Stop Fleas And Ticks On Dogs-Alternatives To Frontline Medicine?

Not so long ago we looked at how to remove a tick from a Dog and it seemed like a more thorough look at the subject of both tick and flea preventions and remedies was in order. Dog fleas and Dog Ticks are two of the most common infestations Dog owners face and learning how to prevent ticks and fleas is something a lot of Dog owners ask.

I will take a comprehensive look at both how to get rid of fleas and ticks on Dogs as well as how to prevent fleas and ticks on Dogs. Once your Dog has ticks or fleas then  frontline medicine or something similar is your best way to treat them. This will be quite a long post (2500 words now I have finished) so for your convenience (and if you wish to skip a section) the post will be broken down in to the following chapters:

  • How to prevent ticks and fleas
  • Natural flea prevention
  • Natural Tick prevention
  • How to get rid of ticks and fleas
  • How to get rid of ticks naturally
  • How to get rid of fleas naturally
  • Flea and tick medication
  • Frontline flea and tick medication
  • How to apply Frontline
  • Natural flea and tick medication or Chemicals

Hopefully this will cover the topic very comprehensively and should give all of us a good idea of exactly how to prevent ticks and fleas and how to get rid of ticks and fleas when our Dogs get them. Having done quite a bit of research for this I think some of the different methods will be seen as interesting alternatives to Frontline or similar products. I have certainly become intrigued by some of the interesting ways to kill Dog fleas and Dog ticks.

How To Prevent Ticks

For some Dog owners ticks are a real problem. I am one of them. Learning how to prevent ticks can drastically cut down on the number of Dog ticks you will have to deal with.

how to prevent ticksFor some of us trying to prevent ticks is a bit of a challenge. The best way to prevent ticks without any medication is to stay away from areas that contain ticks. Ticks are most often found in long grass and woods. if walking your Dog in such places the ticks will attach to the Dog and quickly burrow its head in to the dogs skin. How to prevent ticks when you live in such an environment can be extremely difficult without some form of home tick treatment. Without using some form of tick treatment for Dogs, such as frontline medicine, preventing Dog ticks simply comes down to staying away from grassy and damp areas as much as possible.

How To Prevent Fleas

Natural flea prevention, without adding anything to your Dogs skin can be difficult. However one of the best ways to prevent fleas is the use of the vacuum cleaner. For every flea on your Dog there will be many more, in different stages, around the home. It may be time for a spring clean. Natural flea prevention without applying anything to the Dog or the surroundings will come down to keeping an area as flea free as possible by cleaning. Vacuum all areas extremely well and you will go a long way to cutting down on the number of fleas in the area and break the life cycle of the fleas.As with preventing ticks, it is difficult to beat the chemically based frontline medicine.

Natural Flea Prevention

Apart from keeping the surroundings clean there are a few good tips for natural flea prevention. Firstly we should ensure that we bathe the Dogs regularly. A good hot shower can work wonders to prevent the build up of ticks. After bathing a good brush to keep the Dog clean is in order. There are special flea combs that can be purchased to get rid of fleas on the Dog.

kill dog fleasAlso bear in mind that fleas will not survive in a very hot wash. Gather up all the Dogs bedding and run it through the washing machine on a hot wash. The same goes for anything else in the house that you feel may have been infested with fleas.

Searching around the internet there are quite a few recipes and directions for natural flea prevention. Preventing fleas on your Dog naturally is certainly worth a go. A lot of natural ways to prevent fleas rely on essential oils.

Lavender oils have been cited as quite effective in flea prevention. Add a few drops of lavender oil to 8 oz water and spray over the Dog. Some people have found it effective.

Eucalyptus Oils used in a similar manner can also be employed as a natural flea prevention. Also try a few drops on bedding etc or even some leaves.

Adding a third apple cider vinegar to two thirds water and poring all over the Dog after bathing has worked well for some. Just dry the Dog lightly and the smell will soon disappear.

