(BPT) - This year's milder, warmer winter in many parts of the country followed by an early, wet spring has created the perfect storm: an extra-long, more prolific flea and tick season. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tickborne disease cases in people have increased 25% from 2011 to 2019. On top of that, a warming climate is gradually prolonging and intensifying flea and tick season, so this can be a year-long challenge, depending on where you live.
If you're a pet owner, you may be at an increased risk of encountering these pesky — and potentially dangerous — parasites on your furry friends all summer. Worse yet, fleas and ticks spread debilitating and sometimes deadly diseases such as Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever, putting you and your family at risk. Whether you have a dog, cat or combination of pets, flea and tick protection should be a top priority.
The good news — pet parents have a variety of options to protect their pets against fleas and ticks with products that are easily available online, in-store or from your veterinarian at a variety of price points. From flea and tick topicals to collars or tasty chewables, well-known brands such as Advantage®, K9 Advantix®, Seresto® and Credelio®(lotilaner) offer trusted options to fit individual family needs.
"When pet owners ask about the best way to protect their pets from fleas and ticks, I always recommend an individual assessment," said David Gosche, Senior Veterinarian at Elanco Animal Health. "It's important to consider your lifestyle and incorporate parasite protection accordingly. Maybe you live in a multi-pet household with dogs and cats, have a small dog that travels everywhere with you or perhaps you're an avid outdoorsperson with your working dog always by your side. No single product will be the best solution for every pet or pet owner. By evaluating your lifestyle, your pet's environment, and speaking to your veterinarian, you can identify the best solution to keep everyone protected."
Here are 3 tips to consider as you build the solution that best suits you and your pet to defend against pests this flea and tick season.
1. Kill Fleas and Ticks on Contact with Great Value
Topical treatments like the Advantage family of products for your pet are often once-per-month, so one of the best ways to ensure your pet is infestation-free is to incorporate pest prevention into your monthly routine. These topical treatments for your dog or cat can kill fleas and ticks on contact — meaning the pest doesn’t need to bite your pet to die. "Topicals like the Advantage products offer easy-to-apply, once-monthly treatments that go on in seconds," said Gosche. "You simply apply directly to your pet's skin as directed by the label." Advantage is available over-the-counter in pet stores nationwide and online.
2. Consider a 'Set it and Forget it' Solution with 8 Months of Protection
Already juggling a lot? Then consider a 'set it and forget it' option like a flea and tick collar — saving you from forgetting to apply a monthly topical or oral product. Collars like Seresto effectively kill and repel fleas and ticks through contact — no biting required. The easy-to-use, long-lasting, non-greasy collars for dogs or cats offer 8 months of continuous protection against fleas and ticks at an affordable price of $9 a month.
3. Talk to Your Vet
Consulting your veterinarian is always a prudent solution if you need help deciding which solution is best to protect your pet. Credelio provides prescription flea and tick protection for dogs in the form of a tasty chewable. This is a powerful option for flea and tick infestation prevention that's gentle on your pet. "I like that with Credelio, within 8 hours, it kills 98.7% of ticks in dogs and within 12 hours, kills 100% of fleas in dogs and continues working throughout the month," said Gosche. "Though it is important to remember — Credelio must be administered with food."
Whatever your life is like, these tips will help safeguard your pets and your household from fleas and ticks all season long. Visit YourPetAndYou.elanco.com/us/parasites to learn more about how to keep your furry family member protected.
For Dogs: Credelio kills adult fleas and is indicated for the treatment and prevention of flea infestations and treatment and control of tick infestations (lone star tick, American dog tick, black-legged tick, and brown dog tick) for one month in dogs and puppies 8 weeks and older and 4.4 pounds or greater.
Credelio Important Safety Information
Lotilaner is a member of the isoxazoline class. This class has been associated with neurologic adverse reactions including tremors, incoordination, and seizures. Neurologic adverse reactions have been reported in dogs and cats receiving isoxazoline class drugs, even in dogs and cats without a history of neurologic disorders. Use with caution in dogs and cats with a history of neurologic disorders.
For Dogs: The safe use of Credelio in breeding, pregnant or lactating dogs has not been evaluated. The most frequently reported adverse reactions are weight loss, elevated blood urea nitrogen, increased urination, and diarrhea. For complete safety information, please see Credelio product label or ask your veterinarian.
 Swanson M, Pickrel A, Williamson J, Montgomery S. Trends in Reported Babesiosis Cases — United States, 2011–2019. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2023;72:273–277. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7211a1
 Murphy M et al Parasit Vectors 2017 10:541 (v1.0), Laboratory evaluation of the speed of kill of lotilaner (Credelio™) against Ixodes ricinus ticks on dogs. Parasites & Vectors. 2017;10:541
 Cavalleri D et al Parasite Vectors 2017 10:529 (v1.0), Assessment of the speed of flea kill of lotilaner (Credelio™) throughout the month following oral administration to dogs. Parasites & Vectors. 2017;10:529