How Effective Are Dog Tick Collar Products?

A dog tick collar is a medicated collar that's used to control and kill tick infections in pets. Dogs that roam outdoors or live in areas where tick infection is high benefit from tick collars that are used appropriately. Pet owners may also prefer to use topical tick solutions along with a tick collar during tick season.

Ingredients in Tick Collars

Commercially available tick collars contain chemicals that work as insecticides and kill ticks. Certain tick collars also protect pets for 6 months, as they contain insect growth regulators that inhibit flea eggs from developing into adult fleas. Although the medication is effective, it should be used with caution as the organophosphates present in the collar are hazardous to children and pets.

Most collars contain active ingredients propoxur and tetrachlorvinphos. Propoxur belongs to a class of insecticides known as carbamates. Carbamates are known to cause nerve damage and work effectively to kill ticks. Another known organophosphate present in tick collars is amitraz. This ingredient works as an anti-parasite drug and paralyzes ticks present on the dog's body.

Commercially Available Tick Collars

  • Preventic Tick Collar
  • Bio Spot Flea and Tick Collar for dogs
  • Zodiac Flea and Tick Collar for large dogs
  • Adams Flea and Tick Collar for dogs

Effectiveness of Dog Tick Collars

Tick collars, such as Preventic, detach ticks from the dog's body within a few hours after wearing them. In addition, they prevent ticks from biting the pet for 3 months. Although tick collars work effectively on some pets, they aren't ideal for use on all dogs. The active ingredients, such as amitraz, are monoamine oxidase inhibitors and shouldn't be used around people that take monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Pets that are less than 12 weeks of age should be treated with tick collars. Individual pet response to medicated collars varies and some pets can develop side-effects. Pet owners that notice any side-effects should seek prompt medical help. Tick collars don't provide a long term solution to tick infections. Owners should try to keep the surroundings clean by vacuuming and steam cleaning carpets and regularly grooming dogs, to prevent re-infection.

Side-effects of Tick Collars

  • Skin irritation
  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the lips

Tick Treatment

Pet owners that choose to treat the dog with a tick collar should discuss the risks of its use in order to prevent drug interactions. The tick collar is also not suited to elderly pets or dogs that are nursing. It's best to follow a comprehensive tick and flea control program that offers a more long term solution. Flea products that contain fipronil, selamectin and imidacloprid may be beneficial to pets. If there are several pets living in the same household, it's necessary to treat all pets to prevent re-infection.

There are several treatment options apart from tick collars to treat both flea and tick infestations. Pet owners should take prompt measures to control ticks and fleas, as they are carriers of disease and intestinal parasites.