A lemon, cut up and left in 8 oz of water for a day has seen good results when then sprayed on your Dog. Preventing fleas in Dogs has a lot of these type of solutions and a lot of the different essential oils mixed with water are said to be very effective.

Natural Tick Prevention

Apart from staying away from areas with ticks, which is not always possible, what other ways are there to naturally prevent ticks on Dogs. Well apart from learning how to remove Dog ticks there are a few natural ways to prevent ticks. Similar to natural flea prevention, lots of essential oils have been cited as being quite effective when it comes natural tick prevention. Oils such as lavender, lemongrass, eucalyptus,etc can be added to water and applied to the Dog. How effective these are as a natural Tick prevention I really don’t know but you wish to try them.

natural flea preventionIt is also important to remember to keep all Dog bedding washed regularly. Young ticks are minuscule and if you allow your Dog to sleep on the bed and you live in an area where ticks are prevalent I would check the bedding if I was you. Sorry!

There seem to be a lot of natural tick prevention solutions on the market, many simply containing the natural oils stated above. I don’t know if they work well but again you may give them a try. Natural tick prevention really comes down to avoidance. They are much tougher to prevent naturally than fleas. I eally have found little to support these treatments. Frontline medicine, or something like advantix, though chemical based, is definitely the most thorough and effective solution.

How To Get Rid Of Ticks And Fleas

We will now take a look at how to get rid of ticks and how to get rid of fleas.

Learning how to prevent ticks and how to prevent fleas really is best attempted to control by avoidance and keeping the house and bedding well cleaned. There really is little else that seems to really work if you want to avoid your Dog getting infestations. Essential oils may help but to be honest I have found little to know actual people who have said these natural remedies completely eradicate ticks and fleas.

How To Get Rid Of Ticks Naturally

Without resorting to any chemicals such as Frontline there are not many ways to get rid of Dog ticks. You will basically need to know how to remove Dog ticks by using a pair of tweezers. Pulling off the ticks is the best way to remove or get rid of ticks naturally. Forget trying petroleum or a just extinguished match to the tick to remove it. It simply does not work. How to get rid of ticks once they have them is by tick removal or the application of something like frontline tick medication.

To get rid of dog ticks you can try a little apple cider vinegar in their water. Just how effective this will be to get rid of ticks I am rather dubious about. The reality of Dog ticks is this. If you don’t use a chemical the best way to get rid of Dog ticks naturally is to avoid areas where they are are remove the tick from the Dog by pulling it out.

How To Get Rid Of Fleas Naturally

As stated in “how to prevent fleas”, you can get rid of fleas on Dogs using a god Dog shampoo and then brushing thoroughly with a flea comb for Dogs. Try to use a flea comb every day as part of the Dog grooming routine and it will help tremendously.

To use a flea comb you need a god supply of soapy water. Dip the flea comb in the water between each combing. This will kill the fleas in the water and make combing easier. Apart from the flea comb you can again try the natural oils mixed with water and applied to the Dog. However as with how to get rid of ticks naturally I have found little evidence that these will effectively get rid of fleas like the Frontline, Advantix type of remedies do.

To kill Dog fleas without the use of chemical is really down to vacuuming thoroughly, washing any related bedding and the regular use of a flea comb for Dogs.

Flea And Tick Medication

There are a number of flea medications and tick medications that will kill Dog fleas and kill Dog ticks. There are also flea collars and tick collars but these really are not as effective as spot on medications. Flea and tick collars maybe effective on small Dogs but will do little to protect the body of a large Dog.

There are a few bestsellers when it comes to flea and tick medication. Frontline plus may be the best well known but Advantix and X-spot are also very well regarded. I use X-spot as here in Spain it is cheaper and prevents leishmania which can be a killer here. In the UK we always used Frontline medicine and it works extremely well. Frontline flea medication is particularly effective and we have never had a problem with fleas if we applied Frontline regularly. Home flea treatments and home tick treatments should be used in conjunction with a commercial product unless you find one of the natural flea preventions and natural tick preventions really do work.

