One of the most common questions vets get asked is whether to choose oral pill, flea collar, or a topical solution to keep fleas at bay. There is a lot of different opinions out there. If you read a few pet meds reviews online you will find pet parents passionately advocating what they believe are “best flea treatment solutions”. Truth be told, there is no best flea treatment. It all depends on the nature of the dog, the degree of infestation, and other parameters. In this post, we take a deep dive and find out more about the three top flea treatment options. This should help you decide which flea treatment solution is ideal for you and your dog.
Topical or spot on flea meds is a great solution as it doesn’t involve feeding the dog anything. This surely is an advantage if you want to administer a dose to a dog who is a picky eater. There is also a myth that spot on treatments are dangerous as dogs can ingest the topical solution. Topical solutions are typically applied on the back of the neck, which is an inaccessible area and is thus pretty safe. A typical spot-on dose provides protection of 30 days after which it needs to be readministered. Spot on treatments are typically extremely effective and it’s often the only treatment you would ever need to prevent flea infestations.
How Do Spot on Flea Treatments Work
Once the liquid solution is absorbed by the skin, it’s then redistributed by the oil glands. The process is called translocation and it typically takes 24 hours for a spot on dose to spread all over the dog’s body. Fleas and flea eggs that come in direct contact with the medication are destroyed.
Administration: Before administering a dose, make sure you have the right product for the size of your dog. Also, you don’t want to apply cat flea medication on dogs or vice-a-versa. Spot On flea dosages are available in little plastic ampoules. The liquid inside these ampoules needs to be administered directly on to your pet’s skin. To prevent your pet from accidentally licking the solution, it’s best to apply the liquid dose at the nape of your dog’s neck.
Ideal for Pets That Reject Oral Pills
Some spot on treatments have been known to induce mild symptoms of sickness
May require temporary separation of your dog if you have multiple pets
Spot on flea treatments works. This makes it ideal for pets at high risk of being affected by flea infestations.
Oral Flea Medications
Oral flea pills for dogs work equally well when compared to spot on treatments. The advantage of oral medications is that there is no toxic residue on your pet’s skin. This means there is no requirement to keep your pet segregated from other pets after feeding it a dose. A lot of pet parents avoid oral pills because they believe that they are toxic to dogs. Barring a few unregulated products, most reputed oral flea medications are completely safe for dogs. They include proven ingredients with great safety records.
How Oral Flea Medications Work
Depending on the type of ingredients used, there are a few different ways how oral flea pills kills and prevents fleas. However, the basic of all oral pills are pretty much the same. The ingredients in the pill get absorbed by the body and it enters the circulatory system of the dog. The fleas and ticks ingesting the blood get killed.
Most pills are highly palatable and thus can be given to dogs directly. You can also use pill pockets or hide the pill in a treat for an easier administration.
Doesn’t require your dog to be cordoned off if you have multiple pets
Some products induce vomiting in dogs
Not ideal for pets who refuse to have pills
This is a great alternative to spot on treatments. However, these medications may not be the right fit for dogs with sensitive digestive systems.
Flea collars are not as effective as spot on treatments and oral flea medications. They are a great supplementary solution. These are often recommended for dogs living in a flea infested area as a secondary defence. Dog parents also find these products useful, when going hiking with their pets. Flea collars effectively repel insects and fleas when out in the wilderness.
How Flea Collars Work
Flea collar contains active ingredients that get absorbed the dog’s skin. These ingredients are then spread all around the body by the oil glands of the dog. Collars usually release the ingredients slowly and they remain effective for multiple months.
It’s as easy as putting on any dog collar.
Remains effective for a longer period
Flea collars are not as effective as spot on or oral pills
There are certain brands of flea collars for dogs that are highly effective and can be used as a standalone solution for preventing fleas. However, most flea collars are best if used along with other flea treatments.