Top Flea and Tick Prevention Products for Dogs

The owner applies flea and tick drops to the withers of a large red dog. Animal care concept. View from above.

Key Points

  • Preventive measures keep your dog from picking up fleas and ticks before they become a problem.

  • Talk with your veterinarian to find the best flea and tick prevention for your dog.

  • Not all flea preventatives work on ticks, so you need an anti-tick product.

No need to start scratching! It's time to find the right flea and tick prevention method to keep your dog — and you — free of these pesky parasites.

Nothing is worse than realizing your pup has some unwanted visitors. How do you get rid of them? Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent these unwanted guests from staying around. 

Since dogs love going outside, it's up to you to see they enjoy the outdoors without worrying about picking up a hitchhiker. Proper prevention lets your dog enjoy being a dog.

Lou, a Newfoundland puppy, knows being outside means meeting up with friends — like this toad, as his owner documented in an August 31, 2023, TikTok video.

Don't let your dog's health suffer from fleas and ticks. Prevention is key, and the information in this article explains why and how to protect your pet from pests.

Why Prevention Matters

Fleas love humid, shady areas, like under leaves. With their incredible jumping ability, fleas easily snag a ride on your pet as they walk by. Ticks also love these environments. Although ticks can’t jump like fleas, they are able to grab onto a passing pup.

How can these tiny pests be such a big deal? Besides causing uncomfortable itchiness, fleas and ticks carry diseases like Lyme that seriously affect your pet’s health. Heavy infestations cause anemia due to blood loss. Many of the diseases these pests carry are deadly or cause severe, chronic, and lifelong illnesses. 

They don’t just hurt your dog. Fleas and ticks also bite humans and carry diseases that impact people. Perhaps the largest and best-known example of flea-borne illness was the Black Death in the mid-14th century, which claimed at least 25 million victims in Europe.

Veterinarian, educator, and writer Dr. Rania Gollakner states, “Prevention is also important because both fleas and ticks can infest the home. Because they have different life cycles, treating an infestation is much more difficult (and costly) than preventing an infestation.” 

Flea Treatment for Dogs

by Advantage II 

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Advantage II for Dogs

Advantage II is a monthly, topical product that protects dogs from fleas. It contains two active ingredients. Imidacloprid kills adult fleas, and pyriproxyfen interrupts the flea lifecycle to prevent future infestations.

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The best part about this treatment is that fleas don’t have to bite to die. They die on contact with the medication. It starts killing fleas within 12 hours of application and protects for a month. It kills fleas in all stages of life, including eggs and larvae, but does not kill ticks. 

Safety and Side Effects of Advantage II

Although Advantage II is safe when used correctly, it may cause side effects. These typically include temporary skin reactions at the application site.

Contact your vet immediately if your dog shows serious discomfort or illness.

Bundle: Bravecto + Sentinel Spectrum Chew

by Bravecto Chew and Sentinel Spectrum

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Bravecto Chewable Tablets for Dogs

Bravecto tablets kill fleas and ticks for up to 12 weeks with a single dose, which is a good choice for those who prefer less frequent dosing. This highly effective product contains fluralaner that disrupts the parasite's nervous system and kills them within hours.

To get the proper dose, determine your dog's weight before offering this chew. Once you have the right one, give it to them with their food. Taking the tablet without food can cause an upset stomach.

Safety Profile and Side Effects of Bravecto

As with any medication, use Bravecto Chewable Tablets as directed by your vet. Although uncommon, possible side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Always monitor your pet after administering a new medication and seek veterinary assistance if there is a significant reaction.

Flea Oral Treatment for Dogs

by Capstar 

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Capstar Fast-Acting Oral Flea Treatment for Dogs

The name says it all. Capstar's oral flea treatment provides fast-acting relief against fleas. This one-time-use tablet starts killing fleas within 30 minutes but doesn't offer long-term protection. Capstar is a great fast-acting solution to deal with a severe infestation. It eliminates adult fleas on your pet within four hours and fights pests for 24 hours. It doesn’t kill eggs and larvae to prevent re-infestations.

Because you must give this tablet daily to prevent an infestation from spreading, and it doesn't kill ticks, use it with a long-lasting preventive product that also eliminates ticks.

Pros and Cons of Capstar Treatment

Capstar's strengths are its fast action and safety for puppies as young as four weeks old. The drawbacks are its flea-only target and not being a long-term solution.

Prevention Matters

These top prevention products have strengths, drawbacks, and possible side effects. The best treatment for your dog depends on factors such as their age, size, breed, and health. This guide provides a solid breakdown of the features and effectiveness of each product, but consult your vet before making a final decision.

Preventing flea and tick infestations relies on early intervention. Observe your pet for signs of pests and treat them proactively to prevent the spread of these parasites in your home and keep your pet healthy and comfortable.

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