Frontline Flea And Tick Medication

Although I will talk about Frontline medicine, as it is the most widely used way to kill Dog fleas and kill Dog ticks the same applies to any of the major flea and tick preventions like Advantix and X-Spot. How does Frontline work? Frontline ticks treatment medication works by a process called translocation. Frontline flea and tick treatment gradually works its way in to the oil glands of the Dog and then spreads through the Dogs fur. Frontline medicine normally takes about 24 to 48 hours to kill all Dog ticks and Dog fleas after it is applied.

Discount Frontline is still an issue. These applications are expensive and although they work very effectively cheap Frontline for Dogs would still be nice.

How To Apply Frontline

The same technique applies to all spot on medications. Ensure you do not let your Dog get wet after applying Frontline flea or tick medication. It takes up to two days for them to work effectively so keep the Dog dry for a few days.

How To Apply Fronline Video

To apply Frontline medicine is a two step process. You need to apply Frontline to the Dogs neck and to its back. Always ensure that you get Frontline flea and tick medication that is suitable for the size of your Dog. How to apply Frontline is fairly simple. Many owners of Dogs with long fur seem to think there is a problem with it but you should still be able to apply Frontline fairly easily.

Frontline plus is best applied first between the shoulder blades of the Dog. Ensure you apply it where the Dog absolutely cannot lick it. Part the fur of your Dog right back to the skin and carefully squeeze half of the capsule directly on to the skin. Careful, it may be cold and the brave pooch may jump a little. You then need to apply Frontline flea or tick medication to the Dogs rear. Apply just above the hips, again assuring that it cannot get access to lick it. Low cost Frontline products should be purchased with caution. As I stated in my removing Dog ticks post, be wary if it is coming from Asia and you may find it is not a genuine product.

Flea and tick control is very important for many Dog owners, especially those living in areas where they are rife so by all means try some natural remedies but never forget how effective these products are. Home flea and tick treatments really don’t come much easier to use than this.

Natural Flea And Tick Prevention Or Frontline And Other Chemicals?

I have done quite a bit of research for this post and it has up to now taken four hours to write including some of the research. Although there are lots of natural flea prevention and natural tick prevention recipes and ideas online there is one thing they all seem to have in common. I found lots of ideas for the use of Oils, Lemons, vinegars etc but very little feedback from those who have used them. If you have effectively used a natural way to control Dog ticks and Dog fleas then please leave a comment stating what you used and how effective it was.

How to prevent fleas and how to prevent ticks naturally comes down to housework. Keeping areas well vacuumed and bedding washed seems to be the best natural way to prevent ticks and fleas in Dogs. Keeping the Dog well bathed can also help. The only natural way I found that has lots of feedback when it comes to killing or preventing either Dog ticks or Dog fleas is the use of a flea comb. This definitely works to get rid of fleas. If Dog ticks are not a problem then a regular comb with a Dog flea comb could definitely save you a lot of money. Cheap Frontline for Dogs does not seem to exist so a small spend on a flea comb is well worth the investment.

For those of us with a more serious case of Dog ticks and Dog fleas then Frontline flea and tick medication or in my case X-Spot seems to be the best solution. I do not like adding chemicals to my Dogs but in all the research I have done today I haven’t actually found any cases of it being classed as a serious risk to Dogs. I suppose it is similar to using chemicals to prevent the biting that happens to us here in Summer. I don’t like using the frontline medicine chemicals but they are very effective.

If you have any effective ways on how to prevent ticks or how to prevent fleas naturally or good home flea treatments that are cheap and effective then please leave a comment.

Hopefully you live in an area where Dog ticks and Dog fleas are not too prevalent and you will never need to kill Dog fleas and ticks on a regular basis.

27 Responses to “Stop Fleas And Ticks On Dogs-Alternatives To Frontline Medicine?”

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  1. Ardith says:

    You don’t mention Damminix tick tubes, which get rid of ticks around your property, by treating the mice which carry the ticks(which carry the disease, which infects your dog, which requires a vet visit, which breaks the bank etc, etc…). Seriously, though, they are an eco-friendly way to control these pests. I get them online (www.ticktubes.com). They are a little costly, but are much better for your dog than having a toxic chemical applied directly to its skin.

