What protects dogs from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes? Parasites are everywhere and it is important to protect your pet from internal and external parasites. A parasite is defined as an organism that lives in or on a host organism (your pet) and benefits by getting its food from or at the expense of its host. Internal parasites include intestinal worms, heartworm, giardia and coccidia.
External parasites include fleas, ticks, mites, and lice. There are a variety of prescription products available to prevent fleas and ticks from using your pet as a host or a mosquito from transmitting heartworm to your pet.
Prior to starting your pet on any preventative medication it is important that they have been seen by your veterinarian. You can discuss with your vet what product is best for your pet. If you have a breeding or pregnant dog it is important to note that not all medications are safe.
How to Protect My Dog or Cat from Fleas and Ticks
Many products on the market will protect your pet from both fleas and ticks. Bravecto is a topical product that can be dosed every 12 weeks which helps with compliance. Another good option are products like Frontline Plus for dogs and cats that are placed topically on the pet every month. Both options are safe to use on breeding and pregnant dogs.
If you are not sure what product is best for you, Revival offers a Flea and Tick product finder that will help you locate products that are safe and appropriate for your male and female breeding dogs.
How Do I Stop Mosquitoes From Biting My Dog or Cat
Heartworm is transmitted to your pet by mosquito bites. Your veterinarian will do a simple blood test to check your pet for heartworm prior to starting them on a prescription medication. Active drug ingredients such as sarolaner, ivermectin, moxidectin and milbemycin have been tested and are safe in pregnant and breeding pets. You will want to avoid giving these medications during the first trimester of pregnancy. Good heartworm prevention choices include Heartgard Plus for Dogs, Heartgard Feline, Iverhart Plus for Dogs, and Sentinel to name a few. Revolution is also a good choice, and it offers protection against fleas, ticks, mites and heartworm.
Do Dogs Really Need Flea and Tick Medicine in the Winter
Generally, a veterinarian will recommend treatment year round for the prevention of deadly diseases like Lyme’s disease, heartworm, and flea infestations. This mainly is because most southern areas are never cold enough to kill all of these disease carrying pests.
Many veterinarians will require your pet to have a heartworm test done on a yearly basis. Not all medications are 100% effective, and it is important to make sure the drug has been working. Missing a dose of their preventative puts your pet at risk and if not tested prior to resuming the medication can put your pet in danger.
Flea, Tick and Heartworm Prevention for Dogs and Cats
So what prevents fleas, ticks and heartworm? If giving your pet multiple medications is a concern, there are several products available that cover heartworm, fleas and ticks all in one dose. This can be helpful for dogs or cats that struggle taking medication. Using a flea, tick and heartworm pill or topical can also sometimes be more cost effective. If you’re looking for a 3 in 1 flea, tick and heartworm, consider Revolution for dogs, Simparica Trio for dogs, Nexgard Plus for dogs, Revolution Plus for cats or Nexgard Combo for cats.
If you have a question about a prescription item, call our experienced and knowledgeable Pet Care Pros at 800.786.4751.
Note: Many heartworm preventatives contain ivermectin; however, caution is advised when using ivermectin with breeds that have the MDR1 gene concerns. Studies have shown dog breeds such as collies, Shelties and breeds that have collie and Sheltie genetics in them, have a higher sensitivity to the effects of ivermectin. The only way to know if a dog has the mutant MDR1 gene is to have the dog tested. If concerned about this it is best to discuss this with your veterinarian.
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Written by: Lori S., Pharm D.
Pharmacist in Charge
I grew up on a farm and had once considered becoming a vet. In fact, I still live on a family farm with my husband, three kids and lots of animals. Working at Revival brings together my passion for pharmacy and pets. If there is a prescription product you'd like to see us carry, please don't hesitate to reach out and let our Pharmacy Team know.