Fleas and ticks can cause a host of problems for your dog, from flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) to Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. In large enough numbers, both ticks and fleas can cause dangerous amounts of blood loss, especially in young animals. An effective flea and tick prevention program is essential to your dog's health.
Preventing fleas and ticks from infesting your pet is much easier and less expensive than treating an existing tick or flea problem. As veterinarians, we have seen the devastating effects of Lyme disease on a beloved pet and witnessed the struggle of a house overrun with fleas. Choosing the right flea and tick control products now can save you considerable time, money, and heartache in the long run.
Below is a basic overview of the types of products available to help prevent or control a flea and tick problem. Please take a moment to review our Flea & Tick Product Selection Guides, Flea & Tick Product Comparison Charts, and flea and tick article links, all of which are provided to help you select the flea and tick products that will best meet your needs.
Monthly Flea & Tick Treatments
Topical and Oral Monthly Preventives like
K9 Advantix, or
Bio Spot® ACTIVE CARE SPOT ON® for Dogs are by far the most popular flea and tick control products available, because they are easy to use, have a high margin of safety, and protect against ticks and the entire flea life cycle for up to 30 days. Each combines effective flea and tick protection with a simple one-minute or less application. Easy-to-use liquid solutions are applied to your dog's skin in a bead along his back. The liquid then combines with oils on the skin's surface and moves through the haircoat to provide complete flea and tick protection. Water-safe topicals such as
Advantage, and K9 Advantix are perfect for dogs that swim, and offer long-lasting protection that won't easily wash off. Economical
Bio Spot® ACTIVE CARE SPOT ON® for Dogs also provides protection against mosquitoes (carriers of West Nile virus).
Flea & Tick Collars
Flea and Tick Collars provide long-lasting protection against fleas and ticks with no mess and no fuss. Keep ticks under control for 3 months with the easy-to-fit
Preventic Tick Collar.
Flea & Tick Shampoos and Sprays
Flea & Tick Shampoos and Sprays. Seeing fleas and ticks on your pet is a sure sign of trouble. It is very important to rid your dog of these parasites before they have the chance to cause flea allergy dermatitis or to pass on tick-borne diseases. Products such as
Drs. Foster & Smith Flea & Tick Shampoo kills fleas and ticks and leaves your dog's coat soft and fresh.
Itch Relief Products. Itching from flea or tick bites can make your dog miserable and may lead to skin problems or infections caused by excessive scratching or licking. The best solution is to alleviate your pet's discomfort as soon as possible, while at the same time dealing with the ticks or fleas. As veterinarians, we have found that
Drs Foster & Smith Itch Stop products provide immediate non-stinging relief from the pain and itch of flea and tick bites. Itch Stop is available as a shampoo, salve, lotion, spray, or pads, depending on your need. We also offer several other
sprays and dips to deal with itching from fleas and ticks. For dogs that need all-over relief, a soothing shampoo can be just what the doctor ordered.
Drs. Foster & Smith Oatmeal Shampoo soothes irritated skin and can help to calm the inflammation of flea allergy dermatitis.
Household Sprays and Room Foggers
Indoor Flea & Tick Control Products. One of the most effective ways to protect your dog and your home from an infestation of fleas and ticks is by treating your dog's environment. For example, adult fleas spend most of their time on an animal, but flea eggs, larvae and pupae are found in abundance in the environment, especially in carpeting and rugs and under the edges of furniture. For automatic convenience, the
Bayer Advantage® Household Fogger treats up to 2,000 cubic feet for 7 months. Don't forget your dog's bedding and any other area he frequents. For natural flea and tick control, choose
Vet's Best Natural Flea & Tick Home Spray. Note: Outdoors, your dog is at risk from the many wild animals that carry ticks and fleas - including coyotes, deer, raccoons, skunks, and rabbits. Even if your dog does not come into direct contact with these animals, he can pick up ticks and fleas they've recently left behind.
Flea and tick problems can differ depending on the season, your location, your pet, and your family. Since no two dogs or families are alike, it makes sense for you to thoroughly review your options and choose the flea and tick control products that best suit your needs.