Do flea pills for dogs work? Find Out Here

How flea and tick tablets work

Flea and tick tablets work similarly to any oral medication, and they come in the form of chewable meds given to pets once or twice a month as prescribed by a vet.

The tablets contain various potent but safe compounds such as lufenuron, spinosad, nitenpyram and other active chemicals used in multiple parasitical medications. When ingested, these compounds enter the bloodstream and kill any flea or tick that bites your pet almost instantly.

The active compounds work by overstimulating the nervous system of fleas, ticks and other parasites, subsequently causing death.

How to Get Rid of Fleas and Ticks in Your Home

To get rid of all fleas and ticks, you must do more than just administer medication to your dog. It’s important to also:

  • Ensure that all pets in the home are on flea and/or tick prevention. This includes dogs, cats, ferrets, and rabbits.
  • Vacuum daily to remove flea eggs and larvae, even if you have hardwood or tile flooring. Make sure to discard the vacuum bag or empty the canister immediately after use.
  • Wash all bedding with hot water weekly.
  • Bathe your dog weekly to remove dead fleas if you’re managing a flea infestation.
  • Keep a neat yard. Fleas and especially ticks love shaded, dense areas, so keep a distance between your home and any forested areas, dense brush, or tall grasses.
  • Consider having a professional company come to spray your home and yard; just be sure it is a pet-friendly treatment.
  • Ask your vet about insecticides for home use. Sprays, bug bombs, or powders can be beneficial, but it’s crucial to only use pet-safe products and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Signs Flea and Tick Medication Is Working on Your Dog

    After administering flea and tick medication to your dog, expect to see at least some dead fleas within 24 hours of treatment. However, it will probably take a few days for the itching to decrease. If your pet has a severe infestation, several rounds of treatment over several months will be needed to eliminate the problem, because the life cycle of the flea (from egg to adult) is about 3 months.

    Ticks are hardier than fleas, so it will take longer (closer to 24-48 hours depending on the type of treatment utilized) for a treatment to work. Dead ticks may or may not fall off your dog. It is generally recommended to have dead ticks removed by a veterinarian as soon as possible, to ensure that the head of the tick, which can be buried under your dog’s skin, is completely removed.

    If you’ve been using a particular preventative tick medication for the first time and are seeing the same or increased numbers of ticks on your dog, tell your veterinarian. You might need another type of tick repellent.

    Guide to Flea and Tick Medication – Ask A Vet

    Our mission is to help save dogs and cats’ lives through our educational content. To support our efforts, this page may contain affiliate links. We earn a commission for qualifying purchases – at no cost to you.

    Dr. Stephanie received her Bachelor of Science (Maj. Vet tech) from the University of Queensland, Australia, in 2006. After graduation, she moved to the other side of her beautiful, sunny country, to the most isolated city in the world (Perth, Australia), to begin her veterinary degree at Murdoch University. 5 years later, she received a dual degree in Veterinary Biology and Veterinary Medicine and Surgery.

    After all this schooling, Dr. Stephanie packed her things, her beloved Labrador & fluffy cat, and made the big move to the USA. She lives and practices at a clinic in the “big apple.”

    A note for our readers: If you have an urgent question and are unable to ask your veterinarian, you can use the Ask a Vet service that will give you access to a veterinarian for 7 days for $1.