For pet owners, warm weather is synonymous with peak flea and tick season. Bites are notorious for causing everything from intense itching to more serious infections like Lyme disease, so keeping your pet protected is more important than ever this time of year.
When it comes to fleas, they don’t just affect your pet, says Wellness Natural Pet Food veterinarian, Dr. Danielle Bernal. "Once your dog has them, they can take over the entire home," she tells Yahoo Lifestyle, noting that furniture and floorboards are especially at risk for flea infestation. "About 70 percent of dogs that are itchy and scratching have fleas, so it's really abundant—protection is key."
Ticks can lead to anemia, paralysis and even Lyme disease — so picking the right preventative measure is extremely important. “Tick bites can lead to expensive vet bills and a situation where your pet is really unwell,” says Dr. Bernal.
So if you have a furry friend, now’s the time to brush up on the best flea and tick treatments on the market, below.
"Spot treatments have been the most popular option for the last 10 years.
says Dr. Bernal. She adds that while there are many brands and formulas out there, the most important thing to look for is one that kills fleas and ticks but also prevents future infestations.
Dr. Bernal says tablets are the newest way to prevent fleas and ticks. The pill is available in 1 to 3 month-long preventative doses, which is great for busy (and sometimes forgetful) pet parents. "As pet parents, one of the challenges we have is remembering to do things, so I've seen a lot of success with the 3-month tablet," she says. "If you stay active with the 3-month treatments, it's just four times a year, and you get consistent protection so it's my go-to."
Not only are the tablets easy to use, but Dr. Bernal says they’re also one of the best preventatives for ticks. "Ticks are hard because many spot treatments only protect against ticks for about 2 weeks out of the 4 — but with the tablet, you're covered for up to 3 months."
While most collars, like Seresto, protect against flea and ticks, she recommends collars for added tick protection if you're using a spot treatment.
"Collars are really popular for tick prevention specifically," says Dr. Bernal. "Ticks are everywhere—even the dog park—and what stimulates them is the carbon dioxide from your dog’s breath. So the collars work to neutralize that and repel ticks over a period of time."
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