With so many products on the market, it’s hard to choose which is best flea and tick prevention for dogs. Should you choose and over-the-counter option like Advantix II, or get a prescription from your vet, or maybe use a chemical-free option?
I have researched these products over the last several years, learning about the ingredients, side effects, and effectiveness of each. Here I will touch on 16 different flea and tick products, ranging from over the counter to prescription to natural options.
Every dog and every situation is unique so what works for you and your dog may not work for another. Different regions of our country have higher infestations and may require more aggressive solutions.
Half of our 5-acre property is wooded, and the dogs and I take walks through it daily. Our first spring here, I found two ticks on each of the dogs. When I reached for the box of Advantix, I noticed a warning label that shocked me. After researching more about the ingredients and hearing horror stories of side-effects, I decided I wasn’t willing to take the risk on my dogs anymore.
That was when I switched to all-natural flea and tick products. And I have not seen a tick on the dogs since.
Flea and tick product comparison chart
This post does contains affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will receive a small commission, but it won’t cost you a penny more). Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
I’m not here to convince you to stop using your flea and tick preventative. I understand that some people are more comfortable knowing their dog is protected with a product their vet recommended. And I am certainly not a vet and can not give you medical advice about what is best for your dog.
Below are the facts only, it’s up to you to make the right decision for your dog.
Over-the-Counter Flea & Tick Preventative
OTC TOP PICK
K9 ADVANTIX II
Best flea and tick prevention for dogs [OTC]
K9 Advantix II is one of only two products that repels and kills fleas and ticks. Kills flea larvae and eggs. AND repels mosquitos, biting flies, and lice on dogs.
In my opinion, if you are going to put a chemical-based preventative on your dog, why not cover all your bases.
The majority of people are happy with its effectiveness and it is Veterinarian recommended. Of course as any of these products they come with possible side effects.
Warning label: Monitor your dog after application. Side effects may include signs of skin irritation such as redness, scratching, or other signs of discomfort. Gastrointestinal signs such as vomiting or diarrhea have also been reported. If these or other side effects (such as lethargy or agitation) occur, consult your veterinarian or call.
FRONTLINE PLUS, NEXGARD, PETARMOR, PREVENTIC, SERESTO and VECTRA 3D are other popular options. Each comes with similar side effects that you should read before giving to your dog.
Before choosing one of these products, please read my article: WARNING! The Hidden Dangers of Flea and Tick Medications.
RX Only Flea & Tick Preventative
RX TOP PICK
Best flea and tick prevention for dogs
If you feel more comfortable getting a prescription preventative from your vet, then Bravecto is your best choice. It is the longest lasting at 8-12 weeks vs. monthly. Plus you have the option of a chew or topical application.
Warning label: Side effects that usually are not serious include: Vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or hair loss (with topical product). If any of these signs are severe, worsen, or continue to be a problem, contact your veterinarian. Side effects that may be serious or indicate a serious problem: Vomiting that does not stop, complete loss of appetite, tremors, seizures, difficulty walking (eg, weakness, stumbling). If you see any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.
TRIFEXIS is a close runner up because it also protects from heartworm and other worms. The issue I have is that it does nothing to protect from ticks.
BRAVECTO, CREDELIO, NEXGARD, SIMPARICA, TRIFEXIS all need a veterinarian prescription but none hold up to all the benefits of K9 Advantix II.
Natural Flea & Tick Preventatives
NATURAL TOP PICK
ONLY NATURAL PET®
Best flea and tick prevention for dogs [Natural]
While none of the natural products kill fleas or ticks, they do repel them. We recommend using a combination of Only Natural Pet products to produce the best results.
We use a combination of Only Natural Pet products to maximize the protection of our dogs. Each dog wears the tick tag, eats 2 garlic tabs per day, gets bathed in the flea and tick soap, and we occasionally will use the spray. We also use these grooming gloves to brush the dogs if we know we’ve been in a tick-infested area.
AVON SKIN SO SOFT, WONDERCIDE, DOGS NATURALLY all have great natural products too. Test which one or combination works best for you.
If you are interested in more read my article: Natural Tick and Flea Prevention for Dogs.
Fleas and ticks all summed up
Ticks are creepy, fleas, and mosquitoes annoying, and the disease that some carry can be scary. So it is important to protect your entire family.
Talk with your vet, listen to their recommendations, and do your research to ensure you make the right decision and find the best flea and tick prevention for your dog. One size does not fit all.
I’d love it if you shared your experiences with what works for you and what doesn’t. You can help so many of other dog families when you share.
I really appreciate the article. I was unaware that natural products existed to repel fleas and ticks, which is my own fault for not researching, so I'm ever so glad to have stumbled upon this article and shell give your suggestions a shot. My two pitbull mixes both act as if the advantix causes them irritation or burning, and I have experienced burning on my hands when it has touched my hands before. I know that's probably preferable to chronic flea infestations but if they don't have to experience that then why make them?
Make sure to read Natural Tick and Flea Prevention for Dogs
I used a topical on my first boxer and it left a burn or some kind of reaction on the back of her neck area.. I no longer use any topicals on any of my boxers. I choose to use nexguard. They really like it and do well with it.