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A dog or cat may scratch the pet owner’s paw too hard to shake. The last thing you want is to have a flea or tick infestation in your home, not to mention disease-carrying parasites wreaking havoc on your family. We’ve rounded up the most effective vet-recommended flea and tick treatments to protect both pets and people from these fears.
Non Toxic Flea Control For Cats
All of the products we offer treat fleas, but fleas may not be the only parasite you have to deal with. Depending on where you live in the country, there are several area-specific ticks you may need to protect against, as well as internal parasites such as heartworms or roundworms. And some treatments may be used in different ways or with different sequences. So consult your vet: they are the best source for advice on the right treatment based on your pet’s medical history and the prevalence of pests in your area.
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Bravecto lasts for three months, so it can be used more often than any other recommended topical treatment (and it also comes as a chew for dogs with sensitive skin). But this recipe is necessary. See below for dosages for treating small or larger dogs.
Bravecto for cats also lasts three months and is one of the only brands we’ve found that offers a heartworm version. But Bravecto requires a prescription. See below for links to appropriate dosages for cats outside the weight specifications.
Who should use it: Bravecto Topical Solution for Dogs and Bravecto Topical Solution for Cats are great if you like a three-month interval between treatments and your main concerns are fleas, American dog ticks, black-legged ticks and brown dog ticks. (in dogs) or fleas and black mites (in cats). Bravecto also comes in an oral form if you have a dog that is willing to swallow a chew rather than treat his neck. Bravecto protects against these pests in a 12-week cycle, as well as Lone Star ticks (in dogs) and American dog ticks (in cats), but only for 8 weeks at a time. This leaves you with a four-week window in which your dog or cat may be exposed.
What it treats: Our veterinary experts agree that Bravecto is one of our favorite flea and tick treatments for cats and dogs. It’s also the only brand that sells a single dose that lasts three months between uses. But if you live in an area where lone star mites are common, including the East, Southeast, and South Central states, you may want to opt for a monthly treatment like Frontline Plus. Bravecto only protects against instar ticks for up to eight weeks (compared to 12 weeks of protection against other tick species). This means your pet could be unprotected from lone star ticks for a full month between Bravecto treatments — or need more frequent applications (PDF).
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Bravecto is also one of two choices that offer a formula to protect cats against heartworms, roundworms and hookworms. (Deworming also protects cats from some parasitic worms.) There is no cure for heartworm disease in cats, notes the American Heartworm Society, so the first step is to protect your cat from the disease.
Bravecto Chew and Bravecto Topical Solution for Dogs provide protection against fleas, black-legged ticks, American dog ticks and brown dog ticks for 12 weeks, and insta ticks for eight weeks. But they do not protect against heartworms. The chewable formula is convenient because you don’t have to apply messy goo to your pet’s fur. But if you use this formula, the insects have to bite your pet to come in contact with the pesticide. In comparison, your pet’s fur glands and glands produce oil, so when pests come in contact with fur, it’s toast. (If your pet is extremely sensitive to bug bites rather than a medicated ointment, opt for a topical application instead.)
Bravecto topical solution for cats protects against fleas and black-legged ticks for 12 weeks, and American dog ticks for eight weeks. Bravecto Plus protects cats against fleas, black-legged ticks, heartworms, roundworms and hookworms for eight weeks.
Known side effects: adverse neurological reactions, including ataxia (lack of coordination), seizures, and tremors; other known side effects are vomiting, hair loss, rash, lethargy, diarrhea, loss of appetite, dry skin, and itching
Flea & Tick Removal Spray For Dogs And Cats
Versions: Bravecto Chew for dogs 4.4 – 9.9 lbs, 9.9 – 22 lbs, 22 – 44 lbs, 44 – 88 lbs, 88 – 123 lbs; Bravecto Timed Solution for Dogs 4.4 – 9.9 lbs, 9.9 – 22 lbs, 22 – 44 lbs, 44 – 88 lbs, 88 – 123 lbs; Bravecto Timed Solution for Cats 2.6 – 6.2 lbs, 6.2 – 13.8 lbs, 13.8 – 27.5 lbs; Bravecto Plus for Cats 2.6-6.2 lbs, 6.2-13.8 lbs, 13.8-27.5 lbs
Revolution Plus for Cats fights more pests – fleas, ear mites, roundworms, hookworms and several types of ticks – than any other treatment we offer. But it requires more frequent use every month and you need a prescription. See below for options suitable for light or heavy cats.
Unlike other treatments, this formula kills fleas and also fights ear mites, sarcoptic mange and heartworms in dogs. But it only deals with American dog ticks. It also requires a prescription from a veterinarian and must be used monthly. See below for options suitable for light or heavy dogs.
Who should use it: If you have a cat and don’t mind using the medicine every month, Revolution Plus provides comprehensive coverage for cats 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 provides protection against heartworms and ear mites.
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What it treats: Revolution Plus protects cats from more pests than our other choices. This is a great solution for cat owners living in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states, as it is the only topical treatment we offer against Gulf Coast ticks that thrive in those areas. It is our only option to treat ear mites, the second most common pest after fleas according to VCA Hospitals. Like Bravecto, Revolution Plus protects against common kitchen parasites, 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 narrow range of pests compared to the flea treatments we offer, but is the only one that protects against heartworms. Revolution does not protect against brown dog ticks, which are found throughout the world. (Bravecto, Frontline, and Seresto fight these.) Revolution kills fleas, ear mites, sarcoptic mange, American dog ticks, and heartworms.
Versions: 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 2.8-5.5 lbs, 5.6-11 lbs, 11.1-22 lbs
Frontline Plus is our favorite over-the-counter topical treatment and protects against fleas and a range of tick species. But it requires monthly applications and it doesn’t fight parasites like heartworms. See below for suitable dosages for dogs of other weights.
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This monthly, over-the-counter topical treatment protects cats from the same pests as dogs (and requires the same monthly schedule).
Who should use it: Frontline Plus for dogs and Frontline Plus for cats are over-the-counter treatments, so you can easily get the medicine. If you have dogs and cats and want to protect them from the same pests, on the same schedule, consider this treatment.
What it treats: Frontline Plus is the only over-the-counter flea and tick treatment recommended to treat the same pests on the same schedule for cats and dogs. Because they are species-based, the active ingredients in the two versions differ slightly, but you can keep both cats and dogs on the same schedule and treat the same pests. Both treatments control fleas, lice, lone star ticks, American dog ticks, deer ticks and brown dog ticks. So there’s no need to mix and match different medications to ensure that every animal in your household has the same level of protection. In comparison, Bravecto offers four formulations that protect against different combinations of pests, with fewer in its cat products; this can be confusing for cat and dog owners who want to protect their pets from multiple parasites with a single dose. Frontline Plus takes the guesswork out of letting pet owners focus on playtime instead of flea bath time.
Frontline Plus is the only topical product that does not require a prescription. This way you can quickly get a new box while running errands
Natural Flea And Tick Prevention For Dogs
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