Summary and Discussion About
Program, Sentinel, Program 6-Month Injections
Capstar, Frontline Plus, & KnockOut Spray
On this page I've written short summaries of my favorite flea and tick control products. Each has something special about it and each has some limitation. Hopefully this will help you decide on a product best suited to your pet and situation.
Program Once a Month Tablets for dogs and Once a month liquid for cats:
Program prevents flea eggs from hatching into larvae and pupa. This effectively eliminates fleas from your home and yard assuming you don't frequently have non-treated pets hanging out at your place.
A lot of my clients depend on Sentinel for controlling fleas, heartworms and intestinal worms and find it works really well and Sentinel is less expensive that our other monthly flea control products.
Program and Sentinel are convenient once a month chewable tablets.
They're super safe. And they work really well for a lot of situations.
So, what are the limitations?
Neither Program or Sentinel actually kill or repel adult fleas or ticks !
What they do, and do nearly perfectly, is sterilize any flea that bites so that their eggs don't hatch. It does this so well that soon there are no fleas around your house and yard.
This is an appropriate choice IF your pet and yard isn't frequently exposed to other pets not being treated and you don't have much trouble with ticks, mosquitos, or flies.
Program 6 month Injection for Cats: For cats we have an injection of Program that lasts 6 months ! Like Program tabs for dogs, this injection will make any flea that bites infertile so that if your cat gets exposed to some fleas, at least they won't hatch in your house and yard.
Sentinel once a month tablet for dogs:
Sentinel is the same product as Program made by the same company (Novartis) but has an added ingredient (not approved for cats) making it excellent at preventing
Heartworms, round worms, hook worms, and whip worms.
For those dogs who don't have a lot of trouble from ticks or mosquitos, Sentinel is a very convenient and effective way to prevent the more common parasite problems; fleas, heartworms, and intestinal worms.
Capstar Tablets: 100% control for 1 day
Also made by Novartis, this new tablet is extremely inexpensive, very effective (95-100% kill of all adult fleas within a few hours) and safe even for young kittens, puppies, and pregnant pets. It was designed to be given along with Sentinel or Program until those products had time to kick in.
What's the catch? Capstar is metabolized and excreted from the body in about a day.
So quick, great, super safe, inexpensive, nearly 100% flea control; but only for a day.
This is a great product for short term use along with Program or Sentinel as it was intended...but also great for when you've just found or bought a pet or are taking a pet to a new home or for boarding to prevent transfer of fleas.
Frontline "TopSpot" Plus for Cats & Dogs:
One of the most effective repellent and killer of adult fleas and ticks for 3-5 weeks available. Safety to mammals is excellent.
Frontline is applied to the back of the neck once a month and does a very good job of repelling and killing adult fleas and ticks "Plus" it does a pretty good job of killing
non-adult stages of fleas.
Some potential problems include no bathing for 2 days before and after application, may not last a whole month if giving frequent baths, and a few people are finding that Frontline is not working as well as it used too.
Knock Out Dog Spray and House Spray:
If you have an overwhelming flea problem, it may be necessary to reduce the initial flea load with an extra strength flea spray.
KnockOut Dog Spray is the strongest flea spray available, containing twice as much permethin and Nylar as other brands you can buy over the counter.
It's not safe for direct application on cats.
KnockOut House Spray: KnockOut is available in an even stronger formula for spraying inside your house without harming the finish on your furniture or irritating your skin.
KnockOut Premise Spray: The premise spray is not designed for safe application on your dog or in your house but is excellent for short term major reduction of fleas in your yard, outdoor kennels, under decks and so forth.
KnockOut is good for those situations when your yard, house, or dog is overwhelmed with fleas. This happens sometimes when people first move into a new apartment or home. Or for those people with a lots of pets.