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How do flea medications work?
If you have a dog, you are probably aware that fleas can be a major threat. Not only can dogs be allergic to flea saliva, causing extremely itchy skin, but the fleas can infest your home, including you and the human members of your family. Luckily, there are a number of flea preventative pet drugs on the market so you can nip any infestations in the bud.
Oral flea preventatives
One of the options for killing fleas and preventing an infestation is to give your dog a pill that protects it from the insects for up to a month. Sentinel is one oral flea medication, which works to protect dogs from fleas as well as heartworms, adult roundworms, adult hookworms and whipworms. This pill contains lufenuron, which is an insect development inhibitor that breaks the flea life cycle by inhibiting egg development.
Many oral flea medications are flavored to be palatable to your dog, but picky eaters might find it easier to swallow the pill when it is concealed in Greenies Pill Pockets.
Topical flea preventatives
While oral flea preventatives are good for preventing future infestations, topical flea preventatives are good for controlling a current problem. If your dog has fleas, applying topical pet products like Frontline Plus will kill all insects on your pet within 12 hours, and will then also kill the eggs and larvae. Then, the medication lasts for a month. This particular product contains fipronil, a broad-spectrum insecticide that disrupts the central nervous system of fleas and ticks.
Flea pet shampoo
Another way to treat a flea infestation on your pooch is to give it a bath with a flea-fighting pet shampoo like Be Flea Free Shampoo. Flea shampoos generally contain ingredients that act as a pesticide and kills the fleas. Be Flea Free is all natural, and contains cedarwood oil, which has been a registered pesticide by the EPA since 1960. This particular shampoo also contains natural oils from rosemary, peppermint and clove to repel fleas and make your dog's skin and coat smell clean and fresh. Flea shampoos also generally contain some type of soothing ingredient to relieve itchy skin.
If your pet has fleas, it is also important to treat your entire home. You will want to wash or treat any couch cushions, carpets, drapes or bedding to prevent the fleas from coming back.