One of the worst things to deal with as a dog owner is a parasite infestation. They can be quite unpleasant for your dog and getting them under control can be difficult. However, a regular preventative treatment routine can stop this from happening. Today we are talking about the best flea and worm treatment for dogs.
Fleas are tiny blood sucking insects, about 1-2 inches in size. They live in the coat of their host, as well as furniture, carpets and bedding. A female flea can lay up to 500 eggs per day! The eggs drop off onto the ground and the larvae hatches. It then creates a cocoon and remains there until it senses a host nearby. The markers they use are temperature, vibrations and carbon dioxide levels. A nearby host triggers the pupae to develop and an adult flea will hatch. It then uses it extremely strong legs to jump onto its new host.
Fleas need blood to survive and they get this by biting the skin of their host and sucking the blood until they are full. A bite is usually quite itchy, but some dogs can be allergic to flea saliva, which can make them quite sick.
Signs to indicate a flea infestation are excessive scratching, particularly around the ears, neck and shoulders, scratches or bites on the skin and in some cases, hair loss or patchiness. To check your dog for fleas, part the hair at the back of the neck and slowly work down the back. Flea dirt looks like small black flecks. You may also see the odd flea moving between the hairs. Combing your dog’s hair with a fine-toothed flea comb and damp cotton ball will show up any dirt or fleas.
Flea and Worm Treatment for Dogs
The most common type of preventative flea treatment is a spot-on solution. To administer you simply part the hair on the back of your dog’s neck and squeeze the liquid directly onto the skin. Other types of flea treatment include tablets which can be given if your dog does not react well to the liquid form, flea collars which are herbal rather than medical and flea shampoos which can be purchased from pet shops or your vet.
Beaphar produce a spot-on treatment that kills both fleas and ticks. It is recommended to give this treatment to your dog monthly from the age of 8 weeks. The solution continues to work on fleas up to 5 weeks after administering and 4 weeks for ticks.
- FOR EFFECTIVE FLEA CONTROL – you MUST also treat your house with a household insecticidal flea treatment. 95 Percent of a flea infestation is in the environment. Only 5 Percent of a flea problem, the adult flea, lives on your pet.
- A flea infestation can take up to 90 days to get under control. Vacuum floors and soft furnishings regularly and empty the contents in an outside bin. Washing pets’ bedding at 60° will kill existing flea eggs.
- Flea kill is not instantaneous on contact, due to the way fipronil works. It may take up to 24 hours for the fleas to be killed, and ticks 24-48 hours.
Frontline is a popular choice for dealing with fleas and ticks. Their spot-on treatment is effective in killing fleas for up to 2 months. For ticks it is effective for approximately 1 month. With their spot on treatment, they also provide a free e-book with information on dealing with fleas and ticks.
- KILLS FLEAS - Fleas jumping onto your treated dog are killed within 24 hours, preventing infestations from building up
- KILLS TICKS - Ticks latching onto your treated dog are killed within 48 hours, helping to reduce the risk of disease transmission
- TRIED AND TRUSTED - FRONTLINE's original vet-strength formula has an exemplary safety profile
Johnson’s Dual Action spot on treatment works to prevent flea bites occurring within 5 minutes of administering the solution onto your dog’s skin. The treatment can kill flea larvae within 20 minutes of contact and kills 98-100% of fleas within 12 hours.
Bob Martin Tablets Clear flea tablets are another good option and a brand recommended by vets and specialists.
- HIGHLY EFFECTIVE AT KILLING FLEAS - The effects are immediate and will provide welcome relief from fleas within 24 hours.
- SMALL DOGS AND PUPPIES (1-11KG) - Suitable for small dogs and puppies under 11kg in weight and over 12 weeks of age
- HOW TO USE - The coated tablets should be given directly, but if necessary, can be disguised in food.
There are a few different types of worms that dogs can have. The four most common are intestinal, feeding off the nutrients inside the dog’s digestive tract. They lay eggs in the body which leave the dog via the faeces to infect another host. This article on worming provides information on the different types, which symptoms to look out for and how to choose an effective treatment.
Whereas flea treatment can completely eradicate fleas, all dogs will carry worms. Worming treatments do not eliminate all worms but keeps the worm burden at a level that does not cause harm to the dog.
There are 2 types of worms that can cause death if left untreated: heartworm and lungworm. Over the counter worming treatments do not work for these types of infestations, so you must seek veterinary advice if you believe your dog to be suffering from either type.
If you do find fleas on your dog, you must wash all their bedding plus the bedding or coverings of any furniture they come into contact with. This includes beds, chairs, sofas and curtains. You will also need to put your clothes on a hot wash and have your carpets steam-cleaned and treated. This is because eggs can stay dormant in these places and can create a new infestation when they hatch.
Worming Treatment for Dogs
Puppies should be wormed by the vet during their fortnightly check-ups until they are 8 weeks old. From then until 6 months old, they should be wormed monthly. Once they reach 6 months of age, they should be wormed every 3 months. There are tablet and spot on options. It is advisable to speak to your vet when choosing a wormer. Some only treat one type, whereas others are a combination and will treat 2 or 3 types at once.
Bob Martin produce a clinically proven combination tablet that is effective in treating roundworm, tapeworms, hookworms and whipworms.
- EFFECTIVE TREATMENT - Provides effective treatment against: Roundworms, Tapeworms, Hookworms and Whipworms
- SMALL, MEDIUM and LARGE DOGS - For dogs up to 40 kg. Also suitable for puppies over 3 kg at 2 weeks of age
- HOW TO USE - Give one tablet per 10kg (22lbs) bodyweight. The tablets should be given directly in the mouth of your dog, but if necessary, can be disguised in food.
For Tapeworms, Droncit have created a veterinary licensed tablet, effective against immature and adult worms.
For treatment against roundworms and tapeworms, this combination worming tablet from Johnsons is a safe and effective option. As tapeworms can be transmitted by fleas, this wormer should be given alongside regular flea treatment.
- ONE DOSE EASY WORMER - SIZE 2
- KILLS BOTH ROUNDWORM AND TAPEWORM.
- FOR MEDIUM ADULT DOGS
Beaphar also have a UK veterinary authorised combination tablet for treating roundworms and tapeworms.
- For Small Dogs up to 6kg
- One Dose Worming
- Kills Roundworm and Tapeworm
As with any pet treatment, always consult with your vet who will be able to advise you of the best options for worming. If your dog is struggling to take tablets, there are certain spot on alternatives that your vet will be able to recommend.
Overall Verdict on Flea and Worm Treatment for Dogs
Unfortunately, there are not yet any combination treatment available for both fleas and worms. You can give the two treatments close together, but this depends on the type of treatment you are using. The instructions that are supplied will give you a safe timeline, however, most can be given 48 hours apart.
If you are unsure or concerned about when to give flea and worm treatments, speak to your vet. They will be able to best advise the correct waiting period. Factors that influence this will be size and age of your dog, plus their current health condition.