When it comes to protecting our furry friends from those pesky fleas there are so many options it’s hard to know which one to choose. While your vet will most likely have given you their opinions, in the end, it is up to you which flea control you choose.
One of the newest trends in flea control is chewable tablets that you can feed your pet (usually on a monthly basis) that will start killing the fleas immediately. This is a wonderful change of pace to spot-on treatments that may be difficult with particularly fluffy pets.
Comfortis is one of those new flea control treatment options and it’s one of the better options out there. If you are considering this as your new flea medication then here’s everything you need to know!
What is Comfortis?
Comfortis is an oral chewable tablet that you can feed your dog (or cat!) on a monthly basis in order to control flea infestations. Medications like this have been popping up, though this brand is one of few that works for dogs and cats.
It comes in several strengths to make giving your pet the proper dose as simple as possible. This is a prescription medication though, so if you plan to use this as a flea control method you will need to get a script from your vet first.
These chews are made to be beef flavored in hopes that your dog will be fooled by the tasty treat and never realize this is a medication.
While most dogs will gobble up this chew in seconds, some are more privy to our plans and you may still have to hide it. I’ve found that cheese or a rolled up piece of lunch meat work fine, though some people prefer to use a pill pocket.
How does it Work?
The active ingredient in Comfortis is called Spinosad and it has been approved by the FDA so you shouldn’t worry about it being safe for your pet. It works by attacking the nervous system of the fleas, killing them almost as soon as your dog takes the medication.
There are potential side effects, like most medications, however, they are rare and in most cases, they are limited to vomiting. However, if your dog vomits within one hour of taking the medication you will need to re-dose your pet to ensure it is in their system.
Once your pet has taken the medication fleas will start dying off within as little as 30 minutes! Within 4-6 hours 98-100% of fleas will be dead before they ever get the chance to lay eggs!
How long is it Effective?
Like many other flea control treatments, Comfortis stays active in your pet’s system for up to 30 days. In order for it to be the most effective you will need to give your pet the proper dose of medication on the same day each month.
Depending on location Comfortis can be used seasonally or year-round without interruption and without fear of harm to your dog.
You may still see the occasional flea on your dog (especially if he spends a lot of time outside), however, it will be killed before it can lay eggs and cause an infestation.
While Comfortis does not kill flea eggs like some spot-on treatments if any eggs did happen to be laid prior to starting the medication, the fleas will be dead within 4 hours of fully maturing. So really, it works just as well for overall flea control.
Comfortis VS Sentinel
There are a few major differences between Comfortis and Sentinel – the first being the Sentinel is primarily a heartworm preventative and the latter is intended for flea control only.
If you are looking for one of those all-in-one options then Sentinel might be a way to go.
However, you should know before giving your dog Sentinel that it does not kill fleas. I
know, I know, then how is it going to help control fleas, right? I said it won’t kill fleas – it will, on the other hand, prevent the development of flea eggs and larva, stopping the flea cycle.
Now, if you want to use Sentinel as your heartworm preventative, but you want the extra flea protection you would get from Comfortis, you can combine these two medications. This will give you both the protection against adult fleas, eggs and larva – total coverage!
Comfortis VS Capstar
These two medications are very similar in many aspects. Both will have killed all adult fleas on your dog within 24 hours, leaving your pet relieved almost immediately. Even their side effects are almost identical when you look at it – so what’s the real difference?
Capstar is meant to be used as a short-term, quick-fix kind of deal. For example, when I first got my cat he was covered in fleas and my house quickly became infested as well. Capstar was able to provide the quickest relief I’ve seen!
I did no however read all the details when I chose Capstar instead of Comfortis. With Capstar, you will need to start a regular flea control regimen right away to keep the infestation under control as it is only effective for 24 hours.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get him started quickly enough and we fought fleas for weeks! (Mind you this was a little kitten – think how many more fleas might get to a larger pet like a German shepherd or a Great Dane!)
When it comes down to it, if you are looking for temporary relief or a quick way to kill fleas before starting a medication like Frontline or K9 Advantix then Capstar would be the way to go. Otherwise, I would definitely go with Comfortis as it is effective for a full 30 days.
You should also be aware that while you need a prescription in order to get Comfortis, Capstar is an over the counter medication available at a multitude of pet stores.
Comfortis VS Trifexis
Once again, these products are extremely similar, which can make it hard to know which one you should choose. They are so similar actually, that they both use the same active ingredient Spinosad to kill fleas. The biggest difference is that Trifexis is also a heartworm preventative.
If you are already feeding your dog a heartworm preventative then the clear option would be to go with Comfortis for flea control. On the other hand, if you are not using a heartworm preventative then you may want to consider Trifexis as an alternative.
Both medications are effective for a full 30 days and most effective when administered on the same day each month. They also both nearly all fleas starting 30 minutes after the medication was given. This is due to using the same active ingredient.
These treatment options are basically the same – until you bring heartworm prevention into the picture. The treatment for heartworms is expensive and hard to your dog, so the best course of action is always prevention first, making Trifexis a great option for many pet parents