  2. Roz says:

    Can you tell me where can I get X Spot – I know Frontline but as we are moving to the south of France I want to protect my dogs from Leishmania. I have looked on-line but X Spot isn’t mentioned on UK sites. Also do you know if I can use X Spot in conjunction with Scalibor collars?

  3. Three Dog Blogger says:

    Hi Roz,
    If France is anything like Spain then you can get it from any Vets. We have the same Leishmania problem here. All the Vets here carry it. I, like you could find little online about it. Just go in to a Vets there. All places that have risks of Leishmania carry X spot as well as Frontline.

    As to the collars. They are not recommended here unless for small Dogs. As our Vet explained, when you apply Frontline or X spot it is always in two places to protect the whole of the Dogs body. The collars only protect the front of a Dog if it is of any size. They recommended just using X spot.

    I would talk to the Vet and see what they say. We were told to just use the one treatment.

    I hope this helps you out.

    And hey, welcome to the sunnier part of Europe!

  4. Roz says:

    Thanks for this advice, it is comforting – I have been spooked about Leishmania and our dogs are two Ridgebacks so love being outside so I want to protect them in every way possible. Best get my vet speak French up to scratch!

  5. Roz says:

    Ohh sorry another thought, do I still need to use Frontline for ticks and fleas or does X Spot do the lot, last thing I want to do is overload my dogs with chemicals.

  6. Three Dog Blogger says:

    Hi Roz,

    X Spot is all that you will need. It protects against fleas, ticks and Leishmania so you won’t need Frontline as well. You may even find it is a litlle bit cheaper as well.

    All the best.

  7. Lindsay says:

    I use a brand called BioSpot which is not all natural. It is basically the same as Frontline, just cheaper. Although I do put these chemicals on my dog, I don’t necessarily like doing it. So I do so sparingly. Instead of using it all year or even six months out of the year, I only put it on Ace about three months out of the summer when I know we are going to be in heavy tick and flea areas. When he’s just at home with me his chances of getting fleas and ticks are pretty slight because he’s mostly an indoor dog except when we go for runs together which are usually in suburban areas.

    I guess it helps that we live in a mostly colder climate. I have thought about using a natural flea prevention method, I just worry that it won’t be as effective.

  8. Dan says:

    I have been looking for a few alternatives for my dogs as well as to add to my site-Nutra-9. After some research I came across a few natural product from companies I trust. After doing some reading about the chemical that we are putting on our dogs and the potential problems they can cause, not only to them but to my 2 young daughters- I needed to find something else.

  9. Three Dog Blogger says:

    Dan, if you read this can you let me know a bit about the frontline alternatives. Also if there is some feedback from people that have found it effective I would be very interested. I just can’t seem to find any information about natural frontline alternatives where people have actually stated that they work as well.

    Lindsay, I have the same concerns. I just have found nothing as effective that is natural. Maybe Dan can help out with the natural alternatives?

  10. I have read positive result from dog owners about frontline plus but haven’t really tried to use it to my dogs. I use a tick and flea collar for my dogs flea problem. It works well and up to 4 months.

  11. Beth says:

    I have been using Frontine for years with great success. I note the date on my personal calendar so the uses are given regularly. However, this fall, this month, Frontline stopped working on one of my dogs. Since she’s already been treated I don’t want to try other chemicals, so am willing to try the lemon thing. Anything to stop her from itching.
    Would appreciate ideas.

  12. memie says:

    I like the video becouse my dog got 2 fleas that’s like it has claws!

  13. Shirley Hassan says:

    Before removing the tick with a tweezer it is important to soak the tick with surgical spirit on a bit of cotton wool. This sedates the tick enabling easy removal thus reducing the risk of leaving part of the tick inside the skin. This is how ticks are removed from us humans!

