There are many products on the market that you can use to keep your dog free of fleas and ticks: shampoos, collars, dust, sprays and spot-on products.
Spot-on flea and tick products are liquid pesticides applied to a “spot” on the pet’s skin, usually around the back of the neck or shoulder area.
How to protect against fleas and ticks
- Your veterinarian can advise you about the best way to protect your dog from fleas and ticks. He can also tell you whether pesticides are needed.
- Use a flea comb to remove the fleas. The fleas and “flea dirt” will be caught by the comb leaving the fur clean.
- Make sure to comb especially in those parts of your dog where most fleas gather, including neck and tail area.
- Kill any fleas in soapy water.
Using flea and tick products safely
- Always read the label and instructions about the flea and tick product that you are planning to use on your dog.
- Only use flea and tick control products for dogs on your dog. Some products are toxic to dogs.
- Follow any label prohibitions against use on weak, aged, medicated, sick, pregnant, or nursing pets, or on dogs that have previously shown sensitivity to pesticide products.
- Apply only the amount indicated for the size of the dog being treated.
- Remember: Older or sick animals could react differently to a product.
- Products are designed for specific size dogs (generally by weight), and using more product or a product designed for a larger dog than yours may overexpose your pooch to the pesticide.
- Do not apply to puppies unless the product label specifically allows this treatment. The label will tell you the minimum age or size for use. Test results may show different effects on younger dogs, leading to limits on use.
- Monitor your dog for side effects or signs of sensitivity after applying the product, particularly when using the product on your dog for the first time.
- Do not apply spot-ons to dogs known to be sensitive to pesticide products.
- Keep the package with the product container (such as individual applicator tubes) in case adverse effects occur after treatment. You will need the instructions, as well as contact information for the manufacturer.
If your pet has an adverse reaction
- If the dog experiences an adverse reaction, immediately bathe the dog with mild soap and rinse with large amounts of water.
- Contact your veterinarian or the National Pesticide Information Center (1-800-858-7378) right away for information on whether additional measures are needed to help your dog recover.
- Report any adverse reactions.