Whether your dog or cat is a homebody who stays solely indoors, or an adventurous explorer who loves to investigate outdoors, flea and tick prevention is essential. To help you navigate the complicated territory of tablets, topicals, and timing, our Neighborhood Veterinary Centers team has produced the following guide on choosing the best pet flea and tick prevention product.

Why is flea and tick prevention important for my pet?

Fleas and ticks can not only make your pet itchy and uncomfortable, they can transmit a multitude of serious illnesses. Flea bite allergies, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and many more can afflict your furry pal if they are bitten by fleas or ticks, but high quality prevention can protect them.

How do I give my pet flea and tick prevention?

Flea and tick preventives come in several formulations to ensure all pets can be easily protected, whether they spit out pills or swim daily. Preventives are available in the following forms:

  • Tablets — Tablets can be in pill form that requires swallowing, or a chewable form that can be crunched and eaten like a treat. Tablets like Capstar can simply kill all the fleas currently on your pet, while products like Credelio have a residual effect and longer protection period.
  • Chews — Soft chews act as tasty treats that almost any pet can be enticed to eat. Some chews, like NexGard, provide a month’s protection, while others, like Bravecto, can protect your pet for three months.
  • Topicals — Topical products are applied to the skin between your pet’s shoulders, at the base of their neck, or down their spine. Some of these products, like Vectra 3D, also repel biting insects so they don’t bite your pet in the first place. Many topical products are highly effective, but they are not the best choice for use for pets who spend time with small children or who swim often.
  • Collars — Flea collars are generally ineffective at best, and harmful at worst. Many over-the-counter flea collars discourage fleas from the collar area, but leave the rest of the pet’s body unprotected. Some pets also have severe flea-collar reactions that cause painful sores. However, some collars are high-quality and known to be effective and safe for the majority of pets. Seresto collars in particular can provide up to eight months of protection, with few, if any, side effects. If you decide to use a flea and tick collar, speak with your Neighborhood Veterinary Centers veterinarian about the safest and most effective option for your pet.

When should I give my pet flea and tick prevention?

Southeast Texas is not known for frigid winters, and with no harsh winter conditions to knock down the parasite populations, your pet is at risk for flea and tick bites all year long. Year-round prevention is therefore essential. 

Depending on the prevention product you choose, you will need to administer treatment at different intervals to ensure your pet is protected year-round.

Why does my pet need flea and tick prevention if they rarely go outside?

Haven’t you found a fly buzzing around inside your home, or spotted a spider descending from the ceiling? You may have hole-free window screens and keep your doors closed, but tiny insects can easily slip inside your home and infect your pet. You can also carry fleas and ticks on your shoes and clothes, which can hop aboard your furry pal once you are inside. So, whether your cat remains strictly indoors, or your Chihuahua uses training pads and rarely ventures outdoors, they are still at risk for flea and tick infestations.

Where can I find the best flea and tick preventive for my pet? 

While you can purchase flea and tick preventives in a variety of places—both in stores and online—none have the manufacturer’s guarantee and backing like the products hand-picked by our Neighborhood Veterinary Centers veterinarians. Our in-hospital and online pharmacies offer a wide array of products for purchase that we know are safe and highly effective, which provides you with peace of mind. Plus, our experienced team can guide you toward the most appropriate product for your four-legged friend—a service not offered anywhere else.

So many flea and tick preventives are available that choosing the one best for your pet’s health and lifestyle can be extremely confusing. For help determining which flea and tick preventive will be most effective for your pet, call us to discuss your options with our Neighborhood Veterinary Centers team in La Marque, Texas.