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How Prescription Flea Medicine for Dogs Works

No pet parent wants their dog to suffer from a flea infestation but your ability to control pests is limited. From walking through the woods to visiting the veterinarian or a local groomer, fleas can infest your dog at any minute. Instead of limiting where your canine goes, meet with a veterinarian to come up with a prevention and treatment plan. Only a licensed professional can prescribe flea medicine for dogs that takes into account their lifestyle and any pre-existing conditions.

Over-the-Counter Vs. Prescription Flea Medication

When it comes to medication, there are two types to consider: over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription. While both are effective, there are some differences that may impact your decision. OTC flea treatment for dogs is available in a variety of forms that include pills, sprays, collars, shampoos, drops, and powders. This is preferable if you need a fast-acting solution to get control of an infestation already underway.

Prescription flea medicine for dogs requires an evaluation by your pet’s veterinarian. This ensures your canine gets a personalized treatment plan that suits their needs and lifestyle. Your pet’s veterinarian will take into consideration any allergies, food sensitivities, and pre-existing illnesses. You can also inform them about your pet’s favorite activities like swimming or hiking to ensure they prescribe the right flea prevention for your dog.

How Does Nexgard and Bravecto Flea Treatment Work?

Petco carries two brands that eliminate fleas in dogs: Nexgard and Bravecto. Nexgard is a beef-flavored soft chew safe for use on dogs and puppies 8 weeks or older, weighing 4 or more pounds. This prescription is administered orally once a month and can be given with or without food. The active ingredient afoxolaner kills fleas and ticks in dogs by over-stimulating their nervous system. Afoxolaner is not safe for use on cats.

Bravecto chewable tablets or topical solutions are safe for use on dogs and puppies 6 months or older, weighing 4.4 or more pounds. It is also approved for use in breeding, pregnant, and lactating dogs. Only the topical is safe for use on cats and kittens 6 months or older, weighing 2.6 or more pounds. While this is true, you should never use dog products on cats and vice versa.

Bravecto chewable tablets are administered once every 12 weeks, a major difference from OTC treatments. Unlike with Nexgard, a single dose of Bravecto Chew must be given orally with food. To apply topical solutions, part your dog's hair and apply the product to the skin between the shoulder blades. The active ingredient fluralaner works by preventing the flea and tick nervous systems from fully functioning.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ordering prescription flea treatment for dogs is a simple process. Just add the item to your cart, fill in your pet and veterinarian’s information, and Petco will handle getting the prescription.

Both Nexgard and Bravecto have conducted field studies where dogs were given prescription flea treatment along with other medications. No problems were reported, however, your veterinarian will know best which medications to prescribe for your pet.

The best prescription flea and tick preventative for your pet depends on many factors such as bathing frequency, upcoming travel and exposure to ticks, year-round weather patterns, other pets in the household and severity of flea infestation. Some flea preventatives also stop the life cycle of the flea and can help treat the environment. Discuss these options with your veterinarian.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both orals and topicals and whatever your choice might be, it’s important you make sure your veterinarian approves the medication for your pup.