Question for Dog People about Fleas

I've been using Advantage II flea control for my dogs for years and recently switched to NexGuard because I was having a reaction to the topical chemicals in the Advantage II. And if it's making me feel ill it could well be the same for the dogs. But then I realized that NexGuard is also a pesticide. It's poison. How can it possible be okay to feed poison to our dogs?? On the other hand I absolutely don't want to live with fleas and have heard that the non-toxic, all natural sorts of flea control don't really kill all the fleas. And we all know how one flea leads to millions of fleas. And tapeworm. Gross.

I would love to hear from all the dog owners out there: what kind of flea control do you use? If it's NexGuard has it worked for you for 10, 15, years with no problems at all for your dogs? I would love to know there's really no reason for me to worry about this. If it's a non-toxic approach, what is it and does it really kill all the fleas? 

Thank you!

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Hi! I have two dogs. Dog 1 gets ComboGuard (spinosad + milbemycin oxime, for fleas/ticks, heartworm, and parasites) and Dog 2 gets Heartgard (Ivermectin, Pyrantel for heartworm and parasites) and NexGuard (afoxolaner for fleas/ticks). ComboGuard is just one pill and doesn't taste very good but Dog 1 will take it in a pill pocket. Dog 2 has a very sensitive stomach, and whenever I gave him ComboGuard he would puke. Our vet said some dogs react that way to the spinosad, and prescribed Heartgard and NexGuard. They're chewables and and he'll scarf them down easily. We've been doing this routine for around 4 years or so. Dog 2 has very sensitive skin, too, and when he gets fleas he itches like crazy and makes hot spots that invariably get infected, require vet visits, antibiotics, etc. It's a pain. But we've been really happy with the results of our protocol and I haven't noticed any side effects for either dog. hope that helps!

I used Frontline for years with good success. Then our vet recommended Activyl, which did not work at all, so I switched back. Frontline is not a pesticide, it disrupts the insect's ability to form chondroitin (i.e., their shell).  If you want to try natural stuff, pennyroyal, peppermint, lavender are what's mostly recommended, but I can tell you from experience they don't work.  Some people are having good luck with Bravecto, which is oral, not topical (I can't use it because my dogs have sensitive stomachs). I have always opted to put the humans in the household ahead of the pets. I take really good care of humans and non-humans, but the reason I fight fleas and ticks is to reduce the risk of illness in the humans. I love my dogs, but honestly, if these chemicals shorten their life, it's still worth it to me. Remember, all those flea and tickborne illnesses will kill a dog much faster than the chemicals. Good luck!

I have 7 year old Lab and have always used Frontline Combo.  No issues what so ever and we are on a trail with her off leash just about every day.  Knock on wood have not seen a flea in all this time but yes on the occasional tick.  My sister uses an oral flea control as her dog has had many flea issues but I honestly would not give my dog anything she needs to ingest - the topical is probably bad enough.  Note, I don't have a "reason" other then I just don't want her swallowing pesticide.

Comfortis flea pill once a month.

Bravecto is a prescription pill that out vet recommends and we have had great success with it after advantage stopped working. 

I use Comfortis, which is a pill the dogs take once a month during flea season. It works much better than the topical we were using before (Advantage II), which not only made me feel weird, it made the dogs miserable when I put it on them. Look into it -- it's been life-changing, honestly. 

My vet recommended Comfortis after Advantage stopped working. It is a once-a-month tablet. It starts working within minutes but it does give the dog an upset stomach for a few hours after ingesting. If the dog does not have too many fleas, I try to stretch out the doses to around every 6-7 weeks.

I like Program, which is birth control for fleas. It is slow, but it works.