The picture to the left is a picture of the flea preventative I've been using on Kitsune. I can understand why some of you are probably very confused! That box of Advantage II is for extra large dogs, and my Kitsune, although large for his breed, is only 22 lbs. But don't worry, I'm not overdosing my dog on flea medication! Quite the opposite, in fact.
Kitsune is getting a more precisely measured dosage for his weight then he would be getting if I were to use flea medications packaged for a dog his size. This is because Advantage II currently only comes in four dosage sizes for dogs, one of which is for dogs from 21 - 55 lbs. But why would a dog that's only 22 lbs need the same amount of chemicals as one that's 55? The answer - they don't. By dosing Kitsune's flea medication myself, based on his weight, I can not only save money, but I can also make sure that I'm not giving my pet any more chemicals than what he needs!
To be honest, I wish I didn't have to use any type of chemical flea preventative on Kitsune. However, my poor pup reacts very strongly to flea bites. I've tried homeopathic flea remedies on him in the past and they just didn't get rid of the buggers fast enough. I don't like seeing my pets suffer, so using topical flea preventative became the lesser of the two evils.
Before I get too much further into this please keep in mind that you cannot do this with every type of flea/tick preventative. There are some brands of preventative medications that contain the same exact ingredients, no matter what size pet you purchase them for. The difference between the sizes is just that the products sold for larger animals contain more of the product per vial.
For example, if you take a look at the ingredients in Advantage II for extra large dogs and Advantage II for dogs 21 - 55 lbs they'll both say the following...
|Active Ingredients||% By Weight|
|Other Ingredients (not specified)||90.44%|
The ingredients are exactly the same. The only difference is that Advantage II for extra large dogs (55 lbs +) contains 4.0 ml of liquid per vial, while the one sold for dogs from 21 - 55 lbs contains 2.5 ml per vial.
So, what I do is I purchase Advantage for extra large dogs. When I open a tube of Advantage, rather than putting it right on Kitsune I instead put it into a glass vial. I then use a syringe (without a needle) to draw out how much liquid I need, then put that on Kitsune. One tube of Advantage for extra large dogs ends up being just under what I'd need for Kitsune for four months worth of treatment. To show you how that can help you save money, lets just pretend that Kitsune weighed a bit less and that I could get 4 full doses out of one tube of extra large dog Advantage.
Advantage II for large dogs, for 6 months, costs about $68. In this example, for $68 I could get 24 months worth of preventative, or two full years.
Advantage II for dogs 11 - 20 lbs costs about $65 for 6 months worth, which would only last a 20 lb dog 6 months. If you do the math, you'd have to spend $260 to get two full years worth of preventative buying it the regular way. So over 2 years, with just one 20 lb dog, buying Advantage for large dogs and dosing it yourself would save you $192.
This can be a great way to save money for owners who have more than one pet!
Saving money is awesome, but more importantly I like having more control over how much chemicals I am putting on my pet. Why would I want to put 2.5 ml of preventative, basically poison, on my pet when the effective dose for his body weight is about half that?
As far as I know, this can be done with Advantage, Frontline, and Revolution. It can be done with Advantix on dogs only. Advantage II for dogs should also not be used on cats.
There are websites where you can find charts that show how to break down dosages by weight. I decided that, for now, this isn't going to be one of them. Please talk to your pet's veterinarian before starting them on any new medication, including flea/tick prevention. Although it is widely used, these medications are pesticides - poisons. It's true that thousands of pets are treated with these medications every year and most of them are fine. However, reactions can and do occur in some pets. Although, using this technique you'll most likely be giving your pet a lower dosage of flea medication, mistakes can be made. You pet's vet should be happy to help you calculate the proper dosage of preventative for your pet!