When you’re choosing a flea treatment for your pet, there are a lot of things that you need to consider. Unfortunately, a lot of pet owners have the habit of going to their nearest discount store and buying whatever they can find that costs the least amount of money. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t care about their pets. If that were the case, they wouldn’t be there to buy a product in the first place. Instead, it points more to a lack of knowledge about these products than anything else. Consider these five questions for your veterinarian and start to look at finding the right flea treatment in a whole new light.
1. Is the Treatment Safe?
First and foremost, you want to know that the treatment you’re choosing is safe. While nothing is 100% guaranteed, you can learn what the track record is for that particular treatment. You want to know whether or not pets have had any reaction to it and if so, look for certain trends that indicate that there might be a problem. It doesn’t hurt to do some in-depth research on your own, but the first thing you should do is get some recommendations from a veterinarian that you trust. If you still have questions after you’ve done your research, take that information to your veterinarian’s office and talk it over with them.
2. What Are the Possible Side Effects?
Every medication has potential side effects, and it’s no different for pets. Even the safest flea medications carry a certain amount of risk with them. Most pets don’t have any problem whatsoever taking the medications on a routine basis, but some of them have a bad reaction to a certain medication. It isn’t always possible to pinpoint the exact reason why, either. Generally speaking, flea medications have side effects that are fairly benign like a loss of appetite and lethargy that typically go away after a few days.
The more serious side effects usually involve seizures or some other type of neurological incident. Therefore, if you have an animal that’s already dealing with a seizure condition, it’s extremely important to utilize a great deal of caution when administering these types of medications. That’s one reason you should be talking to your veterinarian about the particular medication you choose. They can look at the medical history for your pet and decide on the safest option possible given whatever conditions your pet is already dealing with. It’s also important to know that some pets have extreme allergic reactions to these and other medications.
3. Are There Any Special Considerations You Should be Aware of Up Front?
It doesn’t happen very often, but there have been a few instances where pets have taken flea medication and then passed away shortly thereafter. Typically, it’s because of an allergic reaction or a seizure that is extreme in nature. Therefore, you should always watch your pet for at least a few hours after you administer any medication, even if they’ve had it several times in the past.
4. Will Your Pet Tolerate it?
Just because you have one pet that tolerates a certain medication doesn’t mean that all of your pets will. By the same token, you might experience problems like nausea and vomiting if you try a new medication when those problems weren’t there with the old one. By today’s standards, these medications are much safer than the ones that were available several years ago. However, it’s important to consider your pet’s overall health when choosing a medication. For example, having a dog that tends to throw up whenever they get over-excited means they have a more sensitive stomach than others. Therefore, it’s important to choose a flea medication that isn’t quite as harsh on the stomach as some others.
5. How Much Does it Cost?
The cost varies widely from one medication to the next. If you’re looking for something you can buy over the counter without a prescription, you can spend as little as $10 or as much as $80 for a one-month supply. It’s largely based on the strength of the medication and the weight of the animal in question. If you’re looking for prescription medication, you can usually get a six-month supply for anywhere from $35 to $120. Again, it depends on the medication in question and the weight of the animal.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to think about when it comes to choosing the right medication for your pet. Talk to your veterinarian, do some solid research and make a decision based on each individual pet that you have. When it comes to their health and well-being, it’s worth both the time and the effort.