Over the Counter vs. Veterinary Parasite Prevention

It’s that time of year again! All the creepy-crawly parasites are out, active, a nuisance, and in some cases a threat, to our pets. Recently, I have had many clients ask about using over the counter flea medications instead of the veterinary prescribed product. I figured I’d take a minute to explain the difference between the two…

Over the counter flea treatments are topical pesticides that can be applied to the back of your pet’s neck to help kill adult fleas that are biting your pet. It is INCREDIBLY important that the appropriate product is used on your four-legged friend as most topical flea treatments for dogs are actually toxic to cats. Furthermore, these pesticides can be quite irritating to the skin, begin to lose efficacy if your pet gets wet or is bathed, and only kill adult fleas. During the spring, summer and fall months, your pet is actually at risk of not only picking up fleas but also picking up ticks, heartworm and intestinal parasites. Some of these intestinal parasites are even contagious to humans. Why not use a product that ensures your pet is protected from all the bugs that they are at risk of contracting?

Working with your veterinarian and their health care team will allow you to come up with a safe, effective and individualized parasite prevention plan in order to keep all members of your family safe this season. Wishing you all a safe and happy summer season!

Dr. Maegan Melillo (and Juno)