Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Revolution is a good product

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Sentinel is a heartworm, flea, and tick prevention medicine effective against intestinal worms. The chewable tablet is safe for puppies, pregnant dogs, and lactating dogs. It`s also safe for dogs with epilepsy.
Trifexis is one of the leading oral combination heartworm preventatives. It is a once a month chewable tablet that prevents heartworms, kills adult fleas and also prevents hookworms, roundworms and whipworms. Sentinel Spectrum does the same, with the added benefit of preventing tapeworms.
Best Overall: Frontline Plus Topical Treatment

The most frequently recommended is a topical treatment. Frontline Plus is a well-established product: “For more than 20 years, veterinarians and pet owners have been using Frontline Plus for Dogs to effectively prevent, treat, and control fleas,” writes DogProductPicker.

Best combination tick and heartworm prevention

Simparica Trio works against the same ticks and fleas as Nexgard and also protects your dog from heartworms, hookworms, and roundworms. Three experts recommend it: Waxman, Brooks, and Dr.

If your dog does have a history of seizures, it is advised to use different flea and tick medications than those mentioned above. Topical medications such as Advantage, Vectra, Revolution, or Frontline are good choices. Some dogs may have a localized reaction to topical medications.
Oral Heartworm Medications

There are rarely side effects, if given at the proper dosage, but some dogs may experience vomiting, diarrhea, or incoordination. In the case of an allergic response to the heartworm medication, a dog may experience itching, hives, swelling of the face, or even seizures or shock.

With regard to the number of reported deaths, the largest number was for sarolaner+mox idectin+pyrantel+pamoate (Simparica Trio®) at 6,717 (approved in 2020), followed closely by spinosad+milbemycin+oxime(TriFe xis®) with 6,662 (approved in 2011) and ivermectin+pyrantel+pa moate+praziquantel (Iverhart Max®, approved in …
For heartworm disease prevention, trust #1 vet-recommended HEARTGARD® Plus (ivermectin/pyrantel).
Our pick for the best flea treatments for dogs in pill form is Simparica TRIO. This chewable tablet is fast-acting and kills more parasites than any other oral product. It starts to work within four hours and kills 100% of adult fleas on dogs within eight hours.
Combinations to Know: Heartworm Medication

This means that it can usually be safely combined with other flea and tick medications. However, Heartgard is not safe to combine with a flea and tick medication if that second medication also contains heartworm medication.

To keep dogs safe from flea and tick infestations, most preventative medications need to be taken monthly to remain effective. This includes both topical and oral versions of flea and ticks prevention medication.
You`ll typically need to give it to your pet once a month for all 12 months of the year. We know that life gets busy and it`s easy to forget a dose of your pet`s flea and tick prevention medicine. However, giving your pet their medication on time is the best way to protect them against infestation.
Both products are safe for dogs when following directions and have been approved by the FDA to treat and prevent flea and tick infestations. While Simparica was trialed and not approved, Nexgard has not yet been evaluated for use in breeding, pregnant, or lactating dogs.
That same information showed 720 reported seizures for Bravecto in four years and 557 for Simparica in three years. For Credelio, six seizures were reported in the first six months after its approval.
What Are Potential Simparica Trio Side Effects in Dogs? Side effects are uncommon, but may occur in some cases. In clinical trials, vomiting and diarrhea were the most frequently reported adverse reactions.
In the US field study, one dog with a history of seizures experienced a seizure on the same day after receiving the first dose and on the same day after receiving the second dose of NexGard. This dog experienced a third seizure one week after receiving the third dose.
Simparica is an excellent choice for flea and tick protection. The monthly chew also comes with an option for heartworm protection, too, as Simparica Trio. But while Simparica is usually safe flea and tick treatment for dogs, it shouldn`t be prescribed to dogs with a history of seizures.
About NexGard SPECTRA

NexGard SPECTRA® is a highly palatable beef-flavored chew that kills fleas before they can lay eggs, ticks and mites while eliminating gastro-intestinal worms and preventing heartworm disease, lungworm and eyeworm infections.

Your dog`s health status: While Simparica Trio is generally safe for most dogs, there are some medical conditions that may make it unsuitable. If your dog has a history of seizures, liver or kidney disease, or is pregnant or nursing, you should consult with your veterinarian before administering Simparica Trio.
Choosing between Simparica Trio and Trifexis

For pet parents on the hunt for an effective, safe, and reliable way to protect their pups against heartworms, fleas, hookworms, and roundworms, Trifexis and Simparica Trio are two incredible options.

Use heartworm prevention medication year-round

Pets must have the proper amount of heartworm prevention medication in their blood for it to work correctly. If mosquitoes emerge early in the year, pets that haven`t received heartworm prevention medication during the winter run the risk of getting heartworms.

