Table of Contents
- 1 Fleas vs. ticks
- 2 How do dogs get fleas and ticks?
- 3 Signs that your home has fleas and ticks
- 4 What to do when you discover fleas and ticks?
- 5 Topical vs. oral flea/tick treatment
- 6 Best Flea And Tick Prevention For Puppies
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions
Dogs are notorious for being the main flea and tick host in your home. Like how bed bugs are attracted to humans, ticks and fleas love canines. They live under their fur, feed, and thrive without immediate signs. The good news is that there are ways to prevent these pests from infiltrating your home. That starts by using the best flea and tick prevention for puppies.
Remember that the flea and tick population you’ll see on your dog’s coat is just the tip of the iceberg. A larger larvae population is hiding in the tiny crevices of your home and just waiting to erupt into a full-fledged infestation. Prevention is key, so you won’t have to deal with the bites. Remember that fleas and ticks can also feed on humans when your dog is no longer enough to sustain the feeding needs of the pest population.
Fleas vs. ticks
A lot of pet owners use the words ‘fleas’ and ‘ticks’ interchangeably to refer to the critters infesting their dogs. The following are the differences between the two:
Fleas are easier to identify than ticks. This pest is usually the size of a pinhead and loves transferring from one host to another. Your dog’s fleas can transfer to your cat and even to your skin to seek food. Fleas are wingless pests, but they are quite high jumpers, which they use to navigate their surroundings.
Black specks on a dog’s coat are a potential sign of fleas. Such black dirt is fleas’ feces. Fleas are always moving and crawling in a dog’s coat.
Ticks are a cousin of spiders because they have eight legs that are not visible in the naked eye. This insect is larger than fleas and can live between three weeks and three years. Most ticks are stationary on the spot where they feed. Ticks can be more overwhelming for pet owners due to its large size, especially right after feeding.
Despite that, ticks and fleas have similarities. Both transmit various diseases, and they can also affect people. If not addressed right away, both ticks and fleas can impact the health of your pet.
How do dogs get fleas and ticks?
Dogs pick up fleas and ticks within their environment. It’s also possible that they got in contact with an infected animal. Since dogs are sociable beings, they can easily catch this pest, especially pups who love exploring around.
The worst part is that flea larvae can consume tapeworm eggs and become a host of the pest. When your pup ingests the infected flea, they will also suffer from a secondary tapeworm infestation.
Take note that even you can be the culprit behind the infestation. Like bed bugs, fleas and ticks can hitch a ride on human clothes and belongings. They will get off at your home and target your dog. Over time, the pest will reproduce and cause a serious infestation.
Since you don’t know where your dog can catch the pests, you must give it a protective and preventive treatment.
Signs that your home has fleas and ticks
Most of the time, ticks and fleas go unnoticed until it has become a full-fledged infestation. The following are some of the tell-tale signs that ticks and fleas are invading your house:
- Flea dirt on dog’s coat
- A dog’s persistent scratching
- Licking and chewing the coat
- Hair loss and bald spots on your dog’s coat
- Pale gums and lips among dogs
- Flea/tick sightings on rugs and carpets
- Dark specks on your dog’s bedding
What to do when you discover fleas and ticks?
Immediate removal is important once you determine that there are fleas and ticks in your home. You must take the following steps to eliminate the bloodsuckers in your home and on your dog’s coat:
✔️Vacuum the place
Vacuuming the floor, rugs, and carpets in your home will help a lot in sucking out larvae hiding on the surface. You can also use a crevice tool to clean hard-to-reach areas in your home since this is the favorite harborage of flea and tick larvae.
Make sure that you dispose of the dirt properly so the critters won’t creep back to your home.
Once you’re done vacuuming, I recommend steam cleaning all the plush and fabric surfaces in your home. Start with the carpets, rugs, and then to your couch, if possible. You can also apply a small amount of soap to guarantee that the ticks and fleas will die across its life cycles.
✔️Wash all your beddings
Next, you must wash all your beddings, including your dog’s, to kill hiding fleas or ticks, regardless of its life cycle. A nice soak in soapy water is enough to kill these critters. For items you can’t wash, it’s best to leave it under intense and direct sunlight for hours while sealed inside a plastic container.
✔️Comb your dog
Using a fine-toothed comb, pass through your dog’s coat to sieve out fleas and ticks. The comb teeth should touch your dog’s skin since this where the pests are located. However, avoid pulling on snags, or it will hurt your dog.
