If you've ever had a flea infestation in your home, you know how unpleasant it is and how hard it is to get rid of them all; most flea infestations are caused by pets bringing fleas into the dwelling.
In addition, in some parts of the country, ticks are a huge problem, and every time you walk your dog, it comes home with at least one tick on it.
Ticks carry several nasty diseases that affect both humans and dogs, such as Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, bartonellosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and hepatozoonosis.
It is vitally important to protect your dog against ticks and fleas, even in the winter months.
Things to consider before buying flea/tick protection
I would say at it's core, there are two very important things to consider before purchasing any flea and/or tick protection product.
The first thing to consider before buying a product:
Does The Product Work?
This is an important consideration; fleas and ticks have developed immunity to some products that worked well in the past and other products on the market just don't seem to be effective.
Then there’s common sense, if a product doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do, what good is it.
The second important consideration:
Is The Product Safe?
Many of the cheaper products have caused seizures, severe skin damage, and even deaths. It is essential to read the label carefully and look up each ingredient before use.
If you have a cat as well as a dog, make sure you check the product is safe for your cat as well. If you apply the product to your dog, your cat is likely to be exposed. A few of the products on the market are safe for dogs but extremely toxic to cats.
The final consideration: how easy is the product to use? Giving a pill daily or applying topicals once a month can be an easy task to forget, and those oily, smelly topical products can make quite a mess and get all over people who pet the dog too soon after application.
Seresto flea and tick collar for dogs
The Seresto flea and tick collar for dogs is rapidly becoming the most popular product on the market for protecting dogs from fleas and ticks. It is a collar that you just snap around your dog's neck and then trim any excess strap. The collar provides continuous, highly effective protection against fleas, ticks, and lice.
It repels these organisms and if they do get on your dog, it kills them immediately. They don't have time to bite your dog and are killed by contact with the agents released by the collar, which spread over the dog's entire body.
The color also has a safety release such that if it gets stuck on something and the dog pulls, it will automatically unlatch and release the dog. If this happens, the owner can quickly put the collar back on the dog. Because of this feature, a leash should never be attached to a Seresto collar.
Things We Like
- Repels and kills lice, fleas, and ticks
- Each collar provides 8 months of protection
- Totally waterproof-the collar still works after swimming and bathing
- Odorless and non-greasy
- Proven clinically safe for dogs, cats, children, and adult humans
Things We Don't Like
- Does not repel or kill mosquitoes
- Daily swimming while wearing the collar will reduce its effectiveness to only 5 months
- A tiny percentage of pets will experience skin irritation or an allergic reaction to the ingredients in this collar
The active ingredients
The Seresto collars release a mixture of 10% imidacloprid and 4.5% flumethrin. Imidacloprid disrupts the nervous system of fleas and lice, while the flumethrin repels and kills ticks.
The active ingredients are impregnated into the plastic strap of the collar, and special continuous slow-release technology allows the compounds to be gradually released onto the surface of the dog.
After a few hours, the entire dog, even its tail, is coated with sufficient amounts of both chemicals to repel and kill ticks, fleas, and lice.
The collar contains enough active ingredients to provide continuous protection for eight months, after which a new collar needs to be applied.
Safety and efficacy for pets: clinical studies
The safety and efficacy of the Seresto collar has been extensively studied. The first study evaluated the long-term safety and efficacy of the use of these collars on 271 dogs and 232 cats for eight months.
They found the collars were 100% effective against fleas and 95 to 100% effective against ticks, and there were no adverse effects noted.
The second study evaluated the long-term safety and efficacy of the Seresto collar in a highly flea and tick infested population of homeless dogs living confined in a kennel run by a dog refuge.
A total of 82 dogs were studied for eight months. At the initial time-point, 96% were infested with ticks, and close to 70% were heavily infested with fleas.
Two days after the application of the collars, 60% were still found to have a few live ticks on them, but only 12% still had fleas on them. From the 14th day through eight months, none of the dogs were found to have any ticks or fleas on them.
