Flea and tick safety in dogs is perhaps the fastest growing as well as the fastest advancing forms of preventive treatments in the dog community.
However, it does not come without some potential safety factors.
Before any owner uses any one brand or method of preventing fleas or tick in your dogs, it is extremely beneficial to understand the basic ingredients.
This include how they work as well as react and the potential safety hazards that your dog may incur.
Flea and tick safety in dogs is extremely important as many fleas throughout various parts of the world have become resistant to some ingredients.
Some of the newer brands may be much more effective, but they may also present a health risk to your dog, especially some breeds.
Ticks, although they are not as big a problem as fleas, can still present a very serious health problem for your dog as they transmit numerous diseases much like fleas do.
Flea and tick safety in dogs starts with Pyrethrins, which is one of the most common ingredients used in both flea and tick medications.
It has also been used as an insecticide for close to a century.
One of the more popular brands that it is in is Bio Spot. The major ingredients from this product are made from the flowers of the chrysanthemum plant.
This plant is found in several Middle Eastern countries, as well as Europe, and it will be labeled on the product as Pyrethrin.
This particular ingredient attacks the nervous system of fleas and ticks and affects the flow of sodium from their cells and than affects the nerves.
It is also extremely effective for mites, lice, as well as mosquitoes.
It is perhaps one of the safest ingredients on the market, as it is very easily hydrolyzed and as a result is easily degraded by your dog’s stomach acids.
In very rare cases it may cause some salivation, as well as temporary tremors when first used, but all signs of toxicity usually dissipate within 24 hours.
The next most common ingredient is called Pyrethroids, but they are entirely different than Pyrethrins as they are synthetic. They are made in a laboratory and have no natural plant extracts in them.
The most common brand that contains this ingredient is Cutter Flea and Insect Repellent, but it can also be found in other products.
It is very similar to Pyrethrins in that it also attacks the nervous system of insects.
It has one distinct advantage, however, as it not only kills insects but it also repels them, which is very important in flea and tick safety in dogs.
However, it does have some drawbacks. Although they last longer than natural forms, they do not break down as easily as natural ingredients, making them somewhat more toxic.
If your dog has any type of a reaction to them, you should contact your veterinarian immediately as they will not dissipate.
This is another class of drugs to be concerned about with flea and tick safety in dogs has been used for several years and functions as a nerve inhibitor in insects as it stops certain enzymes from functioning properly.
This same ingredient is also used on ants as well as roaches.
This particular ingredient is much more dangerous as it can be toxic in dogs and it is deadly to cats.
It will be very important to look for this ingredient as it is not found in most of the major brands.
If a brand that contains this product is used in excess or if your dog ingests it, it is not normally fatal, but it can cause tremors as well as seizures.
Greyhounds and Whippet breeds are especially prone to this drug and before you use it on these breeds; you should consult with your veterinarian.
With this ingredient your dogs is much safer and is one reason the brand Advantage has become so successful.
It is a newer insecticide and Advantage was one of the first major brands to use it.
It functions by blocking the nerves actions in fleas and kills them very rapidly, but is totally ineffective against ticks.
It acts in a time release methodology as it mixes extremely with the oil in your dog’s hair follicles and is slowly and evenly released.
Some pets may be sensitive to it, but the reactions are almost always very slight in nature.
This is also a relatively new synthetic product, is labeled as Fipronil, and is the major ingredient found in Frontline. It is very safe product, although not quite as safe as Advantage.
These active ingredients block the passage of chlorine through the cells of insects and are very effective on several insects as it cause paralysis to occur.
It acts in much the same manner as Imidacloprid in that it mixes very well with your dog’s natural hair oils.
It also releases very evenly throughout the 30 day cycle and is considered a safe form of flea and tick safety in dogs
Some dogs may be somewhat sensitive to it initially, but it usually dissipates.
However, there have been some reported cases where a dog may become more sensitive with usage, but it is very rare.
Flea and tick safety in dogs has several other alternatives such as insect growth repellents as well as insect development inhibitors.
However, in most cases they are aimed at killing the immature fleas and ticks and not the adult species and usually have to be used in conjunction with other products.
There are however, some very viable natural defenses against flea and ticks. Although they may offer no real advantages, they are still extremely effective.
The first form is Citrus extract. These ingredients include d-Limonene or linalool, and are extracted from the peeling of citrus fruit.
They are effective as they severely impact the nerves of insects, especially fleas.
However, even this form may have some side effects if used in excess and could cause your dog to lose body heat very rapidly.
Flea and tick safety in dogs should always be your first priority when selecting any one ingredient or one brand. Brewer’s yeast as well as garlic is also very effective, as is vitamin B1, Thiamine.
Fleas absolutely hate the taste of this natural defense.
A particular brand may be more effective than another in your dogs, but the first priority is their safety and how well they react to a particular brand.