Ultimate Guide on Flea, Tick and Worming Products for Dogs

Dogs are our best friends, and they love us unconditionally. However, they can host many unsavoury passengers- fleas, ticks, mites, and worms. Some of these pests can be extremely harmful to our fur babies. Luckily there is something you can do for your pup. 

We will show you the best flea treatment for dogs and the best ways to eradicate ticks and worms. It isn’t as cut and dry as you might think. There are all-in-one treatments as chewables, flea collars, spot-on drops to the neck, and so much more. This Ultimate Guide will help you understand the best worm, flea, and tick treatments and preventatives available in Australia for your dogs.

 

Types of Parasites

There are four main types of parasites that infest your dogs. They are fleas, worms, mites and ticks. Here is a brief explanation of each kind of parasite and what it can do to your dog.

Fleas

Fleas are tiny brown parasites that live on  the skin of pets, and sometimes humans. They can jump over 150 times their own body length in a single jump, allowing easy transit from one creature to another. This is how they spread so quickly.

Flea eggs remain dormant for a very long time in your carpet or your furniture or outside. When the conditions are right, such as an animal rolling on them or simple vibrations caused by walking around, cause flea eggs to hatch and jump onto your pet and begin their life cycle again.

Fleas are very irritating for your pet and you will know that they have fleas from all the scratching. If you look in their fur, you may see adult fleas or flea dirt, which is actually digested and dried blood.

Mites

In Australia, there are 3 main kinds of mites that can infect your dog - 

  1. Demodex Mites - Almost all dogs have these mites on their bodies, passed to puppies during the nursing period with their mums. Usually, they are of no concern to dogs thanks to their immune systems.
    If their immune system can’t handle the mites, your dog could show symptoms of hair loss, thickened skin or other skin infections.
    The Demodex mite is far too tiny to be seen by the naked eye. A Vet will need to examine a skin scraping to be sure.

  2. Sarcoptes Mite - these mites cause sarcoptic mange in dogs, and are easily passed from one infected dog to another dog through close contact and play.
    Symptoms include intense scratching, hair loss, and skin infections.
    The Sarcoptes mite lives within the skin, so again, your vet will need to examine skin samples to diagnose properly.

  3. Ear Mites - these mites infest the ear canal, and around the dog’s ears.
    Symptoms include skin irritation around the ears, intense scratching of the ears and the back of the head, head shaking, a foul odour coming from the ears and a dark, waxy discharge from the ears.
    Your vet will need to take a sample of the wax in your dog’s ears and look at it under a microscope to confirm ear mites.

Worms

There are five main types of worms that can infest a dog: 

  1. Roundworms - possibly the most common of the intestinal worms in dogs. Some puppies can be born with roundworms, inherited from their mother, so treatment for puppies is vital.

  2. Tapeworms - an intestinal worm dogs can get by eating infected meat or offal. One species of tapeworm can also be passed to your dog by fleas, so flea treatment is essential. If you see your dog scooting their butt along the ground, it could be a sign they have tapeworms.

  3. Hookworms - these are intestinal worms that cause anemia. They ingest a large amount of blood and infection  can be fatal to puppies if not treated. Eggs are laid in a dog’s stool and lay dormant in the soil for months until a dog interacts with the dirt. Humans can also be infected with hookworms.

  4. Whipworms - these worms live at the beginning of a dog’s large intestine and in the colon. Whipworms usually only have mild symptoms, but the worst symptoms can be weight loss, diarrhea, and possibly anemia.
    The eggs of a whipworm can survive in the right environment for up to 5 years. Dogs can get infected through the soil, infected food, or water.

  5. Heartworms - these are the most dangerous type of worm a dog can get. Mosquitoes transmit the parasite through their bites. Heartworms live and grow in the dog’s heart and lungs, which causes lung problems, heart failure, and ultimately death. Prevention is so much easier than treatment.

Intestinal worms can be picked up by your dog from other dog’s poop or from contaminated soil. In some cases, owners can be infected with worms from their dogs, so it is important to treat your dog for worms regularly. Symptoms that could indicate your dog has worms can include diarrhea, weight loss and lethargy. 

With heartworm, a big danger for dogs, further symptoms could include heart and respiratory system issues, weight loss, and more. Untreated, heartworm can result in your dog’s death.  

Ticks 

There are four main types of ticks in Australia that can affect your dog. 

  1. Bush tick- found along the eastern and western coastlines, bush ticks cause skin irritation. They can also transmit diseases such as babesiosis, a disease of red blood cells, which can be fatal.

