Most pet owners are aware of the importance of flea and tick prevention for their animals. Apart from being itchy, uncomfortable and painful for your pets, fleas and ticks can lead to more serious issues if left unchecked. They can soon lead to hair loss and many ticks carry a number of diseases, including serious ones such as Lyme disease. They can also cause a problem for humans if they get out of control as the pests could start affecting the household.
The bottom line is, the problem can not be ignored. Although more prevalent in the warmer months, fleas and ticks can occur all year round, especially as the animals roam around the grass and shrubs, If left unchecked, these pests can lead to serious problems.
There are numerous options on the market with new products being released all the time and it can be quite daunting when trying to determine which is the best option for your pets. There is also a lot of marketing hype around a number of products and claims that their product is the fastest, most effective or best on the market. It is important to cut through all the marketing noise to get to the real facts and the best way to do this is to understand more about the options available.
Another big thing at the moment is the use of natural remedies for flea and tick prevention. Some work a bit better than other while others are nothing more than old wives tales and are totally ineffective. The reality is, while some do offer some sort of protection, none are completely effective otherwise we would all be aware of them by now.
We will run through the various options available and the pros and cons of each type of flea and tick prevention products that are available. Once you understand the basics, it will be easier to determine what type or style of product would be the most suitable for your pet and the environment. Once you are clear on that, it will be easier to compare the various products on the market.
Each of these veterinarian recommended collar provides 8 months of flea and tick protection! It works the same way as your monthly preventative except you don’t have to remember to put it on each month. The collar is non-greasy, odorless, and features a release mechanism so your dog will be able get it off in the unlikely event of becoming trapped.
Keep in mind, if your dog swims more than once a month the duration of effectiveness reduced is 5 months.
Pros: Easy-to-use, works for 8 months, top rated, features release mechanism
Cons: Swimming decreases duration of effectiveness, dogs must be at least 7 weeks old and over 18 lbs.
Place this all-natural flea and tick repellent tag on your dog’s collar and be pest free for 1 full year! Absolutely no dangerous chemicals or pesticides are used in this product, instead it utilizes your pet’s own natural preventatives to repel fleas, ticks, AND mosquitoes! This product will begin working within 3 weeks.
As always, Only Natural Pet products include a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
Pros: Satisfaction Guarantee, protects for a year, chemical & toxin free
Cons: Starts working after three weeks, potential to lose the tag
This product kills and repels fleas and ticks with no toxic effects to your animals or children! Not only can it be used on your pet, it can also be used on bedding, carpet, furniture, and fabric. This lemongrass scented liquid protects your pet from flea and ticks and revitalizes and invigorates your pup’s fur, stopping itching and comforting dry skin and hot spots.
Wondercide is made with cedar oil and lemongrass oil. Both of these have been used for centuries to protect from pests. Cedar oil repels pests and kills on contact.
Pros: Safe on all surfaces without staining, safe for dogs & cats, kills the flea and tick lifecycle, human grade ingredients
Cons: Strong smell indoors
This is Wondercide’s special non-toxic recipe that’s formulated for your backyard and garden! In addition to fleas and ticks, this 100% biodegradable bio-based alternative protects against ants, roaches, chiggers, and more. Use this product on your lawn, kennel, garden, around the swimming pool, dog park, or patio twice within a 7-10 day period to establish control and then once every 30-45 days to maintain.
This product is available in 16, 32, and 128 ounce sizes!
Pros: Safe for flowers, gardens, bees, and bugs, can use in laundry for pet bedding, kills over 100 types of pests
Cons: Doesn’t come with applicator
One spray a month of this highly effective spray gives your pet superior flea and tick protection for 30 days! Why is this product different than other products? As well as a monthly repellent, this easy to use spray bottle can be used as a “rescue” spray in the case of increased activity in severe cases of flea infestations.
This new size bottle gives you twice as much protectant and saves you money!
Pros: Good for rapid flea infestations, doesn’t contain toxic insecticides
This product is similar to the Seresto collar listed above for dogs! This non-greasy, non-scented collar gives you 8 months of protection from fleas and ticks. Just put it around your cat’s neck and be flea free!
This product is for all cats or kittens ages 10 weeks and older.
Pros: Lasts for 8 months, easy-to-use, odorless
Cons: Must be 10 weeks or older
Got a big fella/lady in your life? This monthly treatment is for dogs 55 lbs. and over! Killing adult fleas, eggs, AND larvae, this pack includes 6 pre-measured doses for the big guys. Treating flea larvae halts the entire process of your dog getting fleas, stopping them before they even hatch so they can’t attack.