In addition, no adverse events were noted. The dogs exhibiting signs of flea allergies had complete resolution of their symptoms within 30 days.
The third study directly tested the ability of the Seresto collar to stop the transmission of tick-borne diseases. Dogs were deliberately exposed to ticks infected with the organisms that cause Lyme disease and anaplasmosis.
While the dogs in the control group were found to have live ticks on them and most showed signs of infection by the two organisms, none of the dogs wearing Seresto flea and tick collars for dogs were found to have ticks on them and none of them showed any signs of infection by the two organisms.
Safety for children
The EPA carefully evaluated this product when it was first released onto the market since many parents expressed concern that young children interacting with dogs would be exposed to the chemicals.
The EPA found no evidence that these chemicals were dangerous to children, and even if a child petted a dog for a long time and then put their fingers in their mouth, there was insufficient exposure to be of any concern.
In fact, the only health concern the EPA raised was if a child accidentally got hold of one of these collars and played with it, there was a low risk of strangulation if the child placed it around another child's neck or around their own neck. This is why the packaging for these collars says to store them out of reach of children.
What Others Are Saying
Users of the Seresto product are almost always very pleased with the results. Some testimonials include statements such as:
It Works! The first product we've ever used that actually kills fleas!
Awesome awesome flea collar!!
...after maybe like 1-2 days, I have not found a single tick on them.
...They didn't just work, they worked well and lasted incredibly long for a collar.
There are a few comparable alternatives on the market that are worthy of discussion so I’ll include them below.
Mozart Schobkind flea and tick prevention for dogs
The company claims these are all-natural collars that repel fleas, ticks, and other insects for up to six months. The collars are impregnated with essential oils, including citronella oil, peppermint oil, lemongrass oil, cinnamon oil, and clove oil.
Citronella and lemongrass oils have some efficacy in repelling mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks.
Although the company claims these collars are all-natural and safe, it is well-known that peppermint, clove, and cinnamon essential oils can be harmful to dogs, whether inhaled, ingested, or applied to the skin.
Mozrt Schobkind Vs. Seresto
Cruzyo Dog flea and tick control collar
This collar is similar to the Mozart Schobkind collar. It is infused with essential oils that are reported to repel fleas, ticks, and lice for eight months.
It contains lemon eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, and linaloe oil. Unlike the previous product, none of these oils appear to be harmful to dogs, but eucalyptus oil can be toxic to cats.
Lemon eucalyptus oil has been shown to have a weak ability to repel ticks and mosquitoes, and lavender oil also has a weak ability to repel fleas.
Cruzyo Vs. Seresto
If you don't want to pay the rather hefty price for the Seresto collar and are a big believer in essential oils, this collar might be worth a try. (so long as you don’t own a cat)
HerbalVet dog flea collar
This is another essential-oil infused collar. The manufacturer says it repels fleas and ticks for eight months. It uses cedar wood oil, lemongrass oil, rosemary oil, neem oil, and garlic oil.
Garlic oil is somewhat toxic to dogs but only in large doses.
As mentioned above, lemongrass oil has a weak ability to repel fleas and ticks. Cedar wood oil can both repel and kill fleas, and rosemary and neem oil can also repel and kill insects.
HerbalVet Vs. Seresto
Other than the somewhat toxic garlic oil, the ingredients in this collar would be expected to be reasonably effective in controlling fleas and ticks. However, the manufacturer does actually say in their instructions it should be used in combination with a topical flea/tick product.
If you aren't concerned about the garlic oil, this collar is worth a try, especially considering its low price.
Flea infestations are a real pain to deal with, and ticks can transmit serious diseases to both dogs and humans. Thus, it is important to protect your dog against fleas and ticks.
The Seresto flea and tick collar for dogs is a great product. It has been extensively studied and proven to repel and kill fleas and ticks, prevent the transmission of tick-borne diseases, and rapidly clear up allergy symptoms in dogs allergic to fleas.