Our climate provides an ideal environment for fleas. Ticks are a more sporadic problem depending upon the density of wooded areas but are still very common in Pennsylvania. Generally, most dogs and cats will develop some degree of flea and tick infestation if preventive products are not used.
Flea control has become incredibly easy compared to the past. Premise sprays, flea collars, flea shampoos and the like are a thing of the past. There are very few cases in which they play any role in flea control. The newer flea control products consist primarily of topical products that provide rapid and effective killing of adult fleas and also contain growth inhibitors to prevent reinfestation. An oral product that inhibits reinfestation is also available as a very short acting tablet that kills adult fleas.
It is important to realize, however, that there are many topical products on the market and that only a few of them are truly effective at providing residual control of fleas. Most of the over-the-counter topical flea control products are nothing more than a topical form of the older pesticides that used to be present in flea shampoos and premise sprays. While many animals can tolerate these pesticides quite well, some are more sensitive and toxic reactions to these products are not uncommon. That is why most of the topical over-the-counter products are clearly labeled for use in older puppies only while the safer products that are distributed exclusively through veterinarians are labeled for puppies as young as seven weeks of age. Further, many over-the-counter flea control products are highly toxic to cats and are labeled as such. Despite such labeling, hundreds of cats are treated annually for severe toxic reactions to products labeled for use in dogs only. There have also been reported cases of cats becoming extremely ill simply by living in a house where a dog has been treated with one of these products.
For all of these reasons, we have carefully chosen several flea control products to stock. These products were chosen based upon safety and reliability. Several factors go into the decision of which specific product will provide the best flea control for a particular household. We are happy to help decide which is best for you.