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How To Choose The Right Flea Preventative For Your Pet

Trying to decide upon the best flea treatment for your pets can be a little complicated at times as there are many different product alternatives on the market. Spot-on and chewable treatments are highly effective and easy to use, however, there are also very good shampoos, rinses and sprays available that might be more suitable in some situations. For all flea medications, following package directions is essential. Only use products that are safe for use on the species you will be using them on (dog, cat, etc.). Be sure to read all labels carefully and use the medication only as directed. 
 

Topical Spot-On Treatments
 
Spot-on treatments are a fast way to relieve and void your pets from fleas. Each treatment has slightly different offers however, all will effectively work to kill fleas and prevent infestations.  
 
Frontline Plus
 
Frontline Plus is easy to use, controls fleas as well as brown dog ticks, paralysis ticks and biting lice, and is available for Dogs and Cats. Frontline Plus is more water resistant that other treatments so it’s good for pets that swim a lot or are frequently bathed. Frontline Plus treats and protects from flea infestations and brown dog ticks for one month and two weeks for paralysis ticks. It can be used on puppies and kittens from eight weeks of age and is safe to use on breeding, pregnant or lactating animals.
 
 
Advantix
 
Advantix is a topical treatment that kills fleas at all lifecycle stages and repels ticks, including the deadly paralysis tick, mosquitoes, sandflies and stable flies. Advantix is an easy-to-use monthly spot-on treatment for fleas, however must be applied fortnightly to control paralysis ticks. With topical application, the active ingredients do not need to be absorbed into the blood, leading to a faster speed of kill. Advantix also kills fleas in your dog’s surroundings – your home and yard. And because it is water resistant it keeps working even after swimming or shampooing.
 
Advantix is safe to use on puppies from seven weeks old, pregnant and lactating bitches. However cats that share households with Advantix-treated dogs need to be separated from the dog for the first 12 hours or overnight after Advantix has been applied. The ingredient permethrin is highly toxic to cats, so Advantix is for use on dogs only. 
 
Advantage
 

Advantage works to kill adult fleas, as well as flea larvae on cats and dogs for up to one month after application, and also kill lice for up to six weeks on dogs. Advantage is waterproof, safe for use on kittens eight weeks or older and puppies seven weeks or older, and safe for use on pregnant and lactating animals. 

 
 
 
Advocate
 
Advocate is a multi-purpose medication that combines Imidacloprid (the active ingredient in Advantage) with Moxidectin. It treats adult fleas and flea larvae, as well as prevents heartworm, hookworm and roundworm in Dogs and Cats, plus whipworm in dogs. It also controls other external parasites such as lice and ear mites in cats, and mange mites and lice in dogs. Application is applied monthly to the skin at the back of the neck. Advocate does not treat ticks or tapeworm. It is recommended to worm with a tapewormer tablet once every three months. Advocate is water resistant, safe to use on puppies from seven weeks of age and kittens from nine weeks of age, and safe to use on lactating and pregnant animals. 
 
Revolution
Revolution is a topical spot-on parasiticide used in the treatment and prevention of fleas, heartworm and ear mites in dogs and cats. Revolution kills at all stages of the flea lifecycle (adult, egg & larvae) and should be administered on a monthly basis. Revolution is water resistant after two hours of application, safe to use on puppies and kittens six weeks of age and older, and safe for use on breeding and nursing animals.  
 
 
 
 

Oral Medications
 
Oral flea protection generally will come in the form of a tablet and or a tasty meaty chew. Some oral flea treatments can begin working within 30 minutes, rendering all fleas dead within just a few hours. 
 
Nexgard
 
Nexgard is an oral flea and tick control product that protects dogs from fleas, paralysis ticks, brown dog ticks and bush ticks for a full month. Nexgard’s one chew once a month format also simplifies flea and tick treatment, leading to a dosing regime that can become regular and easy to follow for pet owners. Nexgard stops fleas feeding within 30 minutes and kills 100% within eight hours of infestation. Nexgard also provides effective tick control within 48 hours. Nexgard can be administered with or without food, is safe to use around cats and treatment can begin on puppies from eight weeks of age who weight more than 2 kg.
 
Bravecto
 
Bravecto is a chewable flea and tick control product that protects dogs from fleas, brown dog ticks, bush ticks andparalysis ticks. Fluralaner is the active substance in Bravecto and acts as an Ectoparasiticide. This results in killing of any parasites living on the skin or in the fur. Bravecto stop fleas feeding within two hours and kills 100% within eight hours of infestation; and for ticks the onset of effect is within 24 hours.
 
The main difference with Bravecto compared to all other treatments is that just one Bravecto chew protects your dog for three months against fleas and four months against deadly paralysis ticks.
 
Bravecto should be administered with food, is safe to use around cats and treatment can begin on puppies from eight weeks of age who weight more than 2 kg.
 
Sentinel Spectrum
 
Sentinel Spectrum is a meaty chewable tablet used for the prevention of heartworm disease, for the prevention and long term control of fleas and for the control of roundworm, whipworm, hookworm and tapeworms in dogs. Sentinel Spectrum Tasty Chews are given once a month, year round with a full meal. Sentinel Spectrum is approved for use in puppies as young as six weeks, pregnant females, breeding bitches and stud dogs.  
 
 
Comfortis
Comfortis Chewable Tables for Dogs are a meat flavoured tablet that rapidly kills fleas and prevents flea infestations for a full month. Comfortis starts to kill fleas within 30 minutes of administration and will kill 100% of fleas on a dog within four hours. Give this medication with food and do not administer to cats or other species of animal. Do not treat pregnant or lactating bitches or breeding males. Comfortis may be safely administered to dogs in conjunction with topical tick treatments and collars as well as heartworm and worming medications.  
 Capstar
 

Capstar is an oral tablet flea control formulated for use in dogs and cats. Capstar has been developed to target the adult flea by breaking one of the four main parts of the flea life cycle. The adult flea will be killed once it ingestes the blood containing the active ingredient Nitenpyram. Capstar does not treat the environment outside the pet's body.
 
 
 
 

Flea Collars
 
Flea and tick collars are an option for dogs who are not suffering from a current or existing infestations of pests, but more so to act as a preventative method. 
 
Kiltix Collar
 

Kiltix tick collars for dogs are used to control brown dog ticks, bush ticks and fleas for up to five months and aid in the control of paralysis ticks for six weeks. Do not use this product on puppies less than twelve weeks old, sick or convalescing dogs. Do not use on animals undergoing treatment with other organophosphate based products including rinses, shampoos, sprays, collars and oral treatments. 
 
 
 

Flea Shampoos

 
Flea shampoos are useful when an animal has a heavy flea infestation. The shampoo will kill the fleas on the animal and remove any flea dirt and eggs from the coat, however flea shampoos do not have any residual action and are only effective at the time of washing. With a flea shampoo you will also need to use a long term preventative such as one of the spot-on or oral chew products. 
 
 

Flea Dips
 
Flea dips are chemical rinses that have an immediate effect on the adult flea population on a pet. They are useful at times of heavy flea burdens. Many products are also suitable for spraying around the yard and bedding to control fleas in the environment. 
 
One particular effective rinse for dogs is called Permoxin and can be made up as a rinse and also a spray. The product is effective for approximately three days so needs to be reapplied regularly. It is very effective against ticks and is a recommended product to use for dogs that have a very heavy flea infestation. This product also works to combat biting insects on horses.  Please note this product is extremely toxic to cats and should only be used in households where cats are not present. 
 
 

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