Is Advantage Flea Treatment Dogs Safe for Long Term Use?

Advantage flea treatment is a monthly topical medication that’s used to control flea infections in dogs. Although there are several medications that are formulated for the same purpose, Advantage flea treatment is highly recommended by most vets.

Function of Advantage Flea Treatment

This medication is a fast acting formula that stops fleas from biting the dog, 5 minutes after it has been applied. It not only kills flea larvae but it also kills adult fleas and thus destroys the flea life cycle. Advantage contains the active ingredient imidacloprid which is meant to affect the nervous system of fleas, to induce death.

Adverse Effects of Topical Flea Treatments

Like most other topical medications, Advantage can cause side effects in some pets. Each pet responds differently to topical treatments and some pets suffer from redness and irritation at the application site. The medication shouldn’t be used in combination with other topical treatments.

Moreover, if the dog is currently administered any prescribed medication, it’s best to confirm with the vet if Advantage is safe for use. This is simply because several drugs interact with topical solutions and cause adverse reactions.

Concern Regarding Flea Medications

Most flea preventive medications are formulated with chemicals such as pyrethrin, imidacloprid, fipronil and pyriproxyfen. If these medicines are not administered in the appropriate manner, they could lead to severe side effects and sometimes death. Pet owners must read package instructions and make sure that the dosage amount is correct. The dose of Advantage that’s ideal for any dog depends on the pet’s weight and age. 

If the dog is given an overdose, it could lead to toxicity and death. Since the medication contains some form of pesticide, it’s important to prevent it from coming in contact with the dog’s eyes, mouth and anus. Pet owners should also ascertain that the dog doesn’t accidentally ingest the solution after it’s been applied. Although topical flea medications are safe for use when applied correctly, they shouldn’t be solely relied upon as a long term solution.

Risks of Long Term Use of Flea Medication

Since Advantage is a monthly topical medication, you’re dog will be free from fleas as long as the medication is administered. Once the medication is discontinued, the pet is once again at risk of getting flea infections. However, since chemicals like imidacloprid are toxic to humans and children, it’s important to seek alternative solutions for flea control in pets. Moreover, since these chemicals are toxic to humans, they can also be extremely toxic to pets when used inappropriately. The dog could also develop severe skin problems after repeated use. Thus to control flea infestations you should adopt a few other preventive measures.

Preventive Measures:

  • Wash and disinfect the home and pet bedding routinely
  • Regularly vacuum and steam clean carpets
  • Bathe the dog regularly and use a flea comb to check for infections
  • Consider using herbal remedies to cure mild flea infections
  • Prevent the dog from roaming outdoors, particularly amidst plants

Apart from these measures you could also consider spraying outdoor areas with a pet friendly chemical, to kill flea larvae. If the vet recommends Advantage, make sure you follow the right procedure when applying the medication and discard any left-over medication appropriately, so that pets or children don’t come in contact with it.