There are numerous different flea and tick treatments to protect the dog from ticks and fleas. They differ not only in their use but also in the onset and duration of action. The available preparations consist of either synthetic or natural substances.
They can unfold their effect from the inside – like tablets – or they can be applied from the outside – like so-called spot-on preparations, collars or sprays.
While tablets reach all parts of the body via the bloodstream, the substances in spot-on preparations, collars or sprays are placed directly on certain parts of the skin. From there, the active substance is distributed over the animal’s body. There are also systemically effective spot-on products. In this case, the active substance penetrates through the skin and is distributed through the bloodstream in the organism.
The successful application of such therapeutics depends not only on the severity of the infestation but also on the preferences of the animal or its owner and on other circumstance. For example, the use of certain toxic oils and sprays can be problematic when dogs and cats often and intensively play with children.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Dosage Forms
|Dosage||Advantages and Disadvantages|
|Spot-on Preparations||The active ingredient distributes itself automatically after application to the animal and penetrates into the fatty epidermis layers and the sebaceous glands. There it forms a depot from which it is continuously released (residual effect).|
|Flea Collars||Loses its effect quickly when in water. Less suitable for long, dense fur; risk of injury.|
|Sprays||Scares some animals and is inhaled by user and animal. Less suitable for animals with long, dense fur.|
|Powder||Destroys adult fleas but does not provide long-term protection; inhaled by animal and user and less suitable for animals with long, dense fur.|
|Shampoo||Destroys adult fleas but does not provide long-term protection. Bathing leads to defensive reactions in cats.|
Best Flea and Tick Treatment for Dogs: Spot-on preparations
Spot-on preparations are recommended for both dogs and cats. They are available from your vet and only need to be trickled into the neck of the pet with a pipette. The preparation then distributes itself over the whole body and forms an effective protective shield against parasites. Some spot-on products protect against different parasites, but most protect against ticks.
Important: After application, the animals must not wash or be bathed around 48 hours. If the preparation has unfolded its effect, it lasts for several weeks before it has to be re-applied. It is recommendable to have at least the first treatment carried out by the veterinarian who can then demonstrate the exact handling of the pipette and the best point for applying the preparation.
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Best Flea and Tick Treatment for Dogs: Oral Medicine
An alternative could be tablets that are administered orally to the pet. This is often an advantage for cats that lick spot-on products out of their fur before they can take effect. Some dogs also prefer to be fed tablets garnished with liver sausage. For the owner, this also has the advantage that the dog can be bathed or washed at any time without problems, while a certain exposure time must wait after the application of a spot-on preparation.
Anti-parasite tablets migrate through the stomach and intestines before they release their effect and form a similar protective shield to spot-on preparations. Depending on the medication, this may already be the case after 30 minutes (e.g. with Comfortis). With tablets, however, it is particularly important to ensure that the correct dosage is used depending on the animal’s body weight. Therefore, the administration of tablets should always be done in consultation with the veterinarian.
Tablets are also recommended for families with small children. So there is no risk that the child accidentally comes into contact with the applied Spot-On preparation while cuddling a dog or cat and takes it up or smears it.
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Best Flea and Tick Treatment for Dogs: Collars
An interesting alternative for dog owners is a special collar that is worn in addition to the regular collar and protects the dog from parasites. Formerly known as “flea collars”, modern collars also offer protection from ticks and no longer emit the strong odors that dogs (and often their owners) suffer from. Instead, the active ingredient from the collar is transferred to the body and distributed similarly to the spot-on preparation.
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Best Flea and Tick Treatment for Dogs: Sprays
They are either sprayed directly onto the dog’s coat or used in its surroundings.
Sprays work through essential oils or chemical substances, they therefore often spread an unpleasant smell for humans and dogs.
The so-called ambient sprays attack fleas and/or flea larvae at the animal’s sleeping and resting places.
The use of growth regulators interrupts the development of eggs and larvae in order to prevent the emergence of new flea generations.
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Alternative Remedies Against Ticks and Fleas
Many of the natural remedies are excellently suited as prophylaxis and can also be used in addition to conventional tick repellents.
