I would like some advice on a good and safe flea and tick treatment. I have tried Frontline plus and it didn’t work very well in my opinion. I’m currently using K9 Advantix II and it seems to be working great but then I read some articles and it made it seem like this was dangerous and I would just really like some unbiased opinions! Please help, I just want to do what is best for my dog.
I’ve been using natural flea/tick products since last summer and no infestations. These include Mercola natural spray, Halo Herbal Dip, and Only Natural Pet Natural Defense Herbal Oil. I have 3 dogs and many fosters and they use a doggy door and go out whenever they want to.
I use Advantage and so far no problems…
At my shelter we just had a cat go into a seizure after getting Advantage (for cats, correct dosage for the cat’s weight). The cat had been at the shelter for several months with no health issues. We had to shave it and bathe it in dish soap.
I appreciate everyone’s help but I still feel like I need more information before I can feel confidant in my choice of treatment options.
I guess some pets could be sensitive to some products… I have a friend who used Frontline (I think) once and it made his dog throw up several times so he switched…
I bought it because my dad is using it for years now and very pleased. My dog seems to be ok with it, but I’ll keep that in mind in case I see any change. Thanks!
Hi jacklyn –
The most effective thing you can do to repel fleas and ticks from your dogs is to boost their immune system. Vital dogs are less susceptible to parasites (both internal and external) than dogs with weaker immune systems. The first step to creating a strong immune system is by feeding a species-appropriate diet. For years I used chemical flea and tick topicals on my dogs (Advantix or Frontline Plus). Two summers ago was a really bad summer for fleas in my area, despite receiving a monthly dose of Advantix my dogs (I had two at the time – Gus was 6 and Gertie was a pup) got infested with fleas. When I say infested, I mean really infested – Gus had the hair chewed off both his hindquarters exposing the raw skin because he was chewing on himself so much and Gertie was just crawling with them, when I separated her hair I could just see fleas crawling. So in addition to the Advantix I put them on Trifexis (oral flea preventative, with heart worm preventative – took them off Heartguard) and set off flea “bombs” in the house. To no avail. I hired an exterminator to treat the yard and house – that didn’t do any good either. Finally I gave up and we all suffered through the summer and early fall until the temperatures dipped below freezing, then the fleas died off. That fall I switched my dogs to a raw diet (at the time of the infestation they were eating The Honest Kitchen and various 4 and 5 star canned foods). I read online many reports of dogs not requiring flea and tick treatments while on a raw diet because their immune systems grow so strong. It sounded bogus to me but I really didn’t like using chemicals on and around them (I had began learning more about chemical flea and tick preventatives and started to become scared of using them) and I figured it things couldn’t be worse than the previous summer. So that next summer (would have been last summer – 2012) I didn’t use any chemical preventatives. I used Sentry Natural Defense topical (chemical free – contains natural essential oils) and Earth Animal herbal flea and tick tincture (drops that I add to their food made with herbs known to make the dog’s natural scent/blood less appealing to fleas and ticks). I combed my dogs daily with a flea comb and did not find a single flea or tick the entire summer. I’ve been chemical-free ever since and so far so good for this summer too. I’ve been having a snap test (blood test for tick transmitted diseases) done prior to the start of tick season and after tick season and all my dogs have tested negative for tick transmitted diseases each time – ticks are bad in my area and last summer 4 individuals I know had their dogs (all of which were on either Advantix or Frontline Plus) test positive for lyme. I’m now a believer that healthy dogs are less susceptible to infestation.
Some information about the active ingredients found in many popular flea and tick preventatives:
FIPRONIL (active ingredient in Frontline)
“Journal of Pesticide Reform Factsheet: Fipronil”
-In tests with laboratory animals, fipronil causes aggressive behavior, damaged kidneys, and “drastic alterations in thyroid function.” The fipronil containing product ‘Frontline’ caused changes in the levels of sex hormones.
-The offspring of laboratory animals exposed to fipronil during pregnancy were smaller than those of unexposed mothers. They also took longer to mature sexually.
-The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies fipronil as a carcinogen because exposure to fipronil caused benign and malignant thyroid tumors in lab animals.
