How to Apply Flea & Tick Prevention To Even The Most Wiggly Dogs

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By Laurie Bergman, VMD, DACVB

Many dogs don’t enjoy having topical parasite (flea and tick) control medications applied. Even though these medications aren’t painful, like an injection, the dogs may not like the feeling of something wet on their skin or the smell. Some dogs just don’t like having to stay still. The easiest way to get past these obstacles without having to run through the house chasing your dog with a tube of medication in your hand, is to give your dog something else to do while you apply the medication.

Ivan is given the choice of a couple of his favorite treats: spray cheese or peanut butter. I apply the treat to the front of my refrigerator (appliances have easy to clean surfaces that peanut butter or spray cheese will stick to).

Image by Daniel Long

While Ivan is licking the peanut butter, I part his hair and apply the monthly dose of topical medication. I have positioned myself so he doesn’t try to turn his body away from me.

Image by Daniel Long

Another appliance that comes in handy for grooming Ivan or applying medication is my washing machine. I put a ribbon of spray cheese on the top of the washer, pick up Ivan and groom him while he licks the cheese. This way, I don’t have to crouch down on the floor.

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