Best Non Toxic Flea Treatment For Dogs – We independently review everything we recommend. When you purchase through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more>
A dog or cat diligently scratching an itch can send shivers down a pet owner’s spine. The last thing you want is to have a flea or tick outbreak in your home, not to mention the chance of disease-carrying parasites harming your family. To protect both pets and people from this scourge, we’ve compiled the most effective vet-recommended flea and tick treatments.
Best Non Toxic Flea Treatment For Dogs
Every product we recommend will treat fleas, but fleas may not be the only parasite you’re dealing with. Depending on where you are in the country, there are a number of different region-specific ticks that you may need to ward off, as well as internal parasites such as heartworms or roundworms. And some treatments can be applied in different ways or with different regularity. So consult your own vet: They are the best source to advise you on the right treatment based on your pet’s medical history and infestation prevalence in your area.
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Bravecto lasts for three months, so you can apply it less often than any other topical treatment we recommend (and it also comes in a chew for dogs with sensitive skin). But it requires a prescription. For doses to treat smaller or larger dogs, see below.
Bravecto for cats also lasts three months, and is one of the only brands we’ve found to offer a version that will protect against heartworms. But Bravecto requires a prescription. See below for links to dosages suitable for cats outside the weight specifications.
Who should use it: Bravecto Topical Solution for Dogs and Bravecto Topical Solution for Cats are ideal if you like the concept of three months between treatments, and your primary concerns are fleas, American dog ticks, blacklegged ticks and brown dog ticks (in dogs) or fleas and black-legged ticks (in cats). If you have a dog that is happier swallowing a chew rather than applying a treatment to their neck, Bravecto also comes in an oral form. Bravecto protects against these pests on a 12-week cycle, and it also fights lone star ticks (in dogs) and American dog ticks (in cats), but only for eight weeks at a time. This leaves you with a four week window where your dog or cat can be exposed.
What it treats: Our veterinary experts agreed that Bravecto is one of their favorite flea and tick treatments for cats and dogs. It’s also the only brand we recommend that sells a single dose that will last for three months between applications. But if you live in an area where lone star ticks are common, including Eastern, Southeastern and South Central states, it’s better to opt for a monthly treatment, such as Frontline Plus. Bravecto only protects against lone star ticks for up to eight weeks (as opposed to its 12 week protection against other tick species). This means your pet could be left unprotected from lone star ticks for an entire month between Bravecto treatments – or that you’ll need to apply it more often (PDF).
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Bravecto is also one of two choices that offer a formula to protect cats against heartworms, roundworms and hookworms. (Revolution also protects cats from some parasitic worms.) There is no cure for heartworm disease in cats, notes the American Heartworm Society, so you need to protect your cat from getting it in the first place.
Bravecto Chew and Bravecto Topical Solution for Dogs protect against fleas, black-legged ticks, American dog ticks and brown dog ticks for 12 weeks, and against lone star ticks for eight weeks. But they do not protect against heartworms. The chewable formula is convenient because you don’t have to apply a messy goo to your pet’s fur. But if you use this formulation, an insect must bite your pet to come in contact with the pesticide. In comparison, topicals spread through your pet’s fur and oil glands, so when a pest comes in contact with the fur, it’s toast. (If your pet is particularly sensitive to bug bites, and not a medicated ointment, opt for a topical instead.)
Bravecto Topical Solution for Cats defends against fleas and black-legged ticks for 12 weeks, and against American dog ticks for eight weeks. Bravecto Plus for Cats protects against fleas, blacklegged ticks, heartworms, roundworms and hookworms for eight weeks.
