What’s In My Dog’s Flea and Tick Medicine, Anyway?

By: Sandy ChebatUpdated:

a dog sitting in the grass with a tilted head
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What’s In My Dog’s Flea and Tick Medicine, Anyway?

You’re determined to give your dog the happiest, healthiest life. You know the ingredients in their food, their treats, and maybe even their toothpaste. But do you know exactly what’s in your dog’s flea and tick medicine?

Different forms of flea and tick preventatives have different medicines, which keep pests away in different ways. Find your treatment below to learn more about what’s protecting your pup.

Flea Collars for Dogs

ACTIVE INGREDIENT: DELTAMETHRIN

  • Found in: ShieldTec Flea & Tick Collar
  • Requires a prescription?: No
  • Targets: Fleas and ticks
  • Treatment frequency: 6 months
  • Age limit: 12 weeks or older
  • How it works: Kills fleas by disrupting nervous system function.

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: TETRACHLORVINPHOS, (S)-METHOPRENE

  • Found inAdams Plus Flea & Tick Collar
  • Requires a prescription: No
  • Targets: Fleas and ticks
  • Treatment frequency: 7 months
  • Age limit: 6 weeks or older (Adams Plus)
  • How it works: Tetrachlorvinphos kills fleas by overstimulating the nervous system. (S)-Methoprene is an insect growth regulator that interferes with insect growth and development, thus preventing reproduction.

ACTIVE INGREDIENT: TETRACHLORVINPHOS

  • Found inZodiac Flea & Tick Collar
  • Requires a prescription: No
  • Targets: Fleas and ticks
  • Treatment frequency: 7 months
  • Age limit: 12 weeks or older
  • How it works: Kills fleas by overstimulating the nervous system.
Seresto Flea & Tick Collar for Dogs
$59.98
FREE 1-3 day shipping
PetArmor Flea & Tick Collar for Dogs
$23.60
Adams Flea & Tick Collar for Dogs & Puppies
$22.28

Topical Flea Medicine for Dogs

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: DINOTEFURAN, PYRIPROXYFEN, PERMETHRIN

  • Found in: Vectra 3D Flea & Tick Treatment
  • Requires a prescription: No
  • Targets: Fleas and ticks
  • Treatment frequency: 30 days
  • Age limit: 8 weeks or older
  • How it works: Dinotefuran and Permethrin kill fleas by overstimulating the nervous system. Pyriproxyfen is an insect growth regulator that interferes with insect growth and development, thus preventing reproduction.

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: ETOFENPROX, PYRIPROXYFEN, (S)-METHOPRENE

  • Found in: Adams Plus Flea & Tick Spot On
  • Requires a prescription: No
  • Targets: Fleas and ticks
  • Treatment frequency: 30 days
  • Age limit: 12 weeks or older
  • How it works: Etofenprox kills fleas by overstimulating the nervous system. Pyriproxyfen and (S)-Methoprene are insect growth regulators that interfere with insect growth and development, thus preventing reproduction.

ACTIVE INGREDIENT: FIPRONIL

  • Found in: Sentry FiproGuard Flea & Tick Squeeze-On
  • Requires a prescription: No
  • Targets: Fleas and ticks
  • Treatment frequency: 30 days
  • Age limit: 8 weeks or older
  • How it works: Fipronil kills fleas by inhibiting a key neurotransmitter in the pest’s central nervous system.

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: FIPRONIL, (S)-METHOPRENE

  • Found in: Frontline Plus, Onguard and PetArmor Plus
  • Requires a prescription: No
  • Targets: Fleas and ticks
  • Treatment frequency: 30 days
  • Age limit: 8 weeks or older
  • How it works: Fipronil kills fleas by inhibiting a key neurotransmitter in the pest’s central nervous system. (S)-Methoprene is an insect growth regulator that interferes with insect growth and development, thus preventing reproduction.

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: FIPRONIL, (S)-METHOPRENE, PRIPROXYFEN

  • Found in: Frontline Gold Flea & Tick Treatment
  • Requires a prescription: No
  • Targets: Fleas and ticks
  • Treatment frequency: 30 days
  • Age limit: 8 weeks or older
  • How it works: Fipronil kills fleas by inhibiting a key neurotransmitter in the pest’s central nervous system. (S)-Methoprene and Priproxyfen are insect growth regulators that interfere with insect growth and development, thus preventing reproduction.

