There are dozens of different types of flea and tick products for pets, including powders, collars, dips, sprays, shampoos, topical spot-on liquid products, pills given by mouth, and more. Some products are only available from a veterinarian while others can be purchased at retail. These products include ingredients that kill adult and immature stages of pests, as well as repellants. Whether they are purchased from a vet’s office or over the counter, all flea and tick products contain active ingredients that require caution and care to use.
Here are Hartz’s top four tips on ensuring safe usage with flea & tick products and your pet:
1) Read Directions – “There are directions on all flea and tick medications for a reason,” says Dr. Georgette Wilson, resident veterinarian at Hartz. “Take the time to carefully read the directions available on the label. If there is anything you don’t understand, be sure to call your vet or the product manufacturer to clarify any concerns before administering the product to your pet.”
2) One Product at a Time – “Using multiple flea & tick products on your pet concurrently can be dangerous to the health of your animal,” says Dr. Wilson. “If you are considering combining products, speak to your vet first to see if it is advisable. Giving your pet a flea bath followed by spot-on treatment, for example, risks over-medicating your pet and endangering their health.”
3) Use Recommended Dosage and Frequency – “Treating your pet with more than the recommended dosage on the package or too often is never recommended,” says Dr. Wilson.
4) Use the Right Product for Your Pet – “Using a flea prevention product for dogs that weigh over 60 pounds is a dangerous choice for a 5 pound dog,” warns Dr. Wilson. “Only use products that are labeled for use on the species you will be using them on (dog, cat, etc.). Products that are safe to use on dogs may be extremely toxic to your cats.”