A recent study in Italy found that a combination of doxycycline and moxidectin for treating Dirofilaria immitis leads to a negative antigen status in dogs naturally infected with heartworm disease.
Frontline Plus is an advanced “vet-strength” formula. Fleas are killed within 24 hours and ticks within 48 hours. Unlike some flea treatments, Frontline Plus not only kills fleas, but also their eggs and larvae, stopping their eggs from hatching and infesting the home.
His recommendations: Bravecto, NexGard and Simparica. Each of these come in chewable form and can be ordered through your vet or online through Chewy.com, which collects your pet`s prescription information upon checkout.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. Which flea and tick drops are the best and why?
ANSWER : A. Your question is a good one, and unfortunately the answers are going to differ based on who you ask. Many vets are seeing resistance to Frontline, which has been the go-to product for many of us for many years. It contains the active ingredient Fipronil, which is very safe and typically extremely effective. I use it on my dogs and never see fleas or ticks. However other vets will tell you in their areas, for whatever reason, they are seeing fleas and ticks on dogs and cats on which this product was used.

Another reason opinions differ is that some people like to give an oral product, and some like to put a topical product directly on the skin. That’s a matter of personal preference mostly. Bravecto, as mentioned below, is one of those products. Most people find it safe and effective. It uses a different process that Frontline to kill fleas and ticks.

In general the products you buy over-the-counter are likely going to be less expensive and less effective than what you get from a vet. I think the reason is that the more expensive products contain newer insecticides, and likely less resistance to these products has built up in the flea and tick population but also they are maybe less “proven”, so it’s important for a vet to be involved in the use of the product in order to ensure that there won’t be a negative reaction to using it.

If I lived in an area where there was Lyme disease (in the US that’s the northeast and upper midwest) I’d most definitely add a tick collar to my standard oral or topical flea and tick prevention. AND I’d search both of my dogs everyday for ticks. It’s because nothing you buy will be 100% effective, and Lyme disease can be a very serious problem.

If you want to talk further and talk more specifically about where you live and what products you’re considering, I’d be happy to do a consult with you. Nobody here is paid to recommend products, but we do develop preferences based on what we use on our own pets and in our practices.

Q. My cat is excessively scrstching herself., to the point she has sores. She is strictly an indoor cat. Did have flees been treated for 2 months
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Skin problems can have a variety of causes, sometimes more than one. It is important to have the problem checked by your vet to determine if there is a medical cause for your pet’s skin issues and treat accordingly.

In pets of all ages, fleas, food allergies and exposure to chemical irritants such as cleaners and soaps can be a cause. Any one of these may not be enough to trigger the breakouts, depending on how sensitive your pet is, but a combination can be enough to start the itch-scratch cycle. Finding out the cause and eliminating it is the best course of action. With flea allergies, if your pet is sensitive enough, a single bite can cause them to break out scratch enough to tear their skin.

Check for fleas with a flea comb. Look for fleas and/or tiny black granules, like coarse black pepper. This is flea feces, consisting of digested, dried blood. You may find tiny white particles, like salt, which are the flea eggs. Applying a good topical monthly flea treatment and aggressively treating your house and yard will help break the flea life cycle.

If you use plastic bowls, this is a possible cause for hair loss, though this tends to be on the chin, where their skin touches the bowl while they eat. If you suspect this to be the culprit, try changing the bowls to glass, metal or ceramic.

Food allergies are often caused by sensitivity to a protein in the food. Hill’s Science Diet offers some non-prescription options for sensitive skin as well as prescription hypoallergenic foods for more severe cases. Royal Canin carries limited protein diets that may also offer some relief. Your vet can recommend a specific diet that will help.

If there is no relief or not enough, consider getting your pet checked by a veterinary dermatologist and having allergy testing done.

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. How can I get rid of fleas on my dogs for good. I tried everything and nothing helps.
ANSWER : A. The best option for you would be to treat your dog, house, and yard. You will need to treat all of those three things. Get your dog on Frontline and Hartgard that is the best topical treatment for dogs. You must use this product for at LEAST four months to get rid of the entire cycle of the flea. If you have an infestation I would recommend staying on it all year round. Next, visit your local pet store and find the best yard and home flea treatment. If you’re trying everything I would try the best products so you’re not wasting your time with the cheaper low quality products. Ask a pet store associate to help you find the best one. You must treat all three things in order to fully get rid of the fleas, so treat ALL your pets (including cats – use Revolution), your yard, and your house.

Q. Whenever I take my dog on walks he always barks at people and others dogs in my neighborhood. What should I do to resolve the problem
ANSWER : A. The very first thing to do is to make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good, happy dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of chasing the ball and playing with some interactive toys.

Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.

Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to, don’t touch, or even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. Yelling at him is the equivalent of barking with him.

Get your dog accustomed to whatever causes him to bark. Start with whatever makes him bark at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. Oddly, the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

As in all training, always end training on a good note, even if it is just for obeying something very simple, like the ‘sit’ command. If you dog regresses in training, go back to the last thing he did successfully and reinforce that before moving on again. Keep sessions short, 15-20 minutes max, and do this several times a day.

Q. Rescued a dog almost two weeks ago, and now that her kennel cough is gone her personality shines!! No previous training, how should I start?

After your dog is familiar with the behavior you lured from scratch, and taught to your dog, you can start to use the “no-reward marker” I talked about. What you do is ask the dog to perform the behavior, and if the dog does not perform the behavior, you simply say your no-reward marker (choose one: eh-eh, hey, uh-oh, oops) show them the treat, put it behind your back, and BRIEFLY ignore your dog. Just turn your back for a second or two, before turning back to your dog and saying, “let’s try that again.” When you’re ready to start over with your dog, make sure you move around. If you are repeating the same cue while in the same position, while your dog is in the same position, you are likely to receive the same results. The more you move around, and start fresh, the better your chances are of having your dog listen to your cue the second time around. BIG rewards when they dog it successfully! Lots of praise and treats.

My no-reward marker is “hey.” When my dog does something wrong I say, “hey” and she immediately understands that she needs to offer a different behavior. This is clear to her. I don’t have to say it in a mean way, I simply say, “hey” in a normal tone of voice and she understands what the word means.

Once you’ve built up that connection and communication with your new dog, you can work on all kinds of fun behaviors! I personally enjoy the more zen-like behaviors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruy9UMcuGh8

I like to teach my dog fun tricks that offer her a “job” to do of sorts like object retrieval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4iertZSva8

(object retrieval training completed; what it looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx0Dml28FGY)

Scent-games are fun too! Very confidence building. Hide a REALLY smelly treat in a box, and place that box in a line of boxes. Let your dog go in the room while saying something like “search!” or “find it!” and watch them hunt for that smelly treat! Lots of rewards when they find it!

Q. Do natural flea control products work?
ANSWER : A. Although many natural flea control products don’t have to go through EPA-mandated tests, because they aren’t classified as pesticides, this doesn’t mean they don’t work.

There are several natural flea control products that are safe for your home and your pets: repellants, sprays, squeeze-ons, shampoos, flea tags and powder. Also garlic and B-vitamins seem to make blood less attractive to fleas, so many guardians supplement with garlic and brewers yeast during flea season. However, sensitive animals can develop an allergy to brewer’s yeast, so I suggest you monitor your pet to guard against worsening itchiness.

Many people use the natural approach to flea control effectively and, although it is not always as easy as using chemicals, it’s generally safer for your pet and your family. Regarding chemicals, the US Environmental Protection Agency recently completed an in-depth investigation due to the hundreds of reports of illness and death in pets and serious adverse effects were reported for every product EPA assessed. EPA is in the process of increasing restrictions on their use. You can read more information about this report here: http://www2.epa.gov/pets/epa-evaluation-pet-spot-products-analysis-and-plans-reducing-harmful-effects

Besides, most chemicals, including bombs and sprays, kill only adult fleas or adults and larvae. That leaves thousands of tough little eggs and cocoons just waiting for the proper conditions, when they’ll renew their assault once more.

That said, you must keep in mind that a product labeled as “natural” or “organic” could still be not suitable, or even harmful, for your pet. Therefore, I recommend consulting with your veterinarian or trying to find a holistic veterinarian who can offer you guidance about natural flea control products.

Q. Our cat developed a flea allergy in the form of red sores above the eyes Our vet gave him an antibiotic shot and a flea collar but they remain.
ANSWER : A. I’m so sorry to hear! Flea allergies are tough to deal with! Unfortunately when a pet has an allergy to fleas, the problem lies in the flea bite. The actual allergy lies in the flea saliva, so what we really need to prevent is the flea biting our pet! I would recommend a product that can kill the flea before they even have a chance to bite your pet! A couple of really great products on the market right now are Frontline Plus and Revolution. Both are liquid topical products that you place on the skin of your pet once a month. They work by using the skins oils to spread themselves around the body and rest in the hair follicles. Each has a slightly different mechanism of use, but they both work to kill the flea before it actually has a chance to do harm to your cat. Flea collars simply are not as effective. I would also recommend treating your home environment, such as the area where the cat sleeps and the carpets inside your home. Flea eggs and larva can live for a very long time in these environments and unless we treat all of these areas, the problem will remain. I hope this was helpful! Good luck and I hope your kitty feels better!