  14. RoseofSharon says:

    I found your article extremely throuough. Thank you for such well researched information. A comment I wanted to leave is that I have Samoyeds. The ticks are seeming to be running right now, but I did not know it. I was washing my guys for a show this past weekend, and I make my own shampoo using a natural dish soap that uses lavendar and eucalyptus oils plus I add apple cider vinegar to make it the proper ph for dogs. I scrubbed the living soul out of them, and then rinse with an apple cider vinegar solution. When I went to blow dry the male, I found 4 ticks just wandering around deep into the hair. I used a very powerful force on the water hose, so I thought perhaps I dislodged them. Now after reading your article, I am wondering if the lavendar, eucalyptus, and/or apple cider vinegar upset them and they pulled out on their own? I am certainly going to make a mixture of the oils and vinegar and use it and see if I can keep the little buggars for burrowing in. Thought you might want to know for your continuing research.

  15. sunny tait says:

    Great research and much appreciated that you are interested and took the time to pass on the info.
    Thanks,
    Sunny

  16. emma jones says:

    Does anyone have any ideas or have they tried a more natural way of replelling fleas? my westie seems to have some sort of reaction to spot ons, i have tried all different ones and still the same, his skin goes all red and blochy. so i am after any ideas on anything natural please 🙂

  17. lorraine says:

    coconut oil wiped on my boxers itching sores sooth and heal well.. she likes to lick it off though. Fish oil orally is helpful from the inside out.

  18. anna says:

    Frontline is great as it stops the fleas from being able to breed so you won’t get any fleas in your home. My vet advised me to switch every year to a different product tho so now trying another chemical they gave me applied monthly. Stopped the dog from scratching too as I think he may have become allergic. If you are reading this in Spain you must get a scalibar collar or a treatment monthly applied to the skin to prevent this horrible tiny mossie that flies at over 20 degrees and is all over Southern Spain, biting your dog and basically causing it huge problems/death. Your dog can start to lose its fur or have internal organ damage and will need medication for the rest of its life or to be put down. I know several owners that have had first hand troubles with the mosquito and the scalibar collar lasts 3 months is not expensive and saves your dogs life potentially. Around 35% of dogs in Spain have this disease…..the plus side of living in Spain is that you don’t need to worry about heartworm as we don’t have this in Spain. I now we all want natural treatments but fleas cause so much distress and the mossie bite can kill your dog…..so a bit of chemicals, well I don’t think it does them any harm at all. Just like drinking the odd can of diet coke does us no harm and bathing in bubble bath full of chemicals…..

  19. pgeorge says:

    I have found an efficient and very cheap way of KILLING FLEAS. Believe it or not, very diluted Dawn dishwashing soap will kill fleas within approx 6 seconds after contact. I did a test of combing fleas from my dog and then subjecting some to ‘store bought’ spray, and some to the soap solution. It took the store bought stuff about 10 seconds to perform.

  20. cranberry says:

    I found 2 ticks on my dog this morning. The first was on his coat(on his back), not his skin which I managed to pull off easily. The 2nd was on his head. It looked like it was barely trying to clamp its’ legs on to my pup. I went to pull it out and it tried to bury its’ head but I caught it and pulled the whole thing out. The tick then tried to clamp its’ legs on my hand but i flicked it off. Is there any symptoms in particular I have to watch for? I am more worried about my dog than me since he is a Peke and I’m not sure how long those things were on him. I am thinking they were not on him very long because they weren’t buried in his skin. I live in San Diego, Ca and we did walk through some brush this morning. I also saved one tick just in case any symptoms present on either my Peke or myself. Help?

  21. Three Dog Blogger says:

    cranberry it sounds like you got them early and there should not be any problem at all. It is rare for issues to arise, and it seems like you got them early.

  22. Sheila says:

    I had a flea infestation in my apartment a couple years ago, but didn’t want to use a flea bomb. I researched and researched and what I found was that table salt is the best way to kill fleas in the carpets. Liberally apply salt to the carpet and let it sit for a couple days. Walking on it is fine, and it doesn’t harm the animals, though their water intake may increase a little bit. Vacuum it up. Reapply as many times as needed.

