There are many different types of flea and tick treatments for dogs and it is important to understand the pros and cons of each of them before choosing which method is right for you and your dog.
Here Are Five Options:
1. Topical Medications- topical medications are the flea and tick treatments that are generally applied once a month between a dog's shoulder blades. These can also be called "spot-ons". They normally deal with fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. The medication works through having the chemicals spread over the dog's body ending with it being deposited into the sweat glands of the skin, where the active ingredients are released over the course of the entire month. They continue to work even after the dog gets wet or bathed (as long as the bath occurs at least 72 hours after treatment).
2. Oral Medications- These normally kill off fleas and ticks and some of them work to prevent heartworm disease, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms. Some dogs experience side effects like vomiting and diarrhea. These are generally one of the more expensive options. The dosage is generally one pill per month and there is no risk of furniture or pet stains from the product.
3. Sprays- Flea and Tick sprays are generally one of the less expensive options. However they have to be reapplied every time the dog gets a bath or gets wet. Different sprays have different instructions some require daily application while others only require weekly application.
4. Powders- Flea and Tick powders are used by dusting the powder over dog's entire body avoiding the eyes and mouth. These powders require vigorous hand cleaning after every use and it is extremely important that it stays out of everyone's eyes and mouth. These work on a seven day period and it is not advised to use them consistently or constantly.
5. Collars- Flea and Tick collars utilize concentrated chemicals to keep fleas and ticks off of dogs. The chemicals are generally dispersed over a period of time that varies from collar to collar most however are good for a few months. Some collars have a very strong smell which some dogs find to be irritating.
Spray on Treatments
Spray on Treatments are generally furniture and pet safe which makes them less likely to cause any staining.
Zodiac Flea and Tick Spray are made specifically to leave no visible residue or odor. The spray lasts for up to two months. The dosage instructions recommend applying one or two squeezes of the trigger sprayer per pound of body weight. Once the dog is dry there is no risk of staining.
Frontline Spray is made to be waterproof and last for a full month. The instructions for this spray are: wear latex gloves while ruffling the dog's coat and then spraying the back, sides, stomach, legs, shoulders, and neck until the fur is damp. For the face, it is recommended to spray a gloved hand and then rub the area by taking extreme care to avoid the eyes and mouth. Once the dog is dry there is no risk of staining.
Spot on Treatments
Spot on Treatment's are not stain free. While there are some natural brands like Sentry Natural Defense Flea and Tick Squeeze-On for Dogs that are less irritating they still leave the same oily residue which causes furniture staining. However, there is a method to lessen furniture stains on dogs with longer fur. You can part the fur before applying in order to put the treatment not on the top layer of the fur, but instead directly on the skin where it is supposed to go. The other option is to make sure to push the tip down all the way so that the tip of the applicator is directly on the skin and not the fur. This may require two people as some dogs find the sensation of the medication directly on the skin to be ticklish.
Flea and Tick Collars
Using a flea and tick collar removes the risk of staining the dog or furniture however many dogs do not like the smell of the collars and will attempt to remove them. Some flea and tick collars have sustained release technology built into them which causes the collar to last around eight months. One such collar is the Bayer Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs, and eight-month protection which is said to be odorless and non-greasy. This particular collar repels and kills both fleas and ticks. The collar is water resistant allowing for monthly bathing and occasional swimming as well as holding up under rain and sun. The collar also has a built-in quick release function so that if the dog became trapped their own weight would be enough to get the collar to release them. However, the downside is that this collar is marked as unsafe for the pet to sleep next to a human with it on because of the chemicals. This does raise questions about how safe it would be for the dog to wear the collar all the time if a person can't sleep next to it.