Pet Parenting: Best way to keep bugs off my pet?


It’s time to start putting gunk on my dog to keep the fleas and ticks away. Do you think it’s important to use the expensive stuff or can I get by with a store brand?

Dear Mama:

This is really a discussion you should have with your vet (what’s best for your pet in relation to size, age, etc). There are lots of options out there; there is even a pill that does the same thing as the drops without the mess, which I kinda like.

My personal choice, at least until the bugs get really bad, is Shoo! TAG. I like the idea of fewer chemicals, and the tags supposedly create a ‘frequency barrier’ around your pet; they work pretty well. See

However, in answer to your question, in my experience, the expensive stuff is better, in addition to safer if you’re using it under veterinary supervision. Sorry.

Good Luck!

Denise Holmes is a pet behavior counselor with over 25 years of experience. She focuses on family pet training and animal-assisted therapy.  She has consulted with Arkansas Children’s Hospital, helped set up a variety of local programs and produced a CD to help expecting parents introduce the family pet to a newborn,