Flea season is in full swing. The first thing you have to realize in your war against these pesky critters is nothing is 100% effective. If anyone tells you otherwise, they are lying. Whatever you use will only work for a certain period of time and it is best to use a variety in combination. Flea treatments can be extremely expensive but this article will help save you big money if you have smaller dogs or cats. For people with larger dogs you can also keep reading for some other tips. By buying the flea medicine intended for large dogs and multi-dosing on small dogs or even cats you can save anywhere from 50% to as much as 200% or more.I have been using this method for over four years now and have saved hundreds of dollars on my pets. Here are my three very happy pets because they are flea-free and loving life.
This tutorial is intended to:
- Eradicate Fleas from your Pets
- Eradicate Fleas from your Home
- Eradicate Fleas from your Yard
- Safe and effective treatment for Severe Flea Allergies, mites, mange, lice, ringworm, and severe skin rashes
- And Save you a ton of Money!
Split Dosages to save Money
Many people wonder if it is safe to buy spot treatments like Frontline for 45-88 pound dogs and use it on your Pomeranian. The answer is yes, it is absolutely safe as long as you give them the correct dosage. This would apply to all flea medications. I will provide a chart below for the three leading flea treatments. I have consulted with my own vet, numerous other vets online, as well as having worked with animal volunteer groups that use this method to save money. I also have been using this method on my own dogs and cat at home for years now. The ingredients for large dogs or small dogs are exactly the same but unfortunately so are the prices which means killing fleas can get very expensive very fast. But by splitting doses you can save hundreds of dollars.
Note for Ticks: If you have a bad tick problem I strongly suggest this tick collar as well. Spot type treatments really aren’t great for ticks.
Supplies you will Need
1) Glass Vials to hold excess medication for future use. Here is a set of 12 for $3.74 You should be able to buy these locally but if not here are the links on Amazon. For some reason I could not find these small glass vials anywhere locally.
2) Syringe with stub nose to deliver accurate dosage. I recommend these. You want to buy a lot because they will break, you will lose some, and the writing of ml on side will wear off. Here is a 10 pack for $5.20
3) The last thing you need is the flea spot treatment. This really is up to you. Everyone has their own preferences. I am currently using K9 Advantix II because it works for fleas, mosquitoes, and ticks on my dogs and Frontline plus for my cat. For extra large dogs a 6 month supply is around $60. (Warning: Do not use K9 Advantix on cats, it can cause illness even death on cats) You can click on images below to go directly to the page on Amazon. Here are the three most popular and in my opinion most effective ones.
4) The final step is you need to determine the correct dosage. Simply open your flea treatment above and empty it into a glass vial. I would suggest washing the vials with soap and water and let them dry first. Then take your syringe and take out the correct dosage depending on the weight of your dog or cat based on the chart below.
If you’re using Frontline Plus: The amount of fipronil in the dog version is the same as in the cat version. The “Plus” is methoprene, an insect growth regulator. There’s LESS of it in the dog product than in the cat product, so it’s safe to use the dog product on the cats but do NOT use the cat product on a small dog. Using a dog formulation on a cat will underdose this ingredient. An insect growth regulator, methoprene effects development of the baby fleas and may reduce long-term flea control, but not anti-tick efficacy. If you have an indoor cat, the Frontline Plus for dogs should be more than adequate if your home is flea-free. If your cat also goes outdoors, it should still be enough, just use a flea comb to check for fleas and also consider using these monthly flea pills as well to supplement the Frontline. Even with the flea pills it will still be far cheaper than buying the cat version of Frontline plus and also more effective.
One more warning: Generic Frontline Plus for dogs may contain a different ingredient than the brand name. If a generic Fronline product contains something other than methoprene or fipronil it may not be safe on your cat. Always look at the key ingredients for your animal and confirm online from a trusted source they are safe for your cat if you buy the dog version. Cats are far more sensitive than dogs and more at risk.
Saving money on flea medicine is great but that means we have to be twice as careful to confirm not only we are using the correct dosage but also to double check the ingredients. Please check your ingredients prior to using on an animal it wasn’t made specifically for before use to ensure safety.
