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Main Street Pet Care - Joplin, MO - Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Prevention
Fleas are a parasite that pet owners battle year round in the Four States Area. Ticks also rear their ugly heads for much of the year. In addition, heartworms, hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms, and whipworms pose serious threats to your pet’s health. So what’s the best way to keep them protected from these parasites? There are many options. In fact, there are so many it is often hard to figure out what works, what doesn’t work, and what is the best option for your pet. So let’s talk about what we believe to be the best options…
For your canine family member we recommend:
For your feline family member we recommend:
While we believe these recommendations are best for you pet, we do carry other preventatives. We consider these other preventatives useful in some situations, but they do not offer your pet complete protection against the variety of parasites that threaten your pet’s health.
Things We DO NOT Recommend
Flea and Tick Collars
Flea and tick collars commonly found at discount stores, feed stores, pet stores, and elsewhere are pretty useless at best. At their worst they pose a risk to your pet’s health. We see several patients each year that have life threatening reactions to flea and tick collars. They are always sad cases for our staff because there are much safer options for flea and tick prevention.
Flea and Tick Shampoos
We get quite a few questions about flea and tick shampoos and do not recommend these products for a number of reasons. First, the medications in them are not a safe option. Despite the availability of safer alternatives, we sadly still see several patients each year that have life threatening reactions to flea and tick shampoos. Second, once you wash the shampoo off there is no lasting prevention against fleas and ticks. If your pet has a lot of fleas and you want to bathe them, please use a gentle grooming shampoo and be sure to follow up with effective and safe parasite prevention.
Dips are dangerous to your pet, the person doing it, and the environment. Any place that offers to dip your pet for fleas and ticks does not have your pet’s best interest at heart.
Outdated and Generic Topical Preventatives
Step into any pet store, walk down the pet isle at any number of chain stores, or do a Google search for flea and tick preventatives and you will have more than a few to choose from. Many of these will be generics of familiar brands. Others will represent outdated technology. Some could be counterfeits. Pet owners will often try these products because they’re cheaper. We often hear from pet owners about how they’ve tried these products (usually because they’re cheap), but their pet still has fleas. Then we start them on one of our recommended products and it’s like magic! It’s not really magic; the product just does what it’s supposed to. Please use caution as some of these products can be unsafe for your pet!
Bombs and Foggers
Bombs and foggers for your house are essentially a waste of time. It is such an effort to make them effective that no one does it right.
Household Insect Sprays
Household insecticides are not effective for flea control and should never be applied directly to your pet. You should also use caution when using these products in areas that your pet frequents.
The internet is full of natural remedies and you can easily find a number of different suggestions for your pet’s parasite prevention. The trouble is that most of them are outright useless while others can be dangerous! Two of the more common suggestions are Brewer’s Yeast and Garlic, both of which will do nothing for parasite prevention in your pet.
Chewing and cigarette tobacco is sometimes said to be effective against intestinal parasites. Nicotine is one of nature’s more toxic products and that includes your pet! We’ve seen several cases where pets have to be hospitalized after well meaning owners give them tobacco. Never give your pets tobacco! There are much safer and more effective products available from your veterinarian.
Motor oil applied to your pets can lead to severe illness and even death! Putting motor oil on and animal can be prosecuted as a crime in the state of Missouri, please never do this to your pet.
Skin So Soft
This Avon product has been studied for its potential to repel fleas and mosquitoes. Unfortunately the effects don’t last more than 60-90 seconds which doesn’t make it an effective product for keeping your pet safe from these parasites.
A word of caution about online pharmacies: Many parasite preventatives available from online sources are bootlegged products and there have been several instances where pet owners received counterfeit products. No major manufacturer provides their products to online pharmacies and they do not carry any warranty or recourse if they do not work. At this time we strongly recommend that you do not get your pet’s parasite prevention from an online source. We do understand the convenience of having your pet’s preventatives delivered to your home and if you are interested in this option we are able to offer it via VetSource.