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Compare The 3 Types Of Flea And Tick Medication For Dogs

Which One Is Right For Your Dog?

By Gina Carey. May 08, 2014 | See Comments

A Dog Scratching His Ear

Fleas and Ticks are among the most prevalent health threats to dogs. With all of the different flea and tick medications out there for dogs these days, it can be a bit overwhelming. Here are 3 types of flea and tick medications compared side-by-side to make it easier to decide which one is right for you and your dog.

Fleas and ticks are not just a discomfort to your dog -- these parasites can cause skin problems and carry harmful diseases like tapeworms. When it comes to flea and tick medications, there are three types of options out there. Learn the differences so you’ll be able to quickly eradicate a parasite infestation on your pup.

1. Topical Flea and Tick Medication for Dogs

Topical flea and tick medication, like shampoos, powders, and spot-on treatments, eliminate fleas with varying degrees of success. Flea powders last up to one week, while shampoos kill fleas for about one day. Both only eliminate adult fleas, and are best used when combined with pills or other treatment options.

Topical spot-on treatments are most effective, destroying adult fleas, larvae, and eggs and other parasites, and lasting about 30 days.

Topical treatments for dogs should never be used on cats unless the medication specifically indicates.

Popular Flea and Tick Topical Treatments for Dogs Include

Advantage II

  • Eliminates flea infestations at all stages of the growth cycle
  • Effective against lice, but does not kill off ticks
  • Administered monthly, lasts up to 30 days
  • Waterproof one hour after application
  • Minimum pet age: 7 weeks
  • Ingredients include: Pyriproxyfen

Frontline Plus

  • Kills ticks, chewing lice, and fleas at all stages of growth
  • Eliminates fleas in up to 12 hours
  • Used monthly, effective for 30 days
  • Waterproof
  • Minimum pet age: 8 weeks
  • Ingredients include: Fipronil, S-methoprene

K9 Advantix II

  • Effective against ticks, lice, biting flies, mosquitoes, and fleas at all stages
  • Begins working within 12 hours
  • Applied monthly, lasting up to 30 days
  • Minimum pet age: 7 weeks
  • Ingredients include: Imidacloprid, Permethrin, Pyripoxyfen

2. Oral Flea Medication for Dogs

Flea pills typically guarantee the most success in fighting off parasites, but there are a few points to consider when choosing this treatment for your dog. Some orally administered drugs will require a prescription from your vet, and can come with side effects. And oral pills typically target either flea eggs or adult fleas, but not both, so you may have to pick up several drugs to eradicate the infestation. Currently, there are no oral medications that destroy ticks.

Flea pills are the fastest way to eliminate these pests, with some treatments killing off infestations within four hours. If your dog doesn’t like swallowing capsules, look for oral medications available in chewable tablets.

Popular Oral Flea Medications for Dogs Include

Capstar Flea Killer

  • Kills off flea infestations within 6 hours
  • Administered daily, effective for 24 hours
  • Minimum pet age: 4 weeks
  • Ingredients include: Nitenpyram
  • Sold over the counter

Comfortis

  • Chewable, beef-flavored tablets
  • Kills fleas and flea eggs
  • Begins working within 30 minutes
  • Administered monthly, prevents fleas for up to 30 days
  • Minimum pet age: 14 weeks
  • Ingredients include: Spinosad
  • Prescription required

3. Flea and Tick Dog Collars

Flea and tick collars are most often used to prevent parasites from taking up residence on your pet. While preventative dog collars are most effective, some varieties of collars can also treat infestations by eliminating pests and their eggs via chemicals released into your dog’s skin. Look for the word “kill” on the package to ensure that the collar will treat an infestation, not just prevent it.

Flea and tick collars can last up to eight months, and are ideal for treating tick problems. Because collars are fastened around the neck, they are more concentrated around the face and neck area, where ticks more often inhabit.

Flea and tick collars are especially useful when you are in the process of eliminating a pest infestation as they will help prevent a new outbreak, and most of them can be combined with other treatment options. (Talk to your vet before combining a Seresto flea collar with any other medications.)

Popular Dog Collars that Eliminate Fleas and Ticks Include

Adams Plus Flea and Tick Collar

  • Eliminates flea, flea egg, and tick infestations on your pet
  • Prevents fleas and ticks for up to 5 months
  • Available in two sizes, for large and small dogs
  • Minimum pet age: 12 weeks
  • Ingredients include: Propoxur, S-methoprene

Seresto 8 Month Flea and Tick Collar

  • Eliminates fleas and ticks
  • Prevents and treats pests for up to 8 months
  • Available in small and large sizes
  • Minimum pet age: 7 weeks
  • Ingredients include: Flumethrin, Imidacloprid
More on Fleas And Ticks

Tick And Flea Medicine For Dogs And Cats: A Comparison Chart
Does Breed Matter For Flea And Tick Products?
25 Startling Flea And Tick Facts

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