The dose is 0.03ml/pound. A 10-pound cat only needs 0.3ml, not a whole 0.5 ml but up to .5 ml on a cat is perfectly safe. The largest Frontline Plus vial contains 4.0ml, that’s enough to treat 133 pounds’ worth of cats. The dog chart below can also be slightly modified. If you have a very small dog of around 5 lbs you would be safe at .55 ml for example. Or a dog at 22 lbs around 1 ml. If they are near the middle range between two categories you can spit the difference to be more accurate.
FRONTLINE DOSAGE CHART
Cats 0.5ml most cats or use .03ml per pound
Dogs 0-22 pounds – 0.67ml.
Dogs 23-44 pounds – 1.34ml
Dogs 45-88 pounds – 2.68ml
Dogs 89-132 pounds – 4.0ml
A Flea medication by Bayer sold as Advocate or also sold as Advantage Multi and another product called K-9 Advantix have similar names but don’t use these on cats.
For cats sticks with only Advantage or Advantage II. If you buy generic dog topicals ALWAYS check that the ingredients are safe on your cat before you apply and I can’t stress this enough. If you are in doubt contact your vet or email me. A generic to Frontline or Advantage OFTEN have unsafe ingredients for cats.
Advantage and Advantage II Dosage Chart
Cats up to 9 pounds – 0.4 ml
Cats 10+ pounds – 0.8 ml
Dogs 11-20 pounds – 1.0 ml (Advantage Multi can use this same chart but for dogs only)
Dogs 21-55 pounds – 2.5 ml
Dogs 55+ pounds – 4.0 ml
To further break down the Advantage dosage by weight alone:
0.4ml = 0-10 pounds
0.8ml = 11-20#
1.2ml = 21-30#
1.6ml = 31-40#
2.0ml = 41-50#
2.4ml = 51-60#
2.8ml = 61-70#
3.2ml = 71-80#
Notice that for an 80 lb dog that chart only suggests 3.2 ml versus 4.0 ml in the other chart. So that gives you some leeway but try and stick to no more than 4.0ml unless your dog weighs more than 80lbs. For over 80 lbs use .4ML additional per every addition 10 pounds for their weight. So a 110 lb. dog for example would be around 4.4 ml but then you aren’t splitting doses so you probably won’t need any chart.
K9 Advantix or Advantix (Dogs Only) LET ME REPEAT, DOGS ONLY!
(NEVER USE ON CATS) Advantix® just to say it again – NEVER USE THIS ON CATS. If you get Advantix® on your hands when splitting a vial for the dogs, do not touch your cat before thoroughly washing your hands with warm soapy water. And if you have a dog and cat and use this on your dog keep them separated until it completely dries.
.4ML Dogs under 9 lbs/4kg
1 ml Dogs 9lbs to 22lbs/ 4-10kg
2.5ml Dogs 22lbs to 55lbs. /10-25kg
4ml Dogs 55+ lbs/ 25+kg
Selamectin (Revolution®) Dosing Chart (Prescription by vet only)
The largest packet of Revolution® is PLUM colored (for Extra Large Dogs) and is labeled for dogs 85.1 – 130 lbs. The volume of each dose of topical solution is 3 mL and the concentration of the drug is 120 mg/ml. THUS, each dose of PLUM Revolution® for Extra Large Dogs (360 mg) can treat 24 kittens or 8 cats!
|What is Revolution? |
Revolution is a safe and simple monthly topical medication used to protect your pet from heartworms, fleas, and ear mites. It also protects dogs from ticks and sarcoptic mange and cats from roundworms and hookworms. Revolution for Dogs and Cats requires a prescription from your veterinarian. (3 Pack = 3 doses which lasts 3 months.)