IMIDACLOPRID (active ingredient in Advantage)
“Journal of Pesticide Reform Factsheet: Imidacloprid”
-Imidacloprid is a relatively new, systemic insecticide chemically related to the tobacco toxin nicotine. Like nicotine, it acts on the nervous system. Symptoms of exposure include apathy, labored breathing, incoordination, emaciation and convulsions. Longer-term exposures causes reduced ability to gain weight and thyroid lesions.
-Pregnant laboratory animals exposed to imidacloprid experienced increased incidence of miscarriage and had smaller offspring than unexposed animals.
-Imidacloprid has been shown to increase the incidence of genetic damage called DNA adducts.
PYRETHRINS (active ingredient in Bio Spot)
-According to CPI, from 2002 through 2007, at least 1,600 pet deaths related to spot-on treatments with the pyrethrins were reported to the EPA.
-According to the website “Bio Spot Victims”: Toxicological studies have linked this pesticide to serious acute and chronic health effects. The EPA has classified it as a possible human carcinogen because it increases the frequency of lung and liver tumors in laboratory animals. It suppresses the immune system. Permethrin is also suspected to have played an important role in the development of illnesses known as the Gulf War Syndrome.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 4 months ago by Hound Dog Mom.
Has anyone ever heard of the Pet Protector?
It’s a metal disk you put on the dog’s collar… I wonder if it’s any good, because it’s not cheap…
Here is a link (you can also find it on google)-
I was wondering the same thing – Only Natural Pet sells one too.
I’ve heard mixed reviews. I’m skeptical so I’m not willing to spend the money to try it.
We got the Only Natural Pet ones the first year they came out. Very glad they came with a 100% guarantee because that was the first year we saw fleas & ticks. We got our money back. They may work for some but they didn’t for me.
I’ve used the Wondercide products that have Organic Cedar Oil and Hydrated Silica. I used it for a few weeks so can’t really say much about fleas but it certainly didn’t work for ticks. My dog is always in constant danger of getting ticks and at one point the work truck was infested with them (not from the dog from us! Grossssss). I used it on myself as well as the dog and I was still coming home with 21 ticks latched onto myself and at least that many, if not more, on the dog. We have since moved from that grassy area about the same time I put the K9 Advantix 2 back on him and am not sure if it was just that area or because we put the Advantix back on, but so far only a couple ticks. I hate to use a product like that on him but until I find one that works well for ticks I see it as my only option.
Thanks for the comments, I guess the Pet Protector did sound a little too good to be true 🙂
So I can’t say I’m surprise about what InkedMarie said…
I no longer recommend any of the natural products. Not only are they ineffective but they can cause harm.
One of my dogs just had what looked like a full blown asthma attack after being sprayed with one of these natural products. He is still doing reverse sneezing 2 days later.
Again, natural does not mean benign.
Personally, Nexgard works better than Frontline because it’s chewable and can’t get washed off or anything.
I would agree that natural doesn’t always equate to benign but my dog gets reverse sneezing from lamb (in any form – raw, kibble etc). Should we all avoid lamb now?
Turns out pollen is the most likely culprit in the case of my dog (reverse sneezing) according to the veterinarian that examined him. Other medical issues were ruled out.
Dogs with these type of sensitivities/allergies should probably avoid any unnecessary inhalants.
If a food or environmental substance causes an adverse reaction in any living thing, yes, obviously it would be best to avoid it.
yes I also have tried Frontline plus and it is best.
About 2 months ago, I gave my 11 month old Australian Shepard Nexgard (correct dosage for weight) she had a major seizure and we ended up at the emergency vet. Previously, I have used Advantage and FrontLine. I am never giving my dogs any of these pesticides again. I am trying natural treatments this year with weekly flea baths and wipes. I am so torn on what to do, while I do not want an infestation of fleas, I can’t in good conscience give pesticides to my dogs anymore. I sure hope that I can keep the fleas/ticks under control.
We have a house full of pets. No, really. We’ve got 3 dogs, about 10 cats, and 3 ferrets. That means we have our work cut out for us when it comes to flea control.
Since we also have a house full of kids- who love their pets- I really hate to use topical, chemical flea control (not that it works well anyway) and I worry about what the chemicals are doing to our furry family members when they ingest so much of these pills or chews that supposedly get rid of fleas. Luckily, there are a lot of options to get rid of fleas naturally!
This is why natural remedies are a good approach to dealing with fleas on dogs. Below are 6 natural ways of getting rid of dog fleas
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