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Is Flea and Tick Medicine Safe for Dogs?

Is Flea and Tick Medicine Safe for Dogs?

There are many different concerns that a dog owner is going to have for their pet. Fleas are such a common problem and a real nuisance for the animal, and so seeing to it their dog doesn’t have to deal with fleas is pretty common. Some dogs will be fine with just a good flea shampoo and maybe using a flea comb with it, but for dogs who are having ongoing difficulty with fleas then you’ll be best to use a good flea and tick medication. There are many that are reported to be very effective, but some owners will still have concerns about is flea and tick medicine safe for dogs.

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It’s helpful to start this discussion by saying that there are different types of flea and tick medication. UTC (under the counter) medications are ones you can buy without a prescription from a veterinarian, while OTC (over the counter) flea and tick medications will need a prescription. Any prescription drug is going to be FDA certified safe before it’s made available to consumers, and with UTC medications for fleas and ticks the reason they don’t need a prescription is they are less in the way of ingredients that might be harmful.

So if your dog is taking a prescription flea medication it will be on that’s FDA-approved for safe consumption or administration then you can trust that it’s been thoroughly tested before being made available to the public. And if the flea and tick killer you’re using is one that’s a non-prescription product then it is extremely unlikely that anything negative would happen to your dog as a result of using that flea medicine.

Reliable & Safe Defense Against Fleas and Ticks

If you’re still asking what flea medicine is safe for dogs then we can tell you that veterinary and related subject matter experts agree that all the most popular prescription flea meds are entirely safe to give to your dog. This includes most of the ones available through World Pet Express, including Advantage Multi and Vectra for dogs & cats. Both are excellent flea killer medications that your veterinarian can prescribe for you if your dog has a particularly stubborn case of fleas.

It is true that some oral (pill) flea medications may cause dogs to vomit, but this is the only real risk of side effects with flea pills and again most of them are entirely safe. Some people will need give their dog a topical flea medication, meaning one that’s not a pill and is applied between the dog’s shoulder blades

In fact, it’s actually the non-prescription product where you need to be more concerned about finding a safe flea medicine or safe tick medicine. The most risk products are actually ones that are for eliminating fleas but aren’t a medication or medicated topical solution for fleas. We’re talking about flea collars most specifically here. Flea collars to kill fleas and the parasiticide ingredient found on most of theme – a flumethrin / imidacloprid combination that kills fleas for up to 8 months.

This is just the thing though. As much as there’s no concern about a flea collar when asking is flea and tick medicine safe, the problem is that it’s not safe if you children in the home. Young children have a habit of putting their hands in their mouths very regularly, and if they’ve recently been touching the dog and made contact with the collar then there is the risk of them ingesting these harmful ingredients.

Flea collars tend to not work very well anyways, so using a good flea shampoo in conjunction with a good flea medication is probably your best approach.

Smart Precautions

Now that we’ve stated our belief that most flea and tick medications are safe to give your dog, we should present the other side of the argument. It’s for you to decide if you want to trust these medications, and keep in mind again that prescription flea meds will have been approved by the US FDA. However, that same US Federal regulating body came out with a report in late 2018 report about the potential for neurologic adverse effects associated with certain flea and tick products.

The types of flea pills identified in the report are ones that are in the isoxazoline class, and it should be mentioned that the two we shared earlier – Advantage Multi and Vectra – use imidacloprid and moxidectin / pyriproxyfen as their flea killer ingredients and as such are not included among the medications in the isooxazoline class. Revolution is another good flea killer med that uses selamectin as the active flea eliminator ingredient and is also known to be a safe choice.

According to the report, some dogs or cats had muscle tremors, ataxia, or in some cases mild seizures after taking any of the following types of flea pills:

  • Bravecto (fluralaner)
  • Nexgard (afoxalaner)
  • Simparica (Sarolaner)
  • Credelio (Lotilaner)

This is not to suggest that use of these medications WILL result in your dog have these symptoms, but it is something you should be aware of and discuss with your veterinarian based on the report before determining what flea medicine is safe for dogs.

Is flea and tick medicine safe for dogs? Nearly all of the time it will be, and quite honestly the best advice is to trust what your veterinarian advises for your dog. If you have these concerns, share them with him or her and tell them you want to know that the flea medication prescribed is known to be 100% safe.

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