Dogs (6 weeks of age or older and no weight requirement)
Cats (8 weeks of age or older and no weight requirement)
|Cats||Dose neeed||mL needed |
|<5 lb||15 mg||0.13 ml|
|5-15 lb||45 mg||0.38 ml|
|Dogs||Dose needed||mL needed|
|5.1-10 lb||30 mg||0.25 ml|
|10.1-20 lb||60 mg||0.5 ml|
|20.1 -40 lb||120 mg||1.0 ml|
|40.1- 85 lb||240 mg||2.0 ml|
|85.1- 130 lb||360 mg||3.0 ml|
Storage of Unused Topicals
Manufacturers packaging protects the product from 2 important things: light and air. Drugs and insecticides can be destroyed and rendered ineffective if mishandled. Keep in the vial and store in a cool, dark place. The fridge is ideal, but under the sink or any other ‘chemical repository’ is ok. Do not freeze. You may also decide to keep the entire flea medication in the syringe itself which is fine but far from ideal. I recommend an airtight glass vial. The key point is no air exposure, no light, and no heat and they will last a very long time.
A warning if you use Trifexis for flea/heartworm control
There have been some reports that Trifexis has caused illness or death. Like with any new medicine you need to be cautious. I like to use the method of just giving half a dose of something new at first to see how well they tolerate it. Then after 5 or 6 hours give the rest of the dose. I have not used or even seen a Trifexis tablet so I am not sure if that is possible. My main reason I have not used it is simply based on price. It is around $20 per tablet which adds up fast if you have more than one pet. And even with one pet that is far more expensive than topicals and a heart worm treatment.
Eradicate Indoor Fleas Infestation Safely And Effectively
If the fleas keep coming you may have a flea infestation. Simply keeping them off the pets won’t work if your house is infested. Flea sprays and flea bombs will also likely not stop them from coming back. It will kill the live ones but the eggs will hatch. I will tell you the absolute best methods to completely eradicate fleas from your home. At least for a while because they will always return sooner or later but this will give you seven months protection.
First thing you will need is Precor. There are multiple options. I suggest the concentrate which is only around $7. You mix it with one gallon of water so that will easily treat your whole house. This has a growth inhibitor so effects the fleas life cycle and stops them from reaching adulthood and laying eggs. At the bottom of this page there is pre-mixed can of Precor Spray if you don’t want to mix your own.
Unless you use a flea product like Precor that breaks their life cycle you are guaranteed to get reinfested every few weeks. It only takes one flea to reinfest your home. Precor protects your home for around seven months. All those flea bombs, Raid for fleas, and other sprays will not work for more than two weeks because most lack the IGR ingredient which disrupts their life and egg laying cycle. Precor is widely recognized as a best-in-class IGR flea inhibitor.
Precor also comes in a flea bomb/fogger if you prefer that. Over the counter foggers will work for a week or two but the fleas will return. Precor will eradicate them for good. One fogger treats 750 sq ft Also well-suited to get rid of fleas cluttered areas like basements and garages Contains (S) Methropene Insect growth regulators to prevent flea reinfestations for up to seven months, plus Permethrin for quick knockdown of adult fleas. Kills Adult Fleas And Their Hatching Eggs Water-based, no-odor formulation won’t stain or leave an unsightly residue. Long lasting flea control as this prevents flea reinfestation for 7 months No lingering odor or stains Easy to apply Effectively breaks the flea life cycle Each 6 oz can covers 750 square feet. The Permethrin in Precor Plus Fogger immediately kills adult fleas, while Precor IGR prevents pre-adult fleas from creating new infestations of breeding, biting adults. Precor IGR molecules penetrate down to the hard-to-reach places where pre-adult fleas hide – especially carpet and upholstery fibers, rugs, drapes, pet bedding and floor cracks. Application Sites Large indoor treatment areas Cluttered areas like basements and garages.
The next products you will need are good old fashioned Boric acid and Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade. You should be able to buy these locally from a lawn and garden supply store or Wal-Mart or similar but I included the links to Amazon if you can’t find them locally. Finally you will need a dust dispenser. Here is the one I use. Simply combine about two or 3 parts Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade to 1 part Boric acid. Mix them up well. Then dust your carpet, floors, under beds, chairs, anywhere you think fleas might live. Personally I like to leave the powder on a full day. Some people say a few hours are enough but I rather err on the side of caution and 24 hours to kill as many as possible. Then vacuum and clean the powder. This combination seems to work far better than either powder alone. The powder coats the fleas and basically desiccates and kills them. This will do a good job of quickly and safely eradicating the adult live fleas. Then spray your house with the Precor for any stragglers that survived. Putting a flea collar in your vacuum bag is also a good idea to make sure none survive. Boric acid or Diatomaceous Earth alone will both kill fleas but together they are far more effective.
If you want to periodically test if the fleas are back a flea trap is a good idea. Here is the one I use but as a cost saving tip I suggest you do not buy those re-fill disks. Instead, I simply pour some soapy water in the dish instead. The fleas are attracted to the warmth and light and drown in the soapy water. You can also make your own in a pinch. A dish with some soapy water and a tea candle will also work but you have to be careful to watch the candle as a fire hazard. Or maybe you have an old desk lamp you could use and convert into a flea trap with a dish. Just make sure the dish is not too high so the fleas can jump in easily and drown.
The soapy water is actually far more effective than the sticky paper also which can dry out quickly allowing fleas to escape. The water is 100% effective. You need the soap though or they will jump out of the water so don’t forget a few drops.
Flea Allergies and Untreatable Skin Problems
If your dog or cat develops rashes, spots, blisters, brown spots and no matter what expensive medicated shampoo, spray, or medicine you try doesn’t work I have great tip for you to try. Now I am not suggesting you skip your vet visit. Let the veterinarian have a look at take a skin scrape. If your vet tells you that it is a nonspecific dermatitis or non-specific allergies that is usually a code for they don’t have a clue and simply want to give it a name. Now sometimes a shampoo that contains Chlorhexadine like Malaseb and many others will do the trick, but often times they won’t heal the skin problems completely and they might come back. In those cases I would strongly recommend you try a lime sulfur dip.
A lime sulfur dip is extremely safe and it also kills fleas better than anything! It is also very cheap so nothing to lose. At the worse you will kill all the fleas and it might also clear up those skin problems that wouldn’t go away with any other product. One 16 OZ bottle will make a total of 4 gallons of solution which will last a long time.
My suggestion is to use a sponge or spray to soak your dog or cat well. Be careful around the head with your sponge not to get it in the eyes, nose, or mouth but you do want to get the head area because fleas love to inhabit this area of your pet. You do not wash it off, it dries on your pet and you can reapply around once a week. It sort of reminds me of a Tea Tree oil smell. But the smell only last an hour or two so don’t worry that it will smell bad all week.
It really isn’t all that bad and just remember the agony and pain your pet is suffering from the flea bites and skin rashes so that will allow you to tolerate the smell till your pet is is cured. If I had simply went with a lime sulfur dip right away I would have saved around $150 on all those other shampoos, conditioners, spray, and ointments that simply reduced the inflammation for a few days but never cured it. Learn from my experience and give a ime sulfur dip a chance.
It is great for demodex mites, ringworm, mange, scabies, flea allergies, lice, anti-microbial, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal. It is also just a great all purpose skin treatment for your dog or cat when nothing else seems to work. Try it your pet will thank you.
Additional Weapons in your war against Fleas
I would love to tell you that that flea topical alone will cure your pets of fleas but chances are it won’t. Here are a few more tips and steps to take. I have to use K9 Advantix, flea pills, vinegar sprays, shampoos, and occasionally even flea dips or Adams spray as well. Fleas here are terrible this summer.
Keep your house clean. Mop with vinegar on hard floors or vacuum often on carpet and put a flea collar in your bag to kill them. Find a pet safe flea bomb or spray for the house and also one for the yard if infestation especially bad.
Vinegar really is a wonderful tool in your flea arsenal. make a spray of 50/50 water and white apple cider vinegar and you can spray your dogs or cats daily and it will kill them on contact and also act as a repellant. You can safely spray them once a day and it has added benefit of making their coats soft and shine. It is also a great all purpose cleaner especially for laminate flooring.
Last but not least a few other great products to complete your arsenal in your war with the fleas.