Spot on or Collar: What’s the Right Flea & Tick Treatment?

PetGuide Staff
by PetGuide Staff
fast facts


It’s that time of year again – the weather is warming up. That means parasites are waking up… and they’re hungry! Protect your pet with a spot-on or collar treatment that perfectly fits their needs.

The 2022 flea and tick forecast has just been released… and it doesn’t look good. Experts from the Companion Animal Parasite Council predict that tick and flea-borne diseases are going to pose a higher-than-average risk throughout most of the country this year. This includes alarmingly high rates of Lyme, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis. The growing risk for your pet highlights the importance of flea and tick prevention.   

Depending on where you live, parasites may pose a year-long concern or a seasonal problem. Even if your pet spends most of his time indoors, that won’t stop fleas and ticks from latching on when they get a chance. The most effective way to keep your pet protected is with an active ingredient treatment.

Two of the most commonly used active ingredient treatments used by pet parents are spot on and collars treatments. But what option is best for you and your pet? Let’s take a closer look at what each of these options offers.

What are Spot-On Treatments?

Spot-on treatments, such as PetLock Plus, contain insecticides that come in a small tube of liquid and are used to kill fleas, flea eggs, larvae, ticks, and chewing lice. The treatment is applied directly to your dog’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades.

The liquid contains Fipronil and (S)-methoprene that work to keep adult parasites off your dog, as well prevent larvae from developing. Once it’s absorbed, the liquid medication spreads over the surface of your dog’s skin through the sebaceous glands.

Benefits of PetLock Plus:

  • Kills fleas, flea eggs, larvae, ticks, and chewing lice, which can transmit diseases and cause various allergic reactions.
  • Easy to use treatment that’s applied once a month.
  • Costs less than Frontline Plus, but offers the same protection for your pet.
  • Available for dogs and puppies (8 weeks of age and older) weighing 6 to 132 pounds, and cats over 1.5 pounds (8 weeks of age and older).
  • Long-lasting and waterproof.

What is a Flea and Tick Collar?

A flea and tick collar is a protective band that’s worn around your dog’s neck, just like a collar. The PetLock Collar kills fleas and ticks for up to 6 months, as they contain the same active ingredient as Scalibor Protector Band. As well, the PetLock Collar offers patented Insecticide-Release Technology.

Benefits of PetLock Collar

  • PetLock Collar provides season-long control against fleas and ticks that can transmit harmful diseases to dogs.
  • Kills larvae, nymph, and adult ticks for up to 6 months and prevents future infestations from occurring.
  • Weatherproof, waterproof, and long-lasting.
  • Available in both small and large sizes (for dogs and puppies 12 weeks of age and older, 6 to 132 pounds), the PetLock Collar can be easily adjusted to fit your dog’s neck.
  • It offers the same active ingredients as Scalibor Protector Band for Dogs, at a lower price.

Along with its overall effectiveness, many pet parents want a flea and tick treatment that’s easy to use and is cost-efficient. With a collar, as long as your dog doesn’t mind wearing it, you don’t have to worry about fleas and ticks for six months. If your pet prefers the sans collar lifestyle, spot-on treatments are the best way to go – an easy way to remember is to apply it on the first day of a new month.

And a lower price is just icing on the cake! Because PetLock Plus and PetLock Collar offer the same flea and tick protection as other brands, your pet enjoys all the benefits of a parasite-free treatment, and you enjoy a little more spending money (to spend on pet treats, of course!).

Stop nasty parasites from making a meal of your pet this year. Check out PetLock Plus and PetLock Collar, and get a drop on fleas and ticks before they set up camp on your dog or cat. You can purchase PetLock Plus and PetLock Collar online or in-store at Petco.

Other Ways You Can Help Prevent Fleas and Ticks

While these options should not be viewed as an alternative to the use of flea and tick protection, they can be combined to offer a second (or third) layer of protection. After all, no one wants to deal with unwanted visitors and the risks that they carry.

Flea & Tick Fighting Foods

There are some foods that can help to protect your dog by either repelling these pests or boosting their immune system to help them fight off the unwelcome invaders. Two highly effective choices are raw honey and fresh garlic.

Raw Honey

For best results, try to find locally produced honey so that it’s as fresh as possible. Be careful not to overfeed honey due to the sugar amounts. The recommended dose is a maximum of ½ teaspoon per 15 lbs of dog body weight each day. This can be incorporated into a honey-based treat or added to their usual diet.

Fresh Garlic

You may have heard previously that garlic is toxic for dogs, and it is, in high volumes. But, in smaller, controlled portions, it’s a safe and reliable way to get rid of fleas & ticks and make sure that they stay gone. You gave give your dog up to ¼ teaspoon each day for every 15 lbs of dog body weight. This will repel the parasites, boost their immune system, support joint health, prevent blood clots, and more.

Neem Oil

Recognized as a natural insecticide, neem oil has been used by organic farmers to protect their crops from insects and you can also use it to protect your dog. All you have to do is place a bit of neem oil in the palm of your hand, rub your hands together, and then massage it into your dog’s coat. If you are using a spot-on treatment, check with your veterinarian to make sure that the neem oil isn’t going to have an impact on the effectiveness of your chosen treatment.

Lemon Bath

This is a great way to keep fleas at bay during bath time without the use of any additional chemicals. Combine half a cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice with two cups of water and a squeeze of your normal pet shampoo. Use this lemon bath mixture to scrub your dog clean. It will remove dirt and grime and leave your dog smelling lemony fresh. As with any other topical option, make sure to check with your veterinarian if you are using a spot-on treatment to ensure that there is no concern about the bath lowering the effectiveness of your flea and tick prevention.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar has an alkalizing effect on your dog’s body which creates an unwelcome environment for any fleas or ticks that may try to hitch a ride while also improving your dog’s skin and coat health. . All you have to do is pour a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into your dog’s water dish for every four cups of drinking water. As they drink the mixture, they will enjoy the benefits.

PetGuide Staff
PetGuide Staff

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