Flea and Tick Medication: How Do the Options Compare?

Laura Mueller

As a dog or cat parent, you want to do everything within your control to keep your pet healthy. Regular flea and tick medication is an essential part of that, but it can be tough to know which product is the best fit for your furry companion.

There are many different types of flea and tick preventative medications out there. However, there are notable differences in how they work, how they're applied, and what benefits they offer. You know your pet best, but whether your dog or cat is an outdoor adventurer or an indoor lounger, having a breakdown of the options can help you decide what best meets their lifestyle and needs.

Here's how different flea and tick medications compare, plus what to consider when making your pick.


Flea and tick collars work for both dogs and cats. They offer reliable protection without the need for scheduled reapplications. Collars release a steady stream of chemicals that are poisonous to certain insect pests but not to pets. The chemicals spread onto your pet's entire body with regular wear. As long as your pet is wearing the collar, they're protected against fleas and ticks.

If you struggle to keep up with preventatives, you'll be glad to know that a high-quality flea and tick collar, such as the AdamsTM Flea & Tick Collar Plus for Dogs and Puppies, will be effective for up to six months. Do note, though, that a collar can take two to three weeks to reach maximum efficacy. So, it's best to use it alongside other treatments that repel and prevent pesky pests as your collar works up to full efficiency.

Topical Medications

Topical medications are a popular choice for pet parents. Also known as spot-on medications, they kill fleas and ticks, spreading through a pet's skin and hair oils. There's no need to worry about the medication rubbing off. This protects your pet from both larvae and mature fleas and ticks for up to 30 days.

A big benefit of topical flea and tick medication is that you only have to think about it once a month. Apply on a set schedule, and know your furry friend is good to go, regardless of the climate or weather.


Do you live somewhere where fleas and ticks are a big problem? A spray may be the way to go. Flea and tick sprays like AdamsTM Plus Flea & Tick Spray kill pests on contact to avoid infestations. This spray also prevents flea eggs from hatching for up to two months. The spray is pesticide-based and works on eggs, larvae, and adult fleas, as well as mosquitoes.

Sprays work on contact, so if your pet gets infested, you won't have to wait for ingredients to activate on the body. You might need to apply it as often as every few days, but you should follow the label instructions for reapplication closely.

How Do You Choose a Flea and Tick Medication?

Any flea and tick preventative is better than no preventative at all. When deciding on your best option, consider how often you want to apply the product and how you want it to function. Keep your environment and the time of year in mind too, as more aggressive methods may be preferable in areas where flea and tick infestations are at their peak.1

Quality is key, as well. Shop Adams™ products to find a flea and tick medication that will work when and where you need it to keep your dog or cat flea- and tick-free.

  1. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "Your Guide to Preparing for Flea and Tick Season," 26 May 2021. https://www.aspca.org/news/your-guide-preparing-flea-and-tick-season.
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