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PetMeds Vet Blog with Dr. Dym Dr. Michael Dym
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"Over 19 years of caring for the well-being of pets"
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Benefits of Oral Flea Medications


Common pests like fleas and ticks are easy to prevent, but the problems they cause aren't nearly as easy to fix. That's why it's important to keep your pets on an effective preventative, to keep problems such as skin infections, flea infestations and even Lyme disease at bay. In the past, topical flea preventatives were the go-to way to prevent fleas and ticks, but now oral preventatives are available and rising in popularity.

Why are people trading in their trusty topical preventatives, such as Frontline Plus and K9 Advantix II, for new pills and chewables?

Skip the messy topicals and consider a simple oral flea medication pets take as easy as a treat

Oral flea treatments are more effective

Oral flea medications such as Trifexis and Comfortis are 99.9% effective in killing adult fleas. Compared to topical treatments, oral preventatives are 11.5% more effective! That's a big difference when it comes to keeping your pets flea–free and healthy.

Oral flea treatments are 11.5% more effective than traditional topical treatments


Oral preventatives are also more convenient for many people. Unlike topical flea preventatives, oral treatments are easy to administer and won't create a sticky mess. The oral medications are available in either a beef-flavored tablet or soft chew. Many pets will eat these medications like treats, making it easy to give them their monthly dose of flea prevention. If you choose Bravecto, your dog will be protected against fleas and ticks for up to 12 weeks!

All-in-one protection

In the past, pet parents had to give their pets separate products to prevent heartworms, fleas, ticks, and intestinal parasites. This can be inconvenient and expensive, especially for people with multiple pets. The good news is many oral flea medications also prevent other harmful pests!

Trifexis is one of the leading oral flea preventatives. It is a once a month chewable tablet that kills adult fleas and it also prevents heartworms, hookworms, roundworms and whipworms.

NexGard is a good option for pet parents concerned about ticks. This soft chew is the only oral preventative that will kill ticks along with adult fleas.

Choosing the right oral flea preventative for your pet

When choosing an oral flea preventative, consider your pet's lifestyle and what you want to protect your pet against most.

If your pet isn't exposed to ticks and you want to give one easy medication each month for heartworms, fleas and intestinal parasites, Trifexis could be the right choice.

If you're concerned about ticks, NexGard will kill both fleas and ticks. You'll still have to give another medication to prevent heartworms, but you'll avoid the sticky mess of a topical flea and tick treatment. If you treat your pet seasonally for fleas, a combination flea and heartworm product probably isn't right for you. Instead, you can give your pet Comfortis during flea season to kill the adult fleas while continuing your usual heartworm preventative year-round.

All of these oral flea preventatives are prescription-only, so when seeing your veterinarian for your pet's yearly checkup, be sure to ask about your options. He or she will be able to help you choose one based on your pet's lifestyle and needs, and don't forget to ask for a prescription.

What if my pet still has fleas?

Even though oral flea preventatives are very effective in killing adult fleas, they don't kill flea eggs and larvae. These flea eggs and larvae fall off your pet into your yard and home and can result in an infestation if left untreated. If your pet is on an oral flea preventative and you still see a lot of fleas, you may need to treat your home to get rid of the problem. Home flea control products including, foggers, sprays and powders can help.


Max's Tip: Still have questions about fleas and the different treatment options available for your pet? Read our article covering flea treatment FAQ.  
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