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Dog pills vs topical dog medicine

October 31, 2017 Category: Parasite education

Dog pills vs topical dog medicine

There are two ways to deliver medicine to your dog to protect against parasites such as heartworm, fleas and other nasty parasites—oral chewables and topicals. Which one is right for you and your dog? Here are some pros and cons of both to help you decide what will work best for you.

Topical medicine for dogs:

  • Topical medication is a small amount of liquid that you apply to your dog’s skin.
  • Some topicals are available over-the-counter and some require a prescription from your veterinarian.
  • Topical medications are a good choice for dogs who don’t like swallowing pills or chewables.
  • Applying topicals can be a bit messy and you may need to isolate your dog after application so the medicine doesn’t rub off on household items.
  • Topicals can be challenging to apply if your dog doesn’t want to stay still.

Oral medicine for dogs:

  • Chewables are tablets or pills that your dog ingests orally.
  • Many chewables require a prescription from your veterinarian.
  • Some can be given by hand like a treat or simply added to your dog’s food.
  • Chewables leave no mess and there’s no need to isolate your dog after each dose.
  • Oral chewables may not be the best choice for dogs who don't like swallowing pills or tablets.

Talk to your veterinarian to determine which type of medicine is right for your dog. When it comes to oral medicines, many veterinarians recommend the 3-in-1 protection of Trifexis® (spinosad + milbemcin oxime). It’s a monthly, beef-flavored tablet that kills fleas and prevents flea infestations, prevents heartworm disease, and treats and controls adult hookworm (A. caninum), roundworm and whipworm infections. Trifexis is approved for use in dogs and puppies 8 weeks of age or older and 5 pounds of body weight or greater.

Learn more about Trifexis