Main Ingredients in Flea Medicines

"No fleas means we can sleep with Mom."
Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images

One single flea bite can send your hypersensitive pup into a furious frenzy of scratching and intense itching. Humans also can have sensitive skin that reacts in the same manner to a flea bite. Dermatitis from fleas results in over 50 percent of skin problems that lead dogs and their owners to the vet. The best resource you have against flea control is to consult your vet for his recommendation and follow the administration schedule so your furry friend and your family can live in comfort together.

Spinosad Chewable Tablets

Chewable flea medications include spinosad to kill fleas quickly in the case of flea infestations on dogs and puppies. The name brands of this product are Comfortis, AcuGuard and Trifexis. This product is safe for puppies who are at least 14 weeks old and weigh at least 5 pounds. Trifexis also includes milbemycin for internal parasites to be used on puppies who are 8 weeks of age or weigh at least 5 pounds.

Permethrin Topical

Permethrin is available in a wide variety of spot-on treatments as well as topical flea sprays or mists. Permethrin kills fleas on your dog and may include a secondary flea killer of dinotefuran in Vectra 3D, SimpleGuard 3 and FirstShield Trio, or imidacloprid in K9 Advantix II. All of these permethrin flea medications can include another product, pyriproxifen for flea sterilization to break the flea cycle and omit fleas, as long as you apply the medicine as prescribed. Some of the medications are listed as water resistant, while others are waterproof. If your pet spends time outside and may play in a rain shower or pool, it is best to choose a waterproof product.

Fipronil Topical

Fipronil topicals are available in both spot-on treatments and sprays to kill existing fleas on your canine buddy. Fipronil is the main ingredient in Frontline, Fiproguard, PetArmor, Parastar, Frontline Plus, Fiproguard Plus and PetArmor Plus. Additionally, a fipronil treatment may include the fleas killing products of permethrin, as in Effitix, or cyphenothrin as in Frontline Tritak for dogs. It also can include methoprene as a flea sterilizer, as in Frontline Tritak for dogs. Varieties of this medication can be waterproof or water resistant.

Lufenuron Flea Sterilizer

Some monthly chewable tablets include lufenuron as a flea sterilizer in Program and may include mibemycin, as in Sentinel for additional internal parasites for total parasite control in one convenient form. Products with lufenuron do not include a flea-killing agent, only the sterilizer.

Indoxacarb Flea Control

Products with indoxacarb, such as Activyl, eradicate fleas as acting both as a flea killer and a flea sterilizer. If the indoxacarb flea medication includes permethrin, it also kills blood-sucking ticks on your dog.

Considerations for Flea Control

When your pet has fleas on him, they are more than likely in your home and your lawn. Total treatment includes using indoor flea treatments on the floors and furniture as well as outdoor control through flea spray on your lawn. Your four-legged friend will thank you for the flea control measures and have more time to play with you, rather than scratch himself.