A Guide to Tick Medicine

Choosing the proper tick medicine can greatly reduce the discomfort and other serious problems associated with ticks on your dog or cat. There are a variety of products with a variety of results. Some tick medicine is not safe for young, pregnant, or elderly animals so read the label carefully and adhere to the weight guidelines. Dog tick medicine and cat tick medicine basically work in the same ways but are not interchangeable.

Flea and Tick Medicine

There are several ways to simultaneously address fleas and ticks at the same time without sacrificing effectiveness for either type of parasite. The most common form of this type of pet medicine comes in a topical liquid that is applied between the shoulder blades of the dog or cat. Some flea medicines do not control ticks so it is important to read the label carefully.

Two Important Actions in Tick Medicine

The most effective dog tick medicine kills ticks when they contact your pet while causing already present ticks to fall off your dog or cat. This dual action in dog tick medicine or cat tick medicine will greatly help reduce the risk of lyme disease for your pet. It is important to remember that ticks can be a problem in cold or hot weather so at any time of year, you want to use a product that achieves these two goals. Only use tick medicine from your vet or from a reputable pet store. The chemicals and pesticides found in products sold in the grocery store can be dangerous for your dog or cat. Some tick medicine is not safe for pregnant, young, or elderly and frail animals.


You can put a tick medicine collar on your dog or cat to control ticks. Many collars achieve both actions mentioned above and are very easy to use. You just snap the collar around your pet's neck loosely enough that you can put a finger underneath the collar when it's on. You can even apply the collar right after your pet has been outside and any ticks that jumped on will fall off.

Topical Tick Medicine

Liquid tick medicine is easy to apply and is given monthly to prevent ticks throughout the year. You simply squeeze the liquid out of the tube onto your dog or cat's skin between the shoulder blades. It contains pesticides that kill existing ticks and will repel ticks that land on your pet.

Shampoos, Powders and Sprays

Dog and cat owners often choose to use special tick shampoo, powder, or spray in conjunction with other treatments but read the label carefully to make sure the methods are compatible with each other. If using one of these products, the product has to reach all parts of your pet's body. A powder can be messy and difficult to apply but some are more natural than other products on the market. You need to apply the powder in an area with plenty of air and be aware that you may inhale some of it. If your lungs are sensitive or you have asthma, a powder and even a spray might not be the best choice for you.