✔️Continuous prevention is key
When it comes to fleas and ticks, the only way to prevent an infestation is to observe continuous prevention. This means arming your dog with an anti-flea or anti-tick solution so the critters won’t seek them for food.
It’s important to apply a flea and tick prevention formula to your dog’s coat. If the vet approves, you can also administer nitenpyram tablets to your pooch.
Topical vs. oral flea/tick treatment
When it comes to tick and flea treatments, you have the option to use topical (applied on the skin) or oral solutions.
Topical solutions are contained in small applicators that you’d have to administer directly into your dog’s skin. You no longer have to hide a tablet on food. Also, topical solutions spread on its own within 24 hours as long as you apply it in the middle of your dog’s shoulders.
However, you must check what topical solution you’re buying. Some are made to target eggs and larvae while there are versions that work on adults.
The good thing about topical treatments is that the tick or flea doesn’t have to bite your pet just to die or avoid its coat.
The same goes for most oral flea and tick solutions. However, you must seek the approval or prescription of the vet before giving this to your dog. This is very critical, especially if you have a young pup or a dog with a medical condition.
Both the topical and oral tick/flea medication can both be effective. However, only the topical solution will usually last for up to 30 days, which will help eradicate the flea or tick population. By depriving the pests with their source of food, their numbers will soon dwindle.
Best Flea And Tick Prevention For Puppies
OUR #1 CHOICE
OUR TOP PICK: Bayer K9 Advantix II for X-Large Dogs
Product Name: Bayer K9 Advantix II for X-Large Dogs
Product Description: If you have a large doggo, you should get the Bayer K9 Advantix II. This topical formula will drive fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes away. It should be used on dogs over 55 pounds, but never on cats. The Advantix II kills pests upon contact, and there’s no biting required. As soon as the flea or tick stepped into your dog’s coat, it will be exposed to the chemical. This formula works for flea eggs, larvae, and adults. It’s also effective against adult ticks, biting flies, and chewing lice.
Offer price: $$$
Value for Money
Each pack of the Advantix II comes with six drops good for six months. Simply cut the tip of the drops, part your dog’s coat in the middle of the shoulder, and apply the solution directly to the skin. The formula will spread on its own within 24 hours.
Once spread thoroughly, the Advantix II will keep killing and repelling the pests for the next 30 days. It will start killing as soon as 12 hours upon the initial application.
If the fleas and ticks population is still present at the end of the month, you can re-apply another drop. The best thing about Advantix II is that it’s safe to use all-year-round as a preventive measure against tick and fleas.
Starts working in as fast as 12 hours
Each application lasts for 30 days
No biting needed
Not for smaller breeds
FRONTLINE Plus Flea and Tick Treatment for Dogs
For dogs that are in the 45 to 88-pound weight range, the FRONTLINE Plus is a good choice. This is a waterproof topical treatment that works for large dogs.
The FRONTLINE Plus works by breaking the life cycle of the pest. It kills adult fleas and ticks as well as its eggs to eradicate its population fast. Aside from these two pests, this solution also works against lice.
Moreover, this formula uses two active ingredients that kill the pests: S-methoprene and fipronil. It’s a fast-acting and long-lasting solution that can last for 30 days. You can use this on puppies that are at least 8 weeks old.
It also comes in a 6-dose pack so you can keep your furry friend protected for long. This is completely safe to use and guaranteed to kill all four life stages of ticks and fleas.
Although FRONTLINE Plus is a little pricey, it’s worth the extra dollars considering its guaranteed effects. We’ve been using this for 11 years, and it has never failed us dog after dog. Our home has been tick and flea-free ever since.
Capstar Nitenpyram Oral Flea Treatment
If topical solutions don’t work for your doggo, you can try the Capstar Nitenpyram Oral Flea Treatment. Nitenpyram is an anti-parasitic drug widely used treatment for biting insect pests. This is a synthetic drug, but it’s safe for dogs as long as you secure the approval of a veterinarian.
Capstar includes six doses of nitenpyram for dogs that are within the 2 to 25-pound weight range. Each tablet has an 11.4-gram dosage suitable for small to medium breeds.
Upon ingestion, this tablet will start killing fleas in fast as 30 minutes. It’s a convenient choice if your dog has an adverse reaction to topical treatments.
This nitenpyram tablet is safe to give to your dog even without a vet prescription. However, if your pooch has a medical condition, you should seek the advice of a vet first.