This well-known brand kills 98-100% of fleas within a 12-hour period!
Pros: Top pet care brand, pre-measured
Cons: One treatment per month
Flea Away naturally repels fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes without any toxic chemicals or residue! This delicious, liver flavored snack works for both cats AND dogs! It’s essentially a water soluble vitamin complex made up to FDA standards. If your animal has allergic reactions to flea bites, this product also helps with that.
This product gets fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes before they bite your dog or cat.
Pros: Completely natural, used for both dogs and cats, vitamin complex
Cons: Must be given daily (sometimes up to three times), May take up to 30 days to see results
This flea and tick shampoo will leave your dog looking and smelling fresh! It’s formulated to make your buddy’s coat brighter AND prevent flea eggs from hatching for 4 weeks. It kills fleas, brown ticks, American dog ticks, and lice.
This shampoo is safe for puppies and kittens over 12 weeks old.
Pros: Safe for dogs and cats, Cleans and deodorizes skin, Brightens fur
Cons: Must be over 12 weeks old
Looking for something heavy duty? This flea spray contains Precor IGR, a regulator that targets flea eggs in the larvae stage before they have a chance to do damage. This can be used indoors (food areas included) and outdoors as well. This solution kills mosquitoes, cockroaches, fleas, flies, ticks, bed bugs and other pests.
Changeable tips make switching from indoors to outdoors a breeze!
Pros: Can be used indoors and outdoors, Kills fleas in their developmental stage, good for mosquitoes
Cons: May be cumbersome to carry for some
Other Products to Help Keep Your Pets Flea Free
A good bath every now and then is a good idea for your pet but it can be back-breaking work, especially with bigger dogs. It can get quite messy too. Some dogs quite enjoy a good bath while others hate it.
Medicated shampoos are available that will kill fleas and ticks immediately. The solution is relatively inexpensive but the process needs to be repeated ever week or two during tick season as the effects are short lived. It is a good idea to use in conjunction with other remedies, especially if you have a very serious problem.
If you are on a very tight budget and want to control fleas and ticks, a good medicated shampoo will be a good option in the short term.
Flea and Tick Dips
Dips can be a very fast and effective treatment for flea and tick problems but they are extremely strong and come with a number of warnings. They consist of a concentrated liquid that you apply the pet’s fur and leave on. It is normally diluted with water and poured over the animal or applied with a sponge. Because of the concentration and the fact that it remains on, they last longer than shampoos.
Always read and follow the instructions as they are powerful. They should not be used on pregnant or nursing animals and animals under four to six months. If you are in any doubt, consult your vet.
Spot-on medication is very effective and generally lasts about a month, eradicating and protecting against fleas and ticks for your pets. They can be purchased from your vet, over the counter or on-line and are quick and easy to apply. As with many products, you get good quality ones and poor ones. Do not be taken in by the marketing, carefully read the labels and note the active ingredients. Again, if you are not sure, consult your vet.
Oral medication, or pills, are also very effective and also last about a month. They disrupt the flea’s life cycle and kill fleas and ticks effectively. They are simple to administer and, as the animal takes them internally, there is no need for concern over other pets or children coming into contact with any potentially harmful ingredients.
Tick and Flea Collars
These are simply and fairly effective when used correctly but probably best used in conjunction with other remedies. The collar is worn around the neck and mostly protects the head and neck area. It should fit snugly so that you can just get two fingers between the skin and the collar. That way it will make contact with the skin and the active ingredients will transfer the animal’s fur and skin.
Keep an eye on the animal after fitting the collar to ensure they are not having any allergic reactions or discomfort. Read the instructions before use. If there is any excess length on the collar, cut it off to avoid the animal chewing on it.
Collars have improved dramatically over recent years and can prove a simple and cost-effective solution. Some can be effective for up to 8 months. They are also useful where your pet it sensitive to tropical treatments.
Keep Your Pets Flea and Tick Free This Year
Your pets are going to be exposed to fleas and ticks no matter where you are or what time of the year. It is important to take control before the problem gets out of hand and causes the animal pain and suffering that could lead to disease and even death in extreme cases.
There are a number of great options available and the choice will depend on the age and size of your pet, the environment and a number of other factors. Some animals react better to one treatment than another and some have adverse reactions to specific products or ingredients. Fortunately, there are effective alternatives so you can find one or a combination that will work perfectly for your pets and keep them flea and tick free all year round. That way you will have happy, healthy pets.