  2. Brown dog ticks - Found throughout Australia. They cause skin irritation, and if in significant numbers, can cause anemia from blood loss. They can transmit a fatal disease called Ehrlichia canis. This causes fever, lethargy, weight loss, and sadly, death.

  3. Cattle Ticks  - these are mostly found in the top end of Australia, having been mostly eradicated in other areas. They can transmit cattle fever.

  4. Paralysis Ticks - These are found on the east coast of Australia, from far north Queensland, right down to Victoria. As their name suggests, these ticks produce a toxin that paralyses your pet.

Your dog will mostly get ticks from being outside. Young Ticks perch on grass stalks and in shrubs. They react to the heat and carbon dioxide exhaled by your dog or other suitable hosts. When your dog brushes past, they reach out and grab on with their front legs, and then nestle into the fur and begin their parasitic life on your dog.

 

Types Of Flea, Tick And Worming Products For Dogs 

All dogs need protection from fleas, mites, ticks, intestinal worms, and deadly heartworm. These can come in a tablet, chewable form, or a spot on medication; you can get a spray for fleas, even collars. What suits your dog can depend on how they prefer to take their medicine, your schedule and how often you want to commit to giving it.

You can buy products  which work as a preventative rather than a treatment. It is best to get your pets into the routine of taking medicines. This way, they will react less when taking medication, and you can prevent any painful symptoms from the infection by already having them protected.  

Dog Worming Tablets 

The most common form of oral medication are dog tablets. They can sometimes be tricky to get a dog to swallow, so it helps if they are flavoured or coated in a slippery substance, such as a sugar coating or a digestible film. These tablets are a preventative, as well as a treatment. This means you can give them to your puppy regularly, in a routine, and prevent worms from infecting them.

Best Dog Worming Tablets: Our most popular tablet brand for worms is the Milbemax Allwormer for Dogs. Over 500 reviews, all five stars. It treats all five types of worms common in dogs.  

Dog Chews For Flea, Tick, and Worms 

Dog chews are similar in how they work to dog tablets. They are just consumed differently. Some dogs prefer the texture of a chew, and the chewing action can be similar to their regular food time.  They are also meat flavoured so most dogs will readily eat them.

Best Dog Chews For Flea, Tick and Worms: Also, chews are softer in texture, which may be a better option for older dogs. Our best-selling brand is NexGard Spectra. Check the conditions on the pack, and make sure you get the right chew for your dog’s age group. 

Flea Spray For Dogs 

Flea sprays are safe for your dog and its environment. You can spray directly onto your dog, just make sure they don’t run off and roll around, rubbing off the spray in the process. Another advantage of flea spray is, you can also spray furniture and carpet, killing flea eggs before they hatch  Make sure you use sprays specifically designed for dog  (not regular insect sprays that we use around the house.

Best Flea Sprays: Frontline spray for dogs and cats is a good spray for eliminating fleas. It can be used on your pet and in the environment. However, it is not an instant kill for ticks, so you may want to do a manual check for ticks, especially during the paralysis tick season. 

Spot-On Flea And Tick Treatment For Dogs

These are tick and flea treatments that commonly come packaged in individual vials. They are applied, spotted onto your pet’s back, between the shoulder blades. This is an area they cannot get to by self-grooming, so they cannot ingest the treatment orally. These products are very good at rapidly killing adult fleas before they lay eggs, and this product can be used on breeding dogs.

Best Dog Spot-On: Check for skin irritation after use, as some dogs may have an allergic reaction. You should also do a manual check for ticks, as, like the spray, they may not be killed as quickly as fleas. Bravecto for Dogs is a great brand we sell. Check on the size of your pet before purchasing for maximum effectiveness.

 

Are Flea, Tick & Worming Treatments Safe For My Dog?

 

Are flea and tick collars safe for dogs?

On the whole, flea and tick collars are safe for dogs. They could be more of a concern for humans, however. We’ll discuss that shortly.

There are two kinds of collars for your pets- repelling and treatment. Repelling collars work over a long period of time and help repel any attempts at fleas and ticks infesting your pet. Treatment collars are used when a dog has an infestation and you’re trying to get rid of them.

Flea and tick collars can last longer than spot-on treatments or sprays, so they can be a good money saver for you. You need to be careful when petting, especially with the treatment collars, which have a stronger chemical component. People may pet your animal, make contact with the collar, and then touch their eyes or mouth. This could cause some irritation. Another thing to consider is the location of the flea and tick collar. The zone around the neck will be protected, but if your dog has fleas near its rump, the treatment may not be as effective.

We do have a range of flea collars  for your pets. Check with your vet if you’re worried about the chemicals on the collar, and if irritation occurs, remove the collar straight away. 