Capstar nitenpyram will keep killing fleas within four hours. You can also give this tablet to cats. Anyway, unlike topical treatments, oral options don’t last as long. You have to re-administer another tablet if there are still fleas and ticks on your dog’s body. Remember that the maximum dosage is one tablet a day.
PetArmor Flea and Ticks Treatment for Dogs
Back to topical treatments, I recommend the PetArmor Flea and Ticks Treatment. This comes with three drops/applicators good for a whole quarter. It suits dogs that are 45 to 88 pounds. Upon application, this solution will kill adult ticks, fleas, and chewing lice.
This formula uses fipronil as its active ingredient. It’s fast-acting and will start killing fleas within 24 hours and ticks within72 hours. Each application lasts for 30 days for long-lasting protection against the pesky pests.
Another thing that I like about PetArmor is its waterproof nature. Even if your dog loves wading on the flood or diving into the pool, this tick and flea solution will remain in effect. It will not leave any residue that may piss your dog’s stomach or skin.
Aside from that, I like that this is more affordable than other options. The only trade-off is it takes more time to take effect.
Unfortunately, this will only kill adult fleas and ticks, but it will still make a big dent on the pest population in your home. Pair this with daily vacuuming, and you can arrest the infestation in no time.
TevraPet Activate II Tick & Flea Prevention for Dogs
Last but not the least, I recommend the TevraPet Activate II. This kills and repels ticks, mosquitoes, fleas, lice, and flea eggs. This is suitable for dogs that are within the 11 to 20-pound weight range. You can also find it on formulations suitable for dogs that are within 4 to 10 pounds and over 55 pounds.
Moreover, this contains permethrin, imidacloprid, and pyriproxyfen to kill the pests. Aside from eliminating the fleas, it will also repel re-infestation if applied monthly.
The good thing about TevraPet is it doesn’t require biting. Also, each pack comes with a four-month supply of drops, so your dog is protected from the threat of the blood-sucking insects.
This is waterproof, too, so you don’t have to re-apply after bathing your dog. This is also a cheaper alternative to other brands if you’re dealing with ticks and fleas on a budget.
Make sure that you check your dog’s allergies before using this treatment. You can also seek the advice of a vet to be sure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When can I start applying flea and tick treatments to my pup?
A: Flea and tick treatments, whether topical or oral, should only be given to puppies once they are at least eight weeks old. For smaller breeds, it’s worth waiting a couple of weeks more until their bodies are larger. Make sure that you consult with your dog’s vet before using any flea or tick prevention treatment.
Q: How can I keep fleas off my puppy?
A: The most efficient way of keeping your pup flea-free is by using a preventive treatment or formula. This formula alters the flea life cycle, which will result in the gradual death of its population. Depending on the formula, the preventive treatment may work upon feeding on your dog’s blood or upon contact with your dog’s coat.
Q: Where do fleas hide on my dog’s body?
A: Fleas and ticks often hide on the skin folds of your dog. You can spot a cluster on the dog’s armpits, neck, and chest. Breeds like Pugs and Shar-Pei can harbor more fleas since they have more prominent folds than other canines. Also, dogs with thicker fur can harbor more fleas since the pest will bury deep into the skin level.
Q: How can I remove fleas from a 6-week-old puppy?
A: Since you can’t use any preventive treatment to pups that are less than 8 weeks, you have to remove the pest manually. You can use tweezers to pick the fleas. Make sure that you have a dish filled with soapy water where you’ll drown the critters.
Q: Will vinegar in my dog’s drinking water kill fleas?
A: No, adding vinegar to your dog’s drinking water doesn’t kill fleas. Even apple cider vinegar can’t kill the pest, but it can act as a mild repellent. If you want to remove fleas from your dog’s body, you might as well use a dedicated formula made to eliminate the pest population.
Q: Will topical flea treatments poison my puppy?
A: Most topical treatments like Bayer Advantix, FRONTLINE Plus, PetArmor, and TevraPet are safe to use for dogs. As long as your pup is 8 weeks and older, you don’t have to worry about poisoning. Unlike cats, dogs don’t groom their coat too often. Also, you must apply the formula at the back of your dog’s head along the shoulder blade.
With the best flea and tick prevention for puppies, you can deal with the blood-sucking pests efficiently. It’s also a safer option for your dog who will be the one bearing the most brunt of the infestation. Just make sure that you get a safe formula and that you follow the application instructions properly.