Topical vs. Chewable Flea Control: The Complete Guide

Topical vs. Chewable Flea Control: The Complete Guide

If you have pets, you can almost bet that those pets also have fleas unless you use some type of flea control product in order to keep them at bay. Even if your pets live indoors and only go outside to do their business, it’s still important to utilize flea control year-round. It doesn’t really matter what type of climate you live in or how many times you’ve sprayed your yard this year. The only way to make sure that your pet isn’t going to be infested with fleas is to have them on flea control as well.

Different Types of Flea Treatment

As you might already be aware, there are several different types of flea control products available. Mainly, they come in a topical form or in chewable tablet form. You can buy some of the topical products over the counter, but if you’re looking for a chewable tablet, you’ll have to get a prescription from your veterinarian to use it.

You might be thinking that it’s a lot easier to just go to your local discount store and buy something over the counter. After all, that doesn’t require you take your pet to the veterinarian to get an exam and have her weighed, as all of these products are sold by weight. However, you might want to consider the fact that many of the topical products that are sold over the counter aren’t nearly as strong as the prescription medications. That means that they don’t always work.

Topical vs. Chewable Flea Control: The Complete Guide

Topical Flea Treatment

You can buy medication that treats fleas only, or you can buy something that treats the flea problem along with other issues. Often, topical treatments are designed to kill both fleas and ticks as well as flea eggs. In almost every case, you’re supposed to apply the treatment once every 30 days, applying it between the shoulder blades of your pet.

If your pet has a lot of hair, it’s especially important that you spread the hair apart with your fingers in order to expose the skin. You don’t need to rub in a topical treatment, but merely apply it and let it do its job. It is important to note that a lot of animals don’t really care for it, so the first thing they are likely to do is to try to remove the treatment from their skin by rolling around in the grass or on your carpet.

Topical vs. Chewable Flea Control: The Complete Guide

Chewable Tablets

For most people, this is the more effective treatment for fleas. Just like the topical form, it’s usually mixed with other medications so that it also kills ticks. In fact, you can find flea and tick medicine that also kills heartworms and many intestinal worms all in one product. All you need to do is feed your pet one tablet each month to keep them protected. It’s best if you provide the tablets with food because there’s less chance of the medicine upsetting their stomach.

In addition, it’s important that you watch your pet carefully to make sure that they don’t vomit after they take the tablet. To be fully protected, they really need to keep the tablet down for a minimum of eight hours. If she does vomit before that period is up, it’s imperative that you call your veterinarian and ask them how to proceed. They can then make the recommendation about whether to give your pet another dose. Whatever you do, don’t automatically reduce your pet without asking your veterinarian first.

Potential Side Effects

Both forms of treatment have potential side effects attached to them, just like any other medication would. In some cases, the side effects can be serious. Most pets don’t have any problem with them at all, but for the ones that do, these medications can cause neurological responses such as tremors and even seizures. In extremely rare cases, pets can potentially die from taking a medication that they’re sensitive to. These types of side effects can occur in both topical and chewable forms of treatment. When you’re talking about the tablets, another side effect that you must watch for is nausea.

If you’re a first-time pet owner, you might be thinking that you don’t want to treat your pet at all after reading about the potential side effects. Rest assured, most pets don’t have any trouble. If you’re worried, talk to your veterinarian about the safest form of medication that you can provide for your pet. When it’s all said and done, it’s actually a lot safer to treat them than it is to allow fleas to bite them and cause disease. Your veterinarian can help you decide whether to choose a topical form of prevention or a tablet form. If you’re looking for advice from other pet owners, most people consider the chewable form of treatment to be far superior to the topical version, but the choice has to be yours and yours alone.