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Fleas and Ticks
5 Pet Health Problems Fleas Can Cause Advantage II FAQ Benefits of Flea & Tick Preventatives for Pets Benefits of Flea Pills, Oral Chewables, and Tablets Can Pets Get Fleas During Cold Weather? Choosing the Best Collar Flea Prevention Choosing the Best Oral Flea Prevention Choosing the Best Topical Flea Prevention Control Your Pet's Itching and Allergies from Fleas Ehrlichia in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatment Establish Effective Pet Flea Prevention Exotic Ticks Found in United States Flea & Tick Control: Frontline Plus or NexGard? Flea and Tick: FAQs About Fleas Flea and Tick: FAQs About Flea Treatments Flea and Tick: FAQs About Ticks How do Oral Flea Preventatives Work? How do Topical Flea Preventatives Work? How to Apply Flea and Tick Medication How to Fog Your Home to Remove Fleas How to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Home How to Get Rid of Fleas on Ferrets How to Get Rid of Fleas on Kittens How to Get Rid of Fleas on Puppies How to Kill Fleas in Your Yard How to Kill Fleas on Your Puppy How to Prevent Fleas on Your Cat How to Prevent Fleas on Your Dog How to Remove a Tick from a Dog How to Spray Your Yard for Fleas How to Use a Flea Comb How to Use a Flea Spray on Pets How to Use Flea Prevention Effectively Indoor Flea Control Is Bravecto Safe? Is NexGard Safe? K9 Advantix II FAQ Killing Flea Eggs with Insect Growth Regulators Outdoor Flea Control Relieve Your Cat's Flea Itching Relieve Your Dog's Flea Itching Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Pets Steps To Tackle a Pet Flea Infestation Tick Paralysis in Dogs Top 4 Flea Myths Every Pet Owner Should Know What Flea Treatment Is the Best for My Cat? What Flea Treatment Is the Best for My Dog? When Flea Preventatives Fail Which Is the Best Flea Prevention for Your Pet? Why Does My Pet Need Flea & Tick Prevention? Why Has My Pet's Flea Medicine Stopped Working?

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How do Topical Flea Preventatives Work?

Topical flea preventatives are liquid solutions that are applied externally on dogs and cats to protect against fleas, ticks, and other harmful insects. For cats and small dogs, topicals are typically applied in one spot between the shoulders. For dogs, topicals are applied evenly along the upper spine. For accurate dosing, topicals must be applied directly to the skin, not on the hair.

Some topicals work through spreading via the hair and the skin's natural body oils. For these topicals, fleas don't have to bite your pet to die. Once they come into contact with your pet's coat, they are killed. Other topicals work through absorbing through the skin and circulating into the bloodstream. For these topicals, fleas are killed when they bite the pet. That's how it treats the entire body, not just the area of application.

Common ingredients of topicals are primarily insect neurotoxins, which kill fleas and ticks by targeting the function of the nervous system, resulting in paralysis and death. Fipronil, (S)-methoprene, imidacloprid, permethrin, and pyriproxyfen are among the many common ingredients found in topical flea and tick preventatives.

In order to keep your pet protected at all times, you must follow the correct dosing schedule. Most topicals required monthly dosing, except Bravecto, which provides up to 12 weeks of protection. Prevention is key to keep your pet safe from harmful pests, and choosing the best topical flea prevention for your pet can be difficult. Use this chart to help you choose the best topical for your pet.

Vet-recommended topical flea preventatives:

Max's Tip
Max & Molly
Remember: year-round protection is key to keep your pet safe from fleas, ticks, and heartworm.
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