Known side effects: neurological adverse reactions, including ataxia (lack of coordination), seizures and tremors; other known side effects – vomiting, hair loss, rash, lethargy, diarrhea, decreased appetite, dry skin and itching
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Variants: Bravecto Chew for Dogs 4.4 to 9.9 pounds, 9.9 to 22 pounds, 22 to 44 pounds, 44 to 88 pounds, 88 to 123 pounds; Bravecto Topical Solution for Dogs 4.4 to 9.9 pounds, 9.9 to 22 pounds, 22 to 44 pounds, 44 to 88 pounds, 88 to 123 pounds; Bravecto Topical Solution for Cats 2.6 to 6.2 pounds, 6.2 to 13.8 pounds, 13.8 to 27.5 pounds; Bravecto Plus for Cats 2.6 to 6.2 lbs, 6.2 to 13.8 lbs, 13.8 to 27.5 lbs
Revolution Plus for Cats fights more pests—fleas, ear mites, roundworms, hookworms and several species of ticks—than any other treatment we recommend. But it requires a more frequent monthly application, and you will need a prescription. For versions suitable for lighter or heavier cats, see below.
Unlike most other treatments, this formula kills fleas, and it also targets ear mites, sarcoptic mange and heartworms in dogs. But it only treats American dog ticks. It also requires a vet’s prescription and must be administered every month. For versions suitable for lighter or heavier dogs, see below.
Who should use it: If you have a cat, and you don’t mind administering the medication monthly, Revolution Plus for Cats offers a broad spectrum of coverage that includes fleas, ear mites, roundworms and some ticks. If you have a dog, and you are not particularly concerned about ticks, Revolution for Dogs will provide protection against heartworms and ear mites.
Tick & Flea Spray For Cats And Dogs
What it treats: Revolution Plus protects cats from more pests than our other choices. This is an especially good solution for cat owners living in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states because it is the only topical treatment we recommend against Gulf Coast ticks, which thrive in those areas. It’s also our only choice that treats ear mites, which according to VCA Hospitals is the second most common pest after fleas. Like Bravecto, Revolution Plus also protects against common parasites in kittens, including roundworms and hookworms. It also works against fleas, black-legged ticks, American dog ticks, Gulf Coast ticks, ear mites, roundworms, hookworms and heartworms. (The non-Plus version of Revolution for Cats does not protect against ticks, so we do not recommend it in this guide.)
Revolution for Dogs protects against a narrower range of pests compared to the other flea treatments we recommend – but it is the only one that protects against heartworms. Revolution does not protect against brown dog ticks, which occur worldwide. (Bravecto, Frontline, and Seresto fight it.) Revolution kills fleas, ear mites, sarcoptic mange, American dog ticks, and heartworms.
Variants: Revolution for dogs 5.1 to 10 pounds, 10.1 to 20 pounds, 20.1 to 40 pounds, 40.1 to 85 pounds, 86 to 130 pounds; Revolution Plus for Cats 2.8 to 5.5 lbs, 5.6 to 11 lbs, 11.1 to 22 lbs
Frontline Plus is our favorite non-prescription topical treatment, and it protects against fleas and a range of tick species. But it requires monthly applications, and it won’t fight parasites like heartworms. For dosages suitable for dogs of other weights, see below.
Sergeant’s Guardian® Flea & Tick Topical For Dogs
This monthly non-prescription topical treatment for cats protects against the same pests as its canine counterpart (and requires the same monthly schedule).
Who should use it: Frontline Plus for dogs and Frontline Plus for cats are treatments that you can buy without a vet’s prescription, so you can easily pick up the medication. Consider this treatment if you have both dogs and cats, and you want to protect them against the same set of pests on the same schedule.
What it treats: Frontline Plus is the only flea and tick treatment we recommend that treats the same pests for cats or dogs, on the same schedule, without a prescription. Since they are species-based, the two versions have slightly different amounts of the active ingredients, but you can keep both cats and dogs on the same application schedule and treat the same pests. Both treatments fight fleas, lice, lone star ticks, American dog ticks, deer and brown dog ticks. So there is no need to mix and match different brands of medication to ensure that every pet in your home has the same level of protection. Comparatively, Bravecto offers four formulas that protect against different combinations of pests, with less coverage in its cat products; it can get confusing for pet owners of both cats and dogs who want to protect their pets from multiple parasites with a single dose. Frontline Plus takes the guesswork out of it so pet owners can focus on playtime rather than flea bath time.
Frontline Plus is also the only topical product we recommend that does not require a prescription. So you can quickly pick up a new box while running errands
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