Best Flea and Tick Prevention and Treatment Options
Every dog or cat owner will think the world of their pet, as well as make it a foremost priority to keep them in the best of health. Flea and tick infestations don’t pose any life-threatening risks to your pet. However, they’re trespassing on your dog or cat and biting them, and that makes you wish you could shoo them away like you would a wasp pestering a child at a picnic. That’s not possible of course, and most people don’t have the patience to go over the entirety of their pet with a flea comb and a fine eye.
The best way to counter flea and tick infestations is with prevention, and fortunately there’s a number of affordable flea treatment medications that stop flea and tick infestations before they have a chance to establish themselves. This approach really is the best way to go about flea and tick prevention for your pet, so let’s have a look at the medications and practices that are in line with that here today.
Types and Dosage Guidelines for Flea and Tick Medications, and How They Work
There are two types of flea and tick medications available to consumers without a prescription. Spot-on treatments are concentrated liquid formulas that you apply to the back of your dog or cat’s neck. Typically the way they work is that within a day the medication dissipates into the animal’s natural skin oils. It then becomes almost impossible for fleas and ticks to avoid it, and not only does it kill existing ones but it also prevents new infestations from developing for up to a month.
Next up are oral flea and tick medications. The effectiveness of these ones is based on the insecticides contained in them being transferred into the pet’s bloodstream. This transfer occurs within an hour of the medication being administered to the animal. After that, any flea or tick that bites them will be ingesting the insecticide with the blood and will die soon after. Oral meds do work more quickly, but the drawback of using them is they only work in the short term.
A liquid spot-on flea treatment is recommended for animals that have been getting fleas repeatedly, or ones that are frequently in heavily wooded outdoor areas where their exposure risk is constantly higher. Oppositely, if your dog or cat spends most of its time indoors and has contracted fleas or ticks for the first time – or the first time in a long time – oral meds will be your best choice for one-and-done elimination of the pests.
Dogs and cats come in different sizes and body weights depending on the breed, and the ones for dogs in particular can vary extensively. Accordingly, a flea treatment will come in different dosages designed for different sized animals. Most oral flea medications will have dosages for dogs between 4 and 22 pounds, and then for ones 23 pounds and up. For a spot-on flea treatment, dosages will typically be for 5 to 22 pounds, 23 to 44 pounds, and 44 pounds and upwards. For both types, administering the right dosage ONLY for your pet is very important.
Popular Flea and Tick Medications Available to Consumers
If your pet contracts fleas with any degree of frequency then it is best to approach flea control with a flea and tick prevention regimen. Most commonly this will involve delivering medication every month on an ongoing basis.Frontline Plus is one of the best of these. It starts killing fleas within 4 hours of being administered and prevents the pests from re-establishing themselves for a full month after. PetArmor Plus and Sentry Fiproguard Plus are good monthly flea treatments too and are more affordable, but they don’t start killing fleas as quickly as Frontline Plus
For spot-on treatments, Revolution is one of the best of them and is also designed for monthly prevention as well as having specific dosages for both adult and pup / kitten dogs and cats.
Comfortis is a good choice for chewable flea treatment tablets that also kill fleas and ticks and work to prevent them when administered monthly.
Natural Flea and Tick Prevention Choices
We’ll begin here by saying that none of the natural choices will be close to the level of effectiveness you’ll see with flea and tick medications. Natural flea treatment options usually involve the application of essential oils like cedarwood, lavender, peppermint, lemongrass, citronella, and rose geranium. If you’re the type of person who prefers to go the more organic route with any type of therapy, then you can know that many pet owners find these oils are effective for flea control
If you are going to go the natural route, make sure to dilute these essential oils in olive oil or sweet almond oil before application. It’s also recommended that you soak the dog or cat’s collar in a bowl of water that has a drop of citronella and geranium in it.
Here’s another natural tick and flea treatment you can try:
- Pour a quart of boiling water over a large and thinly-sliced piece of fresh lemon and allow it to steep overnight
- Next day, drain the lemon water and pour into a large glass spray bottle
- Add 10 drops of lemongrass oil and 10 drops of citronella oil, 1 cup of white vinegar and then a few drops of clove oil or cedarwood oil
- Allow to sit for 2-3 hours and then apply to your pet’s coat once a week
The best non-therapeutic flea and tick prevention advice is to avoid taking your pet into dense, wooded areas or letting them roam through them on their own. Having a well-kept yard is helpful too, and keeping grass cut short is especially important if you have many evergreen trees on the property.