    Diatomaceous Earth also works, but is hard on your vacuum cleaner. However, it is great to sprinkle around the outside of your house and controls other insects too. It is harmless to dogs and cats.

    My vet told me the trick with the soapy water, but added that it works best with Dawn Dish detergent, so I have always used that, and it does work very well with the flea comb.

  23. cez says:

    after applying frontline,wash the whole house with malathion..this is because the dogs maybe free from ticks but still the enemies are still hiding there in the small holes multipying in numbers while they are waiting for the frontline (applied in your dog) to be ineffective. 2x a year and your house withe your dogs will be free from those monsters..

  24. d says:

    I went to our local pet shop in Wisconsin and she told me that frontline and advantex can have adverse reactions, but it all depends on the dog (they’re all different therefore have different reactions). She did recommend 2 natural sprays that you can use instead, thhe one I got is called “flea flicker tick kicker. Its an all natural botanical formula (doesn’t contain citronella, lemon grass etc.) It has 3 active ingredients- Eugenol(clove) Geraniol(geranium) and Peppermint. This product works great! we are out doors/hiking/camping people in Wi so ticks are abundant. since starting this spray we haven’t seen a single tick on my pup. it not only repells ticks, fleas and mosquitos, it kills them too. The only complaint I have is the scent is strong when first applied (once a week) due to the clove. the other product my friend uses ( can’t remember the name unfortunately, but it doesn’t have a scent and doesn’t kill the little critters. you can literally see the mosquitos hovering over the dog like there’s a forcefield protecting him- this one is applied every 10-14days. bother seem to work wonderfully and are harmless to the dog. my pup doesnt like to be sprayed however so I spray it onto his brush and then apply it that way after he gets his bath. hopefully this helps someone out there looking for a natural alternative. P.S. they are both sold for 13.99 u.s. for an 8oz. bottle which I was told will last all summer

  25. Meng says:

    I use food grade (human consumption) Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for my dachshund Otto. I rub it in gently over his coat – do not sprinkle as powder is fine like talcum powder and it can get into the eyes or lungs. DE can be used for other external pests of dogs and cats. I also use it in Otto’s meals, it is a natural way for controlling internal parasites as well. I also consume it myself on a regular basis.

    DE is a non-toxic, substance made up from crushed fossils of freshwater organisms and marine life. Under a microscope, these particles looks like bits of broken glass. It is deadly to any insects and completely harmless to animals, fish, fowl, humans or food. Most insects have a waxy outer shell covering their bodies, DE scratches through this shell causing the insect to dehydrate and die. The larvae is affected in the same way. This makes DE an excellent and totally natural control, with no mechanical or chemical damage to the animal tissue.

    If you have maggot, flies or bedbugs infestation DE works as well. Just be careful in vacuuming, it can clog up the vacuum.

  26. Angelina says:

    Hello! I just want to say that just this week I switched to natural essential oil sprays to prevent fleas and ticks on my dog and cat. I had been using Frontline for the past two or three years and it was generally effective, although I must make clear that IT DOES NOT KILL TICK AND FLEAS WITHIN 24-48 HOURS. If the dog or cat is already infested it might take weeks to get rid of them even if you use Frontline. So don’t be fooled people.
    The reason I stopped using it, even if it was relatively effective is because a friend’s two cats were recenty diagnosed with serious neurological conditions due to the secondary effects of Frontline mediaction and were left practically paralized. As always, again I am disgusted with what commercial products out there are doing to people and their pets. I dont know if the natural methods will work as effectively but even if they dont, I prefer to have pets with a few ticks or fleas than irreversably sick or dead ones.
    So, research people! Theres plenty of natural ways to combat ticks and fleas that dont poison your loved pets! Look into garlic and brewer’s yeast supplements, homemade or storebought natural oil sprays, collars and dips, or the old apple cider vinegar method. Good luck!

  27. Victor says:

    Never thought to wash my dog’s bed in an attempt to get a handle on the fleas and ticks he tracks into the house. Thanks for all your insight. My dog thanks you too. Haha.

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