The idea of simply picking up what seems to be the best flea and tick preventive medication that has been passed around in mainstream and social media might not be what is best for your dog. If it very important that you first consider yourself and your pet’s lifestyle before choosing anything that is available in the market. Each pet owner has various behavioral manners towards their pet that can contribute to the decision of which option is best to pick. This includes age, breed, health status, and any current medication -all of which has be considered or brought to the attention of your vet.
For the sake of discussion and your initial understanding of the different types of flea and tick preventives today, it is important to lay out the different brands, application methods, and the corresponding pros and cons of each so that when you discuss them with your vet you will not just buy what he recommends to you but you can get involved in a deeper and richer discussion with your vet concerning what is best for your pet.
Spot on products or topical medication is the most popular form of flea and tick preventive. Topical products are applied to a pet’s skin between the shoulder blades or at the base of the neck. It contains ingredients that repel and kill fleas and ticks, as well as mosquitoes. This chemical will naturally spread over your pet’s entire body and deposit them into the skin of your dog. There is a slow release of this deposited chemical over a period of time. Even if your dog takes a bath or goes swimming, the chemical continues to work, and it is also very convenient to use. It is important to note though that the product should be allowed to dry, and more importantly keep kids and other pets away until it is fully dried.
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Oral medication is becoming more popular, as it takes away the worry of seeing to it that those chemicals found under topical medication have to dry up first. Problem with this type of medication is that none of the oral medications that are available have the ability to repel fleas and ticks. In order for fleas and ticks to get the poison, they have to attack and bite your pet. Oral medication can also prevent heartworm disease and internal parasite like roundworms, hook worms, and whipworms, aside from just killing ticks and fleas. Vomiting and diarrhea are the only know side effects of oral fleas and tick prevention medications.
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One inexpensive method of preventing fleas and ticks is through the use of sprays. Powders are those dusted over the entire body. There are also shampoos and dips made for flea and tick prevention.