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: PERMETHRIN, (S)-METHOPRENE

  • Found in: Zodiac Spot On Flea & Tick Control
  • Requires a prescription: No
  • Targets: Fleas and ticks
  • Treatment frequency: 30 days
  • Age limit: 6 months or older
  • How it works: Permethrin kills fleas by overstimulating the nervous system. (S)-Methoprene is an insect growth regulator that interferes with insect growth and development, thus preventing reproduction

ACTIVE INGREDIENT: FLURALANER

  • Found in: Bravecto Topical
  • Requires a prescription: Yes
  • Targets: Fleas
  • Treatment frequency: 12 weeks
  • Age limit: 6 months or older
  • How it works: Kills fleas by overstimulating their nervous systems.

ACTIVE INGREDIENT: IMIDACLOPRID, MOXIDECTIN

  • Found in: Advantage Multi
  • Requires a prescription: Yes
  • Targets: Fleas
  • Treatment frequency: 30 days
  • Age limit: 7 weeks or older
  • How it works: Kills fleas by inhibiting a key neurotransmitter in the pest’s central nervous system.

ACTIVE INGREDIENT: SELAMECTIN

  • Found in: Revolution Topical Solution
  • Requires a prescription: Yes
  • Targets: Fleas and ticks
  • Treatment frequency: 30 days
  • Age limit: 6 weeks or older
  • How it works: Kills adult fleas by disrupting their nervous systems; stops reproduction by preventing eggs from hatching.
Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Spot Treatment for Large Dogs, 45-88 lbs, 6 Doses (6-mos. supply)
$78.99
FREE 1-3 day shipping
K9 Advantix II Flea & Tick Spot Treatment for Dogs
$79.98
FREE 1-3 day shipping
PetArmor Plus Flea & Tick Spot Treatment for Dogs
$38.65

Chewable Flea Tablets for Dogs

ACTIVE INGREDIENT: NITENPYRAM

  • Found in: Capstar Flea Tablets for Dogs
  • Requires a prescription: No
  • Target: Fleas
  • Treatment frequency: As prescribed by veterinarian
  • Age limit: 4 weeks or older
  • How it works: Kills fleas by overstimulating their nervous systems.

ACTIVE INGREDIENT: AFOXOLANER

  • Found in: NexGard Chewable Tablets
  • Requires a prescription: Yes
  • Target: Fleas and ticks
  • Treatment frequency: 30 days
  • Age limit: 8 weeks or older
  • How it works: Kills fleas and ticks by overstimulating their nervous systems.

ACTIVE INGREDIENT: LOTILANER

  • Found in: Credelio Chewable Tablet
  • Requires a prescription: Yes
  • Targets: Fleas
  • Treatment frequency: 30 days
  • Age limit: 8 weeks or older
  • How it works: Kills fleas by inhibiting a key neurotransmitter in the pest’s central nervous system.

ACTIVE INGREDIENT: LUFENURON , MILBEMYCIN OXIME

  • Found in: Sentinel Flavor Tablets
  • Requires a prescription: Yes
  • Target: Fleas
  • Treatment frequency: 30 days
  • Age limit: 4 weeks or older
  • How it works: Lufenuron is an insect growth regulator or insect development inhibitor that interrupts the biosynthesis of chitin (which makes up their exoskeletons) in flea larvae but has no effect on adult fleas.

ACTIVE INGREDIENT: SAROLANER

  • Found in: Simparica Chewable Tablets
  • Requires a prescription: Yes
  • Targets: Fleas and ticks
  • Treatment frequency: 30 days
  • Age limit: 6 months or older
  • How it works: Kills fleas by inhibiting a key neurotransmitter in the pest’s central nervous system.

ACTIVE INGREDIENT: SPINOSAD

  • Found in: Comfortis Chewable Tablets and Trifexis Chewable Tablets
  • Requires a prescription: Yes
  • Targets: Fleas
  • Treatment frequency: 30 days
  • Age limit: 14 weeks or older (Comfortis); 8 weeks or older (Trifexis)
  • How it works: Attacks the adult flea’s nervous system, causing rapid death.
NexGard Chew for Dogs
$79.79
FREE 1-3 day shipping
Simparica Trio Chewable Tablet for Dogs
$195.48
FREE 1-3 day shipping
Bravecto Chew for Dogs
$76.99
FREE 1-3 day shipping
Now you're up to date on your pup's flea and tick meds—but what should you do if you're already spotting fleas on your dog? Follow our guide to how to deal with fleas on dogs to send those pests packing for good.

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By: Sandy ChebatUpdated:

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