In Georgia, fleas and ticks are troublesome and dangerous pests year-round, but they certainly seem to affect me even more during the hot summer months. In addition to being uncomfortable for me and my dog friends, fleas are also the leading cause of tapeworm, a parasite whose larvae are carried by fleas. And then ticks can transmit Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, and other serious conditions. Luckily, there are ways to prevent flea and tick infestations before they even happen!
Once a puppy is old enough, it’s important to start using a monthly flea and tick preventive medication to help ensure that he or she won’t be affected by fleas or ticks. Many of the treatments available are effective in preventing BOTH fleas and ticks. But which preventative method is best? My mom always talks to my veterinarian before starting or changing my siblings’ or my treatments, but below is a go-to list of options for our dog parents.
Oral flea and tick medication treatments—which come as chewables or pills — are ingested by dogs, rather than applied to our bodies. The medicine is transmitted to adult fleas when they bite us. There are different active chemicals used in different flea and tick pill medications, some of which last a few days and others that last a month. The most common active chemicals in oral treatments include Lufenuron, Spinosad, and Nitenpyram. The combination of these three ingredients will stop flea larvae from growing and kill adult fleas and ticks.
Topical flea and tick medication (also called "spot-on" medications) are generally applied between our shoulder blades so we can't lick it off - it tastes GROSS! Most topical medications last a month. Some topical medications not only kill fleas and ticks, but they also repel them. The most common active chemicals in topical medications are Fipronil, Imidacloprid, and Pyrethroids. The combination of these three ingredients will kill both flea larvae and adults along with ticks and mites.
Collars designed for flea and tick control have active chemicals infused within the collar. Using control release technology, the collar releases a small amount of these ingredients into the skin and hair of dogs and spreads them across our entire body for complete protection. Most collars are infused with imidacloprid and flumethrin. These ingredients kill fleas, flea larvae, lice, adult ticks, and their immature forms. And since the collar releases these ingredients in tiny amounts, the collar holds the efficacy for 8 months and causes no harm to our skin.
Flea sprays can be used preventatively AND if there is an infestation. They destroy offensive odor molecules on contact such as feces, urine, sweat, and more. It can be used on dog beds, couches, car seats, wastebaskets, and any other area where offensive odors exist. Most importantly, flea sprays kill fleas, flea eggs, and ticks on contact using natural essential oils and plant-based ingredients. Some formulas even repel mosquitoes!
Powders are a dry alternative to topical pest control. Pet parents can apply the powder by gently dusting it over the entire body of their dog, and let it do its work to control fleas, ticks, and lice. It’s ideal for multi-pet homes since it’s safe for cats and dogs over 12 weeks of age.
Hot Spot Spray
Hot spot sprays clean, soothe, and relieve itchy, irritated skin affected by hot spots in reaction to fleas. Fast-acting sprays provide quick relief to minimize dogs’ discomfort and help reduce scratching, licking, and biting.
Where to Buy
All of these products and more can be found at The Hipster Hound Diamond Causeway location. From preventative treatments to getting a current infestation under control, they have got your back! Just stop in and talk to any of the experienced staff, and they will help you decide what the best course of action is for your best friend!
Rex, The Original Hipster Hound