If you are in the market to kill or prevent pesky fleas and ticks from bothering your pet, there are a few things to keep in mind while perusing the product isle. First and foremost, never give a cat a dog flea and tick medication or vice versa. Species matters.
What surprisingly doesn’t matter when choosing a treatment option? Breed. As long as you stick to buying separate products for cats and dogs, the heritage of your pet will not play a part in their specific treatment option. However, depending on your course of flea and tick prevention (shampoos, collars, spot on treatments, or orals like Sentinel Flavor Tabs), physical factors such as hair length and skin sensitivity can come into play. For example, dogs with long hair often require a flea and tick comb in order to thoroughly check your pet’s mane for infestation.
Note: for other kinds of medication (not flea and tick), like Invermectin found in Heartgard, breed does matter. Certain breeds like collies may have serious sensitivities to certain drugs. Your vet will know this, however, and not prescribe them to your dog. When in doubt ask your vet if a medication is safe for your pet's heritage, but for flea and tick medication, breed does not matter.
Size does matter
Once you decide on a product, it is incredibly important to pay attention to the varying dosage levels based on the size of your pet. Smaller cats and dogs often require a smaller dose than larger animals for equal effectiveness (and safety). The correct dosage by weight is clearly marked on the box. Do not confuse age with size. Many flea and tick products cannot be used until your kitten or puppy is 8 weeks or older. Always read those labels! When flea and tick products are taken as recommended they are generally safe and very effective.
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by,your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.