ways to treat these parasites. These pills are also available in a chewable form, which makes them easy to eat. These are safe for puppies but you need to find the right variation for them.
This medication is extremely safe for household use as there is little chance of small kids or other pets coming into contact with it. There is no other chemical residue to worry about either. However, it is a good idea to follow your vet’s directions and recommendations for these. Certain oral medication is also not available without a prescription so you can only get them through your vet.
While these are the best options for flea, tick and heartworm prevention, always make sure to consult your vet before you treat your pet.