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Does My Dog Need Flea and Tick Prevention?

Alright guys … big announcement on our end! We are moving from San Diego to Montana! Open spaces, here we come!

I am excited for more opportunities for the outdoor adventures I live for – trail running, camping and hiking! But with more outdoor activities comes … more ticks. Hopefully fewer fleas, but no doubt there will be more ticks and more mosquitoes.

Since we are relocating, it’s a good time to reevaluate what my dog and my cat need for protection against fleas, ticks and heartworm.

It’s never a “one size fits all” situation, and I thought this might be a good time to remind you to reconsider what your pets need for protection and to ask your vet any questions you have.

This post is sponsored by Ceva Animal Health, the maker of Vectra® 3D for Dogs, a monthly, topical flea and tick preventive.

My dog Remy with Vectra 3D for dogs

Does my dog need flea, tick and heartworm prevention?

We should all consider what our dogs and cats need for flea and tick protection as we go through various changes in life.

Here’s a short video (1 min) we made about why we’re reevaluating what Remy and Scout need for flea & tick prevention:


Obviously moving to a new region is a big reason to think about what kind of parasite protection your pet might need due to different types of weather and what kind of “pests” thrive as a result.

For example, heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes. While this is something to be aware of in most of the United States, it’s far more common for dogs to get heartworms in the South vs. the Pacific Northwest. You can view the map of documented cases of heartworm in dogs for the U.S. in 2016 here.

Vectra® 3D is not a heartworm preventive but in addition to protecting dogs from fleas and ticks, it also protects dogs from mosquitoes before they bite your dog. Learn more about Vectra® 3D here.

Moving, locally

Even if you move within your own county, there might be more fleas in some areas within the same county than others. San Diego County in California covers a huge area, and fleas are much more of a nuisance in some parts of the county vs. others. So even if you’re not moving very far, your pets might end up needing additional protection.

Or, if you move from a home with hardwood floors to a home with mostly carpets, unfortunately there could be a higher chance for fleas to multiply by laying their eggs in the carpet! Yuck. Learned that the hard way.

Hardwood floors are the way to go when you have pets, if you ask me!

If you’re having an issue with fleas in your home, one option for protecting your dog is Vectra® 3D for Dogs. This product kill fleas of all life stages BEFORE they bite your dog.

Weather changes, even if you don’t move

When we lived in North Dakota, I typically did not need to worry about fleas and ticks for my dog Ace. I just never saw them because, well…

My dog Ace in Fargo, ND
Ace in Fargo, N.D.

Then … we had a very mild winter around 2012 where it was unusually warm for that area with no snow.

Well, that summer I saw quite a few ticks on my dog (and on me! ahh!) even though our activities did not change. The winter just hadn’t been as brutal.

Another note on weather, if you move from a colder region to a warmer region you might need to consider year-round protection for your pets. I know, not fun. Learned that the hard way too.

Changes in activities

Obviously, if you pick up a new activity with your dog like trail running, hiking, hunting or camping, you’re going to likely see a few more “pests.”

My dog Remy on the trails

I never saw a tick in San Diego until I recently started doing a sport called canicross with my young dog, Remy. This is a running sport where your dog is tethered to you and pulls you while running. It’s awesome! It’s the perfect sport for Remy.

However, once we started exploring more and more trails through canicross, sure enough, the ticks found us! I didn’t even think there were ticks in San Diego! Wrong!

And like I said earlier, I typically did not need to worry about ticks when we lived in North Dakota. Yet, some of my friends in my own neighborhood would find ticks on their dogs because they did a lot more hiking than we did.

It just goes to show that each dog is different depending on your lifestyle.

If you are looking for a flea and tick preventive, Vectra® 3D for Dogs is one option that is effective and easy to apply. Learn more here.

Travel and/or boarding

My dog Remy with Vectra 3D

If you travel with your dog, you’ll want to make sure he’s protected based on where you’re headed. Heartworm is a much greater risk in the South, Midwest and East than it is the Pacific Northwest. Fleas are much more common in the South, too. Oh, the joys!

And even if you board your dog or cat, you might need to consider flea protection just because he’s going to be in a space with a LOT of other dogs around. My pup Remy has come home from the boarding kennel with fleas. Oh, lucky us!

Adding new pets or fostering

If you add a new pet to your family, you’ll need to consider what type of protection they will need. That goes for temporarily fostering an animal, too. You don’t want your foster dog or cat to transport fleas to your existing pets.

My dog Ace and our foster dog Lana
My foster dog Lana and my senior dog Ace, 2015

We foster dogs and cats directly from the shelter or “pound” on occasion, and I always request that the animal is treated with flea prevention before I pick them up. I just don’t want to deal with the added hassle of fleas. Fostering a dog is enough work on its own.

You can purchase Vectra® 3D for Dogs through your veterinarian.

In summary, there is no “one size fits all” plan

Each pet is going to have unique needs depending on where you live and the activities you do.

Even in the same household, one of your dogs might go hunting while the other is a pampered, indoor pup. And even then, they might both need protection. Heck, fleas can even enter your home on YOU.

The same is true for cats. Maybe you have one cat that stays indoors and one that lives in the barn. Maybe they both need flea prevention or maybe not. It just depends!

If you’re not sure about your area or the area you’re headed, it’s best to talk with a local vet. People who work at local animal shelters or dog training or boarding facilities would also be pretty knowledgeable.

More info on Vectra® 3D for Dogs

As I said earlier, one option for topical flea and tick prevention is a product called Vectra® 3D for Dogs. This product kills and repels fleas, ticks and mosquitoes before they bite your dog. It also kills and repels biting flies and mites (excluding Mange Mites).

Benefits of Vectra® 3D for Dogs

  • Kills fleas and ticks beforethey bite the dog
  • Kills and repels mosquitoes before they bite
  • Can act as a “double defense” against heartworm (carried by mosquitoes)
  • Prevents all flea stages from developing
  • Repels biting flies, sand flies and mites (excluding Mange Mites)
  • Easy to apply with its patented application tip
  • Waterproof and quick drying
  • Protects for 1 month

NOTE: Vectra® 3D is NOT safe for cats.

Are you interested in trying Vectra® 3D for your dog?

Let me know in the comments!

Here is a video we made with more info about Vectra 3D:

Related posts:

Review of Vectra® 3D for dogs

joan whitehead

Saturday 11th of August 2018

oops to mean to say safe not say thanks

joan whitehead

Saturday 11th of August 2018

I love the video,, but I have a question it say for dog weight 56 -95lbs.Will this be safe to used on miniature poodle or do u have something for this weight,, thanks

Lindsay Stordahl

Saturday 11th of August 2018

Yes, there are different versions for different sized dogs.

Tanika Campbell

Friday 10th of August 2018

We have 2 dogs and 6 cats. Raccoons come into our yard often. We have to apply flea meds every month! We just rescued a 4 week old kitten that was infested with fleas and parasites.

Judith Frankenberger

Thursday 9th of August 2018

Keeping a pet healthy should be a priority for their owners. I have seen the heartache of trying to treat a large active dog for heartworms. Prevention is the key. As soon as my puppy was old enough for prevention it was started and will continue. Please enter me in your contest. On a fixed income and would really help. Thank you.


Thursday 9th of August 2018

Moving I think did me in. For 4 years, my dog has never had a flea or tick problem. Living in the northeast and in metropolitan Arizona and even in Europe. We went to parks almost daily. I recently moved back to AZ this past June and something about the Peoria area or I think specifically the area we live was just flea city. My dog went out once and came back itching up a storm. She had a flea collar but it was a whole series of steps to stop the itching. So I related to this article on a serious level when I read it.