Why is My Flea and Tick Medication Not Working?

BY | March 28 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
Why is My Flea and Tick Medication Not Working?

K9 Advantix II for Dogs

Flea & Tick
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If you're providing your pet with flea and tick prevention like clockwork and they are still getting bitten up, check out a few reasons why your medication may not be working.

If you are routinely providing your pet with flea and tick prevention and they are still suffering from pesky bug bites, there are several reasons why your medication may not be working.

Itโ€™s All in the Application

First and foremost, you need to make sure you are applying the medication correctly. We know this goes back to grade school basics but always read the instructions. This is especially true when it comes to topical products such as shampoos, dips, or spot-on treatments. It is important to make sure the product reaches your petโ€™s skin and doesnโ€™t sit above their epidermal layer on the fur. If the product doesnโ€™t hit the skin, it cannot be absorbed in your petโ€™s sebaceous glands where it works its flea-fighting magic. Also, make sure you are using the entire tube of medication. Donโ€™t skimp and try to save a few dollars by splitting the product between months or between pets. It will not function properly if you do so.

Healthy Skin is a Must

Your petโ€™s skin could easily be affecting the medication results. As mentioned above, if the product does not reach your petโ€™s sebaceous glands, it will not work effectively. This is common in pets that have extremely dry skin or thick fur. When in doubt, a simple trip to the groomer will provide a world of difference. Similar to humans, it is important for your petโ€™s skin to be exfoliated so extraneous dead skin cells are removed and the topical treatment can work properly.

Due Diligence

If your petโ€™s skin is the picture of health and you follow medication instructions top to bottom, you may need to add a second level of flea and prevention in the form of a flea collar. Sometimes, in extreme weather regions where heat and humidity prevail, fleas are more common and your pet may just need a little extra flea-fighting power. Flea collars are effective, hassle-free and one of the only forms of prevention that can be combined safely.

To banish fleas and ticks once and for all, we recommend treating your house and yard with preventative products to ensure an insect-free lifestyle. Oftentimes, if your yard is heavily landscaped or you live near a wooded area, it is smart to invest in flea and tick yard spray to add another level of insect security. This will give your pet even more protection from those pests.

Can Bathing My Dog Affect their Flea Treatment?

Believe it or not, being too clean can be a bad thing. For some people, that is an inconceivable notion while some other folks have yet to meet a pile of dirt they donโ€™t like. However, when it comes to proper preventative care for your dog during and before flea and tick season, hold the soapโ€ฆ for a little while at least.

As a general rule of thumb, when applying any spot-on, topical, or at times even oral medication to your pet, it is best to wait at least 48 hours before bathing. In the case of flea and tick prevention, this allows the product to begin working effectively. This is especially true for spot-on treatments, dips, sprays, and shampoos.

Wait it Out

Spot-on treatments are applied directly to your dog's back and base of the tail. Within 12 hours, the product will begin to kill and repels fleas and ticks on dogs and continue to prevent infestations for up to a month. It is important to keep your dog away from the groomers during the first 48 hours of application so the product can work effectively. Spot-on treatments repel all life stages of fleas, including adult fleas, flea eggs, flea pupae, and larvae. They also banish other biting insects including mosquitoes, gnats, flies, and more. If spot-on treatments are too abrasive to your dogโ€™s skin, there are a wide variety of flea and tick shampoos and dips made specifically with a variety of nurturing ingredients including aloe, lanolin, and sunscreen.

The 48-hour rule also applies to dogs wearing flea and tick collars. Even though most collars are waterproof, they still need the two-day leeway to get proper flea and tick prevention underway.

Use Non-Stripping Shampoos

Once the two-day mark has come and gone, donโ€™t imprison your pup in the house. Most flea and tick products are waterproof, but "non-stripping" shampoos are best. These are formulated to not disrupt the medication that's working on your dog's skin, so your pet will continue to get protection against fleas and ticks.

More Flea and Tick Control Advice

Tapeworms in Dogs: How Fleas Can Be to Blame
What's the Best Way to Get Rid of Fleas for Your Pet?
Be Flea Free: Protect Yourself From Pests

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. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professionals with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website.

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