By: Jace MacDonald
There is controversy on whether dogs need to be revaccinated throughout their lives, given heartworm medications, or flea and tick preventions. Out of those three, the one I think is a must, is the Flea and Tick.
Unlike illnesses that the other two medications can prevent, fleas and ticks are in an abundance. Your dog is much more likely to get fleas or bitten by a tick than rabies or heartworm disease. For that reason, I believe it is a must to give your dogs flea and tick preventatives.
Now, which one is the best? Which one should we as dog owners use? Should we go with a topical, a collar, or a digestible version? Hopefully this blog will help you in your decision.
Let’s start out with a collar. The most popular flea and tick preventative collar is the Seresto collar. It is a light gray collar that goes around the neck of your dog. A Seresto collar is made up of two active ingredients, Imidacloprid and Flumethrin. Imidacloprid is an insecticide proven to be highly toxic to biting insects, it fights fleas at both their larval and adult stages. Flumethrin attacks the nervous system of parasites, fighting fleas in their nymph, larval and adult stages.
These ingredients work together to fight fleas and ticks for up to eight months, thanks to Seresto’s revolutionary design. They are concentrated in the center of the collar and slowly works its way from within to the animal’s fur.
In my opinion, Seresto is your best option if you want to be cost effective. The price usually falls into the range of $60 USD. Make sure you are getting the right one for your dog, they base their collars on size of the dog. The sizes are: Small – up to 18lbs, and Large – 18lbs+
Here some links for you to purchase the right collar for you.
For Small click Here
For Large click Here
Now, the downfall to these collars, is that for some dogs a rash around their neck can develop. The skin of the dog can have an allergic reaction, or the collar can rub at the fur and skin of some breeds with thin coats, leaving behind a red irritated area on their neck. The other downfall is that if you take your dog to a dog daycare or a dog park, that other dogs through play, will possibly rip off and chew the collar. This will force you to go out and buy a new one.
Those are the Pros and Cons of the collar type flea and tick preventative. Let’s move on to oral.
Oral flea and tick medication is proven to be the most effective, but also the most costly. Oral medications must be given monthly and usually run around $160 USD for a pack of six. That will cover you for six months compared to the Seresto which protects for up to eight months. These medications usually can only be obtained from your vet as well. Making it harder to get your hands on these medications. The major benefit of the oral medications is that they are 99.9% effective! If you live in the south or in heavily wooded areas where ticks are plentiful, I recommend going with an oral medication.
The best oral flea and tick preventative out on the market right now is Simparica. Like the Seresto collar, Simparica medication has different products depending on the size of your dog. For more information on these types of medication, consult your veterinarian.
So, the Pro for oral medication is that it is the most effective preventative sitting at 99.9% effectiveness. The Con is that you must go through your vet to get it, and it is the most expensive of the three. Now for our final choice, which is the best of both worlds in my opinion, the topical treatment.
Topical treatment is a liquid that you apply between your dogs’ shoulder blades so that they cannot lick it off. It absorbs into the dogs’ fur and skin and spreads throughout the dogs’ body. Like that of a Seresto Collar. The benefit here, is that the topical cannot fall off or be taken off and chewed by another dog.
Another benefit is the price. The topical treatments for dogs average out around $60-$70 USD for a 6 pack, which will last you 6 months. This price is significantly less than that of an oral medication. However, studies have shown that topical treatments for dogs is 88.4% effective vs 99.9% for oral medications.
If you are not in a heavily wooded area, or live near lots of fields and tall grass, then I would not worry about the 88.4% effectiveness. If you live in a suburban area or city, then the likelihood of your dog receiving fleas or ticks are already lower. Thus making a topical treatment the best choice for you cost wise and effectiveness.
The leading brand for these topical medications is Frontline Plus. With Frontline Plus you get the most bang for your buck. The medication varies depending on size of your dog so listed below are links that will take you to the right medication for your dog.
Small dogs 5-22lbs click Here.
Medium dogs 23-44lbs click Here.
Large dogs 45-88lbs click Here.
XL dogs 89-132lbs click Here.
Let us wrap things up with a brief overview! If you are looking for the most cost effective option, then the Seresto is the choice for you. Just remember that it can fall off during rough play or interactions with other dogs. If you are in a heavily flea/tick infected area and want the best protection for your dog, then Simparica oral treatment is your best option. Lastly if you want the best of both worlds, go with a topical treatment, as it is cost effective and does the job well!
I hope this has helped you decide on which treatment is best for you and your dogs!
For some more great information on our furry friends, check out my other posts down below.