Miracle Cure Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one of the few natural remedies that has a proven effect against ticks. The lauric acid contained in coconut oil, for example, can also be found in other tick repellents and is extremely unattractive to parasites. In smaller studies, it has already been proven that animals treated with coconut oil were significantly less affected by ticks. A self-test also shows that ticks avoid skin areas rubbed with coconut oil or fall off immediately.
For use on dogs:
Important: First test on a small area of the coat whether your dog will tolerate the coconut oil without any problems! If you cannot notice any changes the next day, you can apply the oil as described.
During the tick season, rub a pea to hazelnut-sized amount into your dog once a day. To do this, melt the coconut oil in the palms of your hands and spread it over your dog’s coat. Coconut oil has a pleasant smell for humans and your dog may also like to lick the oil. This is by no means harmful, but it can lead to the fact that you must rub your four-legged friend once more. Treat especially the paws and legs, the head and neck area, as well as the belly of your dog with the oil.
Pay attention to the organic quality of your coconut oil. In well-assorted supermarkets or health food stores, you should be able to buy it without any problems. Otherwise, you can order it also on the Internet…
The grey-haired cistus, also called Cistus incanus, belongs to the cistus family and has an immune-strengthening, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antimicrobial property due to the polyphenols contained in it.
It is already used in human medicine and is available in capsule or tea form. Cistus is used for the treatment of skin diseases and diarrhea or to strengthen the immune system and has also proven itself in special studies as a remedy against ticks.
This is how you apply cistus to your dog:
Cistus is administered in capsules. These can be fed together with food or treats. Cisitus incanus must be administered for five days until an effect is noticed. After ten days the full effect is reached.
You can also give your dog cistus tea with the food. Your four-legged friend should get half a cup twice a day during the tick time.
Garlic and Brewer’s Yeast
Garlic and brewer’s yeast are also said to have a positive effect against ticks.
The feeding should create an unattractive environment for ticks on the dog’s skin. However, when giving garlic granulate, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, as an increased amount of garlic is poisonous for dogs. When feeding garlic, the quantity is decisive. The limit here is 5 grams of garlic per kilogram of body weight. If your dog gets a clove of garlic once a week from the food during the tick season, this is considered harmless.
In contrast to garlic, brewer’s yeast is harmless and a real miracle weapon. The B vitamins contained in brewer’s yeast are not only effective against ticks but also promote digestion and care for your dog’s skin and coat.
This is how you dose the brewer’s yeast for your dog:
You can choose between tablets and powder. For every ten kilograms of your dog’s body weight, you must stir one teaspoon of brewer’s yeast into his food every day or administer two tablets. Most dogs like to eat brewer’s yeast.
Essential Oils – Tea Tree Oil, Black Cumin oil, Lavender Oil
Care should be taken with essential oils. These should usually only be used in highly diluted form and can trigger contact allergies. In addition, the oils should only be used in small quantities so that there is no overdose when licking the coat.
If you also have a cat in the house, you should completely avoid the use of essential oils, because these are so poisonous for cats that they can die from it. They lack certain enzymes that are necessary for the metabolism of these oils.
If you take all precautions into account, however, an effect against ticks can certainly be achieved. Black cumin oil is administered to the dog via the food, while tea tree and lavender oil are usually applied to the coat.
Amber collars are also much discussed as effective protection against ticks. Amber collars are said to be raw, unpolished stones so that the resin smell and the electric charge of the stones can fully unfold and act against parasites.
So far, however, there are no scientific studies that prove that amber is an effective tick repellent for dogs. The mode of action is also extremely questionable because ticks have no sense of smell and the electric charge of the amber would be much too weak to repel ticks at all. Many experience reports on the Internet indicate also that the tick infestation did not become less by the amber collar.
You should also keep in mind that your dog may not feel comfortable with such a collar or may try to get rid of the stones. In addition, there is an increased risk of injury when romping.
Important note: The contents of this guide cannot replace a visit to the veterinarian. This information should not be used as the sole basis for health-related decisions. A veterinarian should be consulted on animal diseases and the use of medicines.