Guide written by:
Pauline, Self-taught handyman, Leeds
Which flea and worm treatment should you choose for your dog? How can you prevent lice, ticks, mites and worms in puppies? All the answers to these questions and more can be found in this guide! Read on to find the right flea and worm treatments for your dog.
- Sprays and spot-on treatments for dogs
- Flea, tick and lice collars for dogs
- Worming treatment for dogs
- Flea and worm tablets for dogs
- Flea, tick and lice shampoo for dogs
- Flea, tick and lice powder for dogs
- Flea, tick and lice treatment for puppies
Flea and worm treatments for dogs
Our four-legged friends can run into any number of issues caused by internal or external parasites. They can develop a flea allergy from flea bites or can contract Lyme disease or canine babesiosis from tick bites. Even sand flies can even transmit Leishmaniasis to dogs.
Dogs can also be affected by worms (mainly roundworm, tapeworm, hookworm, whipworm and lungworm in the UK) which can lead to issues in the digestive system and can have serious consequences on your dog's overall health.
Puppies are particularly delicate and should be given very precise doses of active ingredients designed to tackle internal and external parasites. The type of worming treatment you give your puppy or fully grown dog will depend on their weight, the type of parasite you are dealing with and any known sensitivity to active ingredients. How often you have to administer the treatment will also depend on the products you choose. For example, spot-on treatments must be given every month while a flea collar can offer up to eight months of protection. Finally, it's important to give your dog the right kind of treatment – no matter the method of administration – to target the parasite in question.
Spot-on and spray treatments for dogs
Spot-on treatments are one of the most popular ways to treat your dog for fleas, ticks, lice or mites. In order to be aware of exactly what you are protecting your dog against, you will have to refer to the instructions as most anti-flea treatments will not provide any protection against ticks.
Spot-on pipettes are applied directly to the skin behind the neck (where the dog cannot lick) in a vertical line. They will leave an oily residue behind on the fur for a few days following treatment. It's important to wash hands well and avoid any extended contact with your dog after application.
Spot-on treatments may be designed for external or internal parasites.
Please note: products containing only Fipronil are not always effective; be sure to check for two active ingredients (such as afoxolaner).
Spot-on treatments must be used every month for continued protection.
Flea, lice and tick collars for dogs
Recent studies have shown that residual toxins from external anti-flea treatments such as collars can be hazardous for the human endocrine system. If you have young children, opt for a pill treatment instead.
There are a number of brands on the market offering flea collars, such as Seresto (offering up to eight months of protection) and Scalibor (up to 6 months of protection).
Quick tip: when using any external treatment, be sure to check the skin that is in contact with the product on a regular basis to ensure there is no allergic reaction.
Worm treatments for dogs
There are various different types of intestinal parasite in dogs. It is therefore important to deworm your dog using the right active ingredients. If you suspect your dog has been affected by worms, the first port of call will be your vet who may prescribe a wide spectrum treatment designed to treat different types of worm. It may be necessary to carry out several treatments (according to your vet's recommendations) in order to eliminate the parasites at every stage of development (adult, larvae, egg).
There are several main types of worm in the UK to target:
- Hookworm, whipworm and lungworm.
As worm treatments can occasionally cause diarrhoea or vomiting, give them in the morning to avoid any unpleasant accidents in the nighttime.
Flea, lice, tick and mite tablets for dogs
Flea tablets can be very effective in dogs but you must be sure to give your dog the right treatment. There are three different types of flea tablet:
- Tablets to kill adult fleas and eggs (insecticides);
- Preventative tablets;
- Insect Growth Regulators which block the development of larvae.
Some flea tablets take the appearance of ordinary pills while others are made to look like treats to make them easier to administer (available from brands such as Nextgard).
Please note: some products sold by vets are not available without prescription.
Flea, tick and lice shampoo for dogs
If your dog has been infested by an external parasite, an anti-parasitic shampoo will allow you to kill off all insects and larvae to clean out the coat. During the summer months, these products can also be used as a preventative treatment as they contain insect repellent. There are a number of effective brands, such as Beaphar, Pulvex, Johnsons, etc.
You must shampoo carefully and it is advisable to leave the treatment to work for several minutes before thoroughly rinsing your dog's coat.
Shampoo can be used in combination with a fine-toothed comb. It may be necessary to repeat the application in severe cases to remove all larvae.
Puppies will require the use of a specialist anti-parasitic shampoo in order to avoid the risk of poisoning.
Please note: you must always wait 48 hours before applying another anti-parasitic treatment (such as spot-on or a collar).
Specialist anti-parasitic shampoo
Flea, tick and lice powder for dogs
Flea, tick and lice powder offer both curative and preventative treatment. They offer efficient protection against fleas, ticks and mites.
Each type of powder will detail the amount to use per kg of weight (for example, 2 grams per kg will translate as 12 grams for a 6 kg dog). The powder should be massaged into the coat, paying special attention to any folds, as well as the neck and the ears.
Many powders contain Tetramethrin which works as an insecticide on external parasites.
However, this powder must never be used on dogs with damaged skin.
Flea, tick and lice treatment for puppies
Puppies should also be treated against internal and external parasites. You must use a treatment suited to their size and their stage of development in order to avoid any risk of poisoning.
Flea and worm treatments for puppies come in various different forms:
- Single-dose pills (to be given every month)
- Spot-on pipettes to be applied to the neck (every month)
- Flea, tick, lice and mite spray
Anti-parasite sprays are external treatments that can be used on very young puppies. Spot-on treatments should only be given to puppies over 6 weeks while tablets are suitable for puppies over 8 weeks.
When deworming a puppy, it is recommended to administer treatment from 2 weeks of age and every fortnight after that up to 2 and a half months. Fully grown adults should be treated every month.
Have any doubts about how to give flea or worm treatment to a puppy? Ask your vet for advice!
Guide written by:
Pauline, Self-taught handyman, Leeds, 89 guides
With a handyman-father, I grew up with the soft sound of the sander and hammer on weekends. I am both manual and cerebral (yes, it is possible.), I learned the basics of DIY and the customization of furniture because I was passionate. The salvage mentality is a true way of life that allowed me to know how to use all the tools and products needed to give something a second life, from sander to varnish. I have two favorite activities: the transformation of old furniture and decoration tips. I am always ready to lend a helping hand to revamp a table or to restore a mirror that was intended for the trash that will become a friend’s centerpiece. I’m convinced that it’s possible to reinvent an interior by small, regular modifications, I constantly research low-cost, test ideas.