You have a duty as a responsible pet parent to protect your faithful friend from the dangers of flea infestations. Choosing the right flea preventative and treatment, however, can be tricky. Oral flea medication is an effective method of helping to prevent and treat flea problems on your dog.
Oral Flea Medications vs. Topical Treatments
Flea control pills for dogs are often easier to administer and provide better protection than their topical counterparts. While topical flea treatments protect your dog most effectively on and near the area where it is applied, oral medication gives your dog total body protection. Unlike topical treatments that can be washed away by rain or bath water, flea control pill protection is not vulnerable to water exposure.
Brands of Flea Control Pills for Dogs
The pet industry market is replete with choices to help you manage fleas on your dog, but not all flea control pills are created equally.
Capstar is a flea control pill that provides fast-acting but temporary relief from severe infestations. One Capstar capsule kills all adult fleas within 4 hours but is only effective for 24 hours before another dose is needed. Capstar is often used in conjunction with other flea control products that offer monthly protection.
Comfortis and Program are two brands of monthly flea control pills that inhibit flea reproduction but do not kill adult fleas. As the adult fleas on a dog die off, Comfortis and Program keep him flea free by preventing new flea eggs from hatching.
Sentinel is another monthly flea control pill that prevents flea eggs from hatching rather than killing adult fleas, but it stands out from its competitors in that it also protects against parasites such as heartworms, hookworms, whipworms and roundworms.
Trifexis is a monthly flea control pill that, like Capstar, kills all adult fleas within 4 hours. Unlike Capstar, however, Trifexis offers month-long protection and also prevents heartworms, hookworms, whipworms and roundworms.
Flea control pills that protect against heartworms generally require a heartworm test and veterinary prescription.
In cases of severe infestation, it can be just as important to treat the environment for fleas as it is to treat your dog.
Flea control pills contain various chemicals and pesticides that can be harmful to dogs with certain sensitivities. Ask your veterinarian about side effects associated with the flea control pills you plan to use on your dog. Always carefully follow dosage directions when using any flea control products on your dog.
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.
Kristina Barroso is a full-time teacher who has been freelance writing since 1991. She published her first book, a break-up survival guide, in 2007 and specializes in a variety of topics including, but not limited to, relationships and issues in education. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Florida International University.