How To Choose Flea Control Medication

Choosing the Right Medicine for Your Dog

Choosing the right medication can mean the difference between your dog or cat being comfortable or living a life in a constant state of itch. Several steps can ensure that "Fluffy" is protected against one of the most uncomfortable problems facing pets.

  1. Does my veterinarian recommend this medication? Our veterinarian only recommends these products: Frontline Plus, Advantage, Advantixx, and Revolution. There are serious drawbacks with some of the other medications available from pet stores. Although many of the veterinary-related products are now available at major pet stores, there are numerous BAD products also available. If you stick with one of these brands, you cannot go wrong. Do not be fooled by products that say, "Just like Frontline Plus", or similar teasers. These medications have proprietary formulation that has not been released in a generic form yet.
  2. Is this for my cat or dog? There are several medications that are BAD for your cat that are perfectly acceptable for your dog. Please make sure that the medication you are using is supposed to be used for your pet. There are numerous examples at every veterinary clinic of people applying the wrong medication. If the veterinarian is lucky, they may be able to save your pet's life. It can be that serious. Only use the right amount for the right species of animal.
  3. Am I applying this correctly? Although, this won't help you choose the right medication, it is vitally important for effective treatment of flea infestation. The medications listed above must be applied correctly TO THE SKIN. Many of these products recommend placement between the shoulder blades, but you must part the hair and apply it directly to the skin.
    • When using Advantage, Advantixx, and Revolution, your pet must be dry. If you bathe your pet, please let it dry completely before applying any flea preventative.
    • When using Frontline Plus, there must be some oil on the skin before you apply the medication. In order to accomplish this, wait 24 hours after bathing your dog prior to applying the Frontline Plus.
  4. Do I need tick prevention too?
    • If you do need tick prevention, Advantixx, Revolution, and Frontline are labeled for many common ticks.
    • If you do not need tick prevention, Advantage only prevents against fleas.
  5. Is there anything else I need to know when treating for fleas?
    • You must treat all the pets in your house to be effective.
    • Area treatment by a pest control specialist may be necessary.
    • These products work, but don't be surprised if you continue seeing fleas - it can take 4-6 months to completely remove fleas from the environment because of eggs that are continually hatching.
    • Many of these products are water-proof or water-resistant. They are NOT shampoo-proof. Only use shampoos that your veterinarian recommends or else you may remove the medication you have applied.
    • You must apply this medication every month as directed.

Do not use any other products. Flea dips and shampoos can work, but they have no residual effect. In other words, the minute the dip is done, your pet can get more fleas. The integrated flea control (Advantage, Advantixx, Revolution, and Frontline Plus) continues working for 1 month after applying as directed.

Edward Susmilch owns Invisible Electric Dog Fence, where you can learn about and purchase dog fences and numerous pet care products. 


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