85 million American families own a pet. If you are one of them, then at some point you will need to learn how to get rid of fleas and ticks (and how to prevent them).
Choosing the right product for your pet is vital.
But knowing which product to choose can seem daunting. Here is what you need to know in order to make an educated decision for your furry friend.
Topical Treatment or Pills for Fleas and Ticks?
You apply topical treatments to directly to the skin of your cat or dog. These products come in liquids you can apply to the base of their necks, in powders or even as a shampoo.
Flea, tick and heartworm treatment is also available as a tablet. You usually need a prescription from a vet to get these pills.
Keep in mind that you’ll have to get your pet to swallow the pill. You may need to use peanut butter or other tempting substances to disguise the pill.
So which option is better? It depends on a lot of factors. Here are some things to consider.
Flea, tick and worm treatments vary depending on the product. Some oral meds have to be administered daily for a set period of time.
Topical applications might need just to go on the skin once a month.
Are You Looking for Immediate Relief?
If your pet has fleas and is scratching like crazy, you’ll probably want a medication that works quickly.
Usually, topical applications work within 12 hours. Pills can take a few days to offer relief.
Consider Your and Your Pet’s Habits
When thinking about flea, tick and heartworm treatment for dogs, also think about your pet’s day-to-day lifestyle.
If your pet is outside a lot and leaves your property, he may be at a higher risk because he is exposed to more. Especially if you and your pet go hiking in the woods or hunting together.
Also, consider if your pet has a lot of contact with other pets like at a dog park or if you have multiple pets at home. Cats are susceptible to fleas as well. So if you treat one pet for fleas, you should treat them all to avoid re-infection.
Think about what is convenient for you. Are you able to remember to give your pet a dose of medication regularly? Or would you prefer the least amount of doses for maximum convenience?
Think About Effectiveness
Topical treatments provide quick relief, it’s true. But they are not as effective as pills for fleas and ticks for dogs.
Remember, you can get many topical treatments without a vet’s prescription. But you do need a prescription for most oral doses.
That’s one reason why you need to weigh the pros and cons of all your treatment options carefully.
Age of Your Pet
The age of your pet will impact which medication you can safely give him or her. Puppies usually need to be at least 14 weeks and sometimes need to weigh a certain amount before you can give any oral medicines.
Topical treatments are usually safe after a puppy is seven weeks old. Always speak to your vet for more information.
Of course, price matters when choosing a treatment for fleas and ticks. Just make sure that when you are comparing products you compare what parasites are covered.
Look for products that kill adult fleas, stop the growth of flea larvae and eggs, kills ticks, kills ear mites, kills microfilariae causing heartworm disease. Some combination meds even work to eliminate intestinal parasites such as roundworms and hookworms.
Do You Want a Treatment for Cats and Dogs?
If you need a treatment that works for both cats and dogs, you may have to go with a topical option.
That’s because pills for fleas and ticks are given by weight and age.
Now let’s look at the benefits of choosing an all-in-one medication to treat fleas, ticks, and heartworms.
Benefits of All-In-One Heartworm, Flea, and Tick Medication
In years gone by, pet owners had to buy separate products to prevent fleas, ticks, intestinal parasites, and heartworms. Not only is this expensive if you have multiple pets, but it is also inconvenient and confusing.
Thankfully, all-in-one products are now on the market. They are affordable, convenient, and proven to be effective.
And being all-in-one means that you don’t have to administer multiple meds to your pet.
Ask Your Veterinarian
Your pet’s vet is your best resource to help you find the right medication for your four-legged friend.
Bring up any concerns or questions you may have so that you can settle on a product and type of medication that will meet your needs and ensure full protection.
Keep in mind that your vet knows the parasite risk in your region and so can give you a recommendation that is most suited to your geographic area.
The best thing to do is to see your veterinarian to help you decide, based on your lifestyle and budget, which preventative medication is best for your family.
Thanks for reading. We hope that this article has helped you realize all the factors you need to think about when choosing medication for fleas and ticks.
Remember, prevention is always easier than trying to get rid of the pests once your pet has it.
Make sure to come back again soon for more great content for you to read.