Dog Flea and Tick Dips: When You Should Use Them

Dog flea and tick problems result from the parasites feeding off your dog's blood by burrowing under your dog's skin. Dips are effective in killing dog ticks and fleas. Carefully read and follow instructions provided on the package. Since dogs are an easy target for fleas and ticks, it's important to know what flea dips are and if they're ideal for your dog.

The Flea Life Cycle

Flea and tick dips are chemical solutions that need to be diluted in water. Dip your dog into the water, or use a sponge or spray to thoroughly cover the entire body. Look for dips with Pyrethrins, the main ingredient to kill fleas and ticks. Pyrethrins are a concentrated form of Pyrethrum, a natural insecticide.

Fleas go through four life stages: eggs, larvae, pupae and adults. Flea and tick dips conveniently kill both flea larvae and adult fleas. Choose the correct flea or tick treatment based on your pet's age and the severity of the infestation. Dips are not recommended for use on puppies, especially under the age of 4 months. It is best to bathe puppies and groom them with flea combs until they reach the recommended age for the use of tick dips.

When to Use the Dips

  • You need to kill existing fleas and ticks on your dog.
  • There are visibly large numbers of fleas and your dog has had a flea problem before.
  • You need to prevent and control future tick infestations.

Types of Flea and Tick Dips

  • Herbal flea dips
  • Flea dips with active ingredient, Pyrethrin
  • Homemade flea and tick dips

Due to the chemical nature of flea and tick dips, do not use them more than 3 times a year. Remember to properly dilute the product to prevent reactions on your dog. Most popular brands that offer flea control products are Frontline, Advantage and K-9 Advantage.

Consider these popular tick dips:

  • Adams flea and tick dip
  • Zodiac Pyrethrin flea dip
  • Adams Plus flea and tick dip
  • Hartz UltraGuard flea and tick dip
  • BIO SPOT flea and tick dip
  • Virbac Pyrethrin dip

Preventing Flea and Tick Problems

Fleas and ticks can survive and develop both outdoors and in your home. Conduct routine checks on your pets and your surroundings to fully protect them and your family. Your groomer can also help you with this by doing regular parasite checks each time your pet is groomed.

Tips for flea and tick control:

  • Clean your pet's bedding, carpets and furniture.
  • Vacuum and steam clean carpets to kill eggs and larvae.
  • Check pets after they've been outdoors as ticks latch on easily.
  • Use tweezers to gently pull out ticks and discard them in a container treated with insecticide.
  • Treat outdoor areas with environment and pet friendly pesticides.
  • Use flea traps in your home to check the magnitude of fleas.

Fleas and ticks cause anemia, flea allergy, and tapeworm infections in both puppies and adult dogs. It's best to treat your pets and home before they get infected. The key is to be watchful and obtain a long-term solution to suit your dog and your family.