As the reach of fleas, ticks and other biting insects spreads across the U.S., more dog owners are seeing prevention and treatment as a necessity. The good news is that pet parents don’t have to make a trip to the veterinarian, and can buy them from you instead, since many solutions are now available without a prescription.With so many products to choose from, we’ve selected a few with high ratings and solid track records. 

ALL PRICE MANUFACTURERS SUGGESTED RETAIL 

Flea and tick applicator products

Put the Squeeze On 

According to market researcher Packaged Facts, 74 percent of dog and cat owners buy flea and tick products, which translates into big business for retailers. Of all the types of solutions, applicator products are still spot on, likely to hold the No. 1 slot for years to come. Pictured at right are a few options that are all-around strong choices.

BioSpot for Dogs
Central Garden & Pet

Key features: Kills mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, flea eggs and flea larvae.

Sales tip: Applicator designed for an easier squeeze, combined with a fast-drying formula. Comes in four size ranges, all the same price.

biospotactivecare.com, (800) 234-2269

Sentry Fiproguard Plus 
Sergeant’s Pet Products

Key features:Contains fipronil and (s)-methoprene, same active ingredients as Frontline, but with a lower price tag.

Sales tip: Customers can avoid paying big bucks for a trip to the vet. Comes in four size ranges.

fiproguard.com, (800) 224-PETS

PetArmor Plus
FidoPharm

Key features:Repels and kills fleas and ticks, as well as chewing lice and mites.

Sales tip: A tough contender that gets to work within 24 hours.

petarmor.com, (855) ASK-FIDO


Alternative cures for fleas and ticks

Alternatives 

e Not everyone is into the spot treatments, for a variety of reasons. People with cats and kids are often wary of the chemicals rubbing off the dogs, and some topicals can wash off in the rain or bath. Luckily, you can be ready with a selection of collars, pills, shampoos and more.

Advantus
Bayer

Key features:The first FDA-approved over-the-counter chewable to fight fleas. For dogs 4-22 pounds or 23-110 pounds.

Sales tip: Fast-working, which makes it ideal for groomers and boarding businesses to have on hand, just in case. 

petspecialty.com, (800) 255-6517

Preventic Tick Collar
Virbac 

Key features:Ideal for areas suffering from tick infestations. Works up to 90 days. Comes in two sizes. 

Sales tip: Don’t have to remember to do monthly applications. Mess-free. 

us.virbac.com, (844) 484-7222 

Richard’s Organics Flea & Tick Shampoo
Synergy Labs

Key features:All-natural, for customers who appreciate botanical formulas.

Sales tip: Company also makes non-organic version that contains pyrethrum, which is derived from flowers.

synergylabs.com, (954) 525-1133


Botanical based flea and tick products

Botanical Based

There’s a growing segment of the pet-owning population who are turned off by the thought of using any kind of chemical-based treatments, but at the same time don’t want to share their home with fleas. Alternative solutions — made from botanicals and essential oils — are gaining ground and can be used alone or in combination with other products.

Flea + Tick Spot-On
Vet’s Best

Key features:A plant-based formula with clove leaf oil, thyme white oil and cinnamon oil. Apply on a dog’s shoulder blades (for dogs 12 weeks and older). 

Sales tip: Box contains three to eight applications, depending on dog’s size.

vetsbest.com, (214) 442-7149

Herbal Repellent Collar
Mercola

Key features:Proprietary blend of oils repels fleas, ticks and mosquitos. 

Sales tip: Active ingredients are built into the collar, for a slow release that lasts up to four months.

shop.mercola.com, (239) 673-2110

Flea & Tick Program Herbal Spray
Earth Animal

Key features:Essential oil blend designed to scare off fleas, ticks, black flies and mosquitoes. 

Sales tip: Free of insecticides. Safe to apply on dogs and puppies.

earthanimal.com, (855) 326-4825


This article originally appeared in the July-August 2017 edition of PETS+.