How to Compare Flea & Tick Medicine for Dogs

Water-resistant isn't the same as waterproof.
i Dog in the water image by rosipro from

No doubt it's frustrating to find fleas or ticks on your dog not long after you've applied an expensive preventative treatment. The fact is, not all flea and tick medicines offer the same protection. Understanding the different features of each medicine allows you to choose the best one for Ruff.

Step 1

Compare the functions of each medicine using a flea and tick control comparison chart, available through any online search engine. You can also compare the backside of each brand's box, but this takes more time than using a comparison chart. If your dog does not currently have fleas, a medicine that simply repels ticks, mosquitoes and fleas could be sufficient. However, if you frequently find fleas or ticks on your dog, consider a product with additional protection -- for example, one that kills adult fleas, their eggs and the larvae.

Step 2

Consider your dog's age. Fleas and ticks can infest a 2-week-old puppy more easily than an adult dog. Without protection, your furry friend becomes a buffet for infestation, which can lead to anemia and other infections. Unfortunately, many flea and tick medicines are unsafe for dogs younger than 6 months of age. Check to find a preventative treatment that is safe and age appropriate.

Step 3

Consider your dog's lifestyle. Does he frequently go swimming in the river? Does he live with other dogs and cats? How you answer these questions well help determine the best choice of flea and tick preventative medicine for your pet. Some medicines are waterproof; others are merely water-resistant. If your dog goes swimming three times a week, you'll want to invest in a waterproof protective medicine. Some medicines are unsafe for cats and young puppies. These living-environment considerations determine the most effective medicine for your dog, and the safest one for other furry members of your family.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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