Are oral flea treatments safe for dogs

Yes, they are, but only if taken as directed. As with all medications, as long as you only give the recommended dosages for the size and age of your pet, then oral flea treatments will be fine. Oral treatments are excellent in households with young children or other pets, as the chances of them coming into contact the flea treatment is mild. As with all oral treatments, make sure your animal has swallowed the tablet or chew, before releasing them to play, and check to see they don’t bring it back up.

 

All In One Treatment For Flea, Tick & Worms: 

Medical technology for our pets has come a long way. Now you can give your pets an all-in-one treatment for fleas, ticks, and a whole range of worms, in one simple treatment. This saves the  inconvenience of giving your puppy a collar or bath for fleas, a spot on for ticks perhaps, and different medication for worms.

This single dose for your puppy lasts just as long as the doses for the other medication. You can have up to a month of protection from a single medicinal chew. NexGuard Spectra Chewables are an all-in-one treatment for medium-sized dogs, 7.6 to 15 kgs. These chewables treat 5 kinds of worms, including heartworm. It’s good for fleas, ticks, and mange as well.

 

How Frequently Should You Give Your Dog Flea, Tick & Worm Treatment?

How often you give your dog treatments against fleas, ticks and worms depend on the medication you’re giving them. For example, the Nexgard Spectra Chewables mentioned above should be given to your dog once a month. The Bravecto Chews for small dogs, which only protects against fleas and paralysis ticks, lasts for 3 months. Then we have the Milbemax Allwormer. If you’re treating your puppy for gastrointestinal worms, you only need to treat them once every three months. However, if you’re treating them for heartworm, you need to treat them monthly.

Check the recommended dosage and treatment plans on the box, and if you have any doubts, you can speak with a vet for further advice.  You might find it helpful to put the treatment dates for your dog on your calendar so it is easy to keep track.

 

Does The Size Of My Dog Matter When Deciding Treatment? 

When treating your dog for all the nasties talked about in this article, size doesn’t matter. All dogs, no matter the size, can take medication and need medication, both for prevention and treatment. Each type of medication has recommendations about the dosage depending on the size, weight, and age of your pooch.

We recommend chatting to your Vet before administering medications for your pets, just to be on the safe side. You don’t want to either under-medicate or over-medicate your best friend. They can both recommend the best medication for your dog, plus the right dosages.

 

Comparison Table: 

We have created a handy little table so you can compare all of the different flea, worm, and tick treatments available and if they’d be suitable for your dog.

Brand

Treatment

Delivery

Dosing Frequency

Starting age (weight)

NexGard Spectra

Flea, tick, heartworm and intestinal worms and mites

Chew

Monthly

8 weeks (2kg)

Simparica TRIO

Flea, tick,  heartworm and intestinal worms

Chew

Monthly

8 weeks (1.25kg)

Big 5 Protection Pack   

Flea, tick and worm

Tablet and Chew Combination

Monthly

8 weeks (2.5kg)

Credelio Plus

Flea, tick, heartworm and intestinal worms (excluding tapeworm)

Chewable Tablet

Monthly

8 weeks (1.4kg)

Advocate

Flea, heartworm and intestinal worms (excluding tapeworm) and mites Spot on

Fleas and intestinal worms: monthly

Lice: 6 weeks

7 weeks

Bravecto Chew

Flea, tick and mites Chew

Brown dog and bush tick: 8 weeks

Fleas: 3 month

Paralysis tick: 4 months

8 weeks (2kg)

Bravecto Spot On

Flea, tick and mites  Spot on

Brown dog tick: 12 weeks

Fleas and paralysis tick: 6 months

8 weeks (2kg)

Sentinel Spectrum

Flea, heartworm and intestinal worms Chew

Monthly

6 weeks

Comfortis Plus

Flea, heartworm and intestinal worms (excluding tapeworm) Chewable Tablet Monthly 8 weeks (2.3kg)

Revolution

Flea, mites, heartworm and intestinal worms (excluding tapeworm) Spot on Monthly 6 weeks

Milbemax

Intestinal worms Tablet

Heartworm: Monthly

Intestinal worms: 3 months

2 weeks (0.5kg)

Drontal

Intestinal worms Tablet or Chew

3 months

2 weeks (0.5kg)

 

Takeaways

Protecting your dog from fleas, mites, ticks, and worms is an essential part of pet ownership. We have a responsibility to keep your pets safe and healthy, and with Budget Pet Products, you can. A chew or a tablet or a few drops on the back of their neck, once a month, is all you need to stop paralysis ticks, heartworms, and more.

Find the right product for your dog, and make sure their unconditional love stays around for years to come.