Pet owners must take extra precautions to protect their dogs from fleas and ticks throughout the year, especially during the spring and summer when these parasites are most active. After walking outside or meeting new dogs, check your dog to see if any fleas or ticks hitched a ride. If you do find a flea or tick on your dog, you can use flea or tick medicine to treat your dog. Fleas and ticks can carry diseases so it’s best to use preventative measures. To ensure your dog’s safety, it is important to use flea medicines exactly as directed and store them safely. While generally safe for use in dogs, is it possible for dogs to have a reaction to flea and tick medicine? 

Can Flea and Tick Medications Be Dangerous for Dogs? 

Flea and tick medicines can safely be used on dogs with very minimal risk. However, adverse reactions may occur if the medication is not used correctly. For example, cat and dog flea medicines are different, so using the wrong product on your dog can lead to side effects. It’s easy to confuse dog and cat medications, so be cautious when first applying the medicine. When the medication is applied, your pup can experience discomfort, such as itching or tingling at the application site. While many dog owners might mistake this as an allergic reaction to the drug, these effects are usually temporary and will go away on their own. To avoid any potential reactions, it is important to keep flea products secured away from your pet and use them only as directed. If you do have any questions, consult your veterinarian.  

Potential Side Effects of Flea and Tick Medication 

  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Seizures 
  • Tremors 
  • Depression 
  • Paranesthesia 
  • Skin irritation 
  • Pale skin 

What To Do if Your Dog Ingested Flea and Tick Medication 

If your dog ingests flea and tick medication, your veterinarian may need to perform gastric lavage or induce vomiting, as well as administer activated charcoal to minimize intestinal and nervous effects. Remember to refer to your dog’s size when selecting a flea medicine, as the dosage will vary depending on the size of your pet. Additionally, be sure to use only products specifically intended for dogs. If your dog is pregnant, nursing, sick, or elderly, it is highly recommended to consult with a veterinarian before administering any flea medication. If you observe any signs of an adverse reaction in your pup after using flea and tick medication, contact Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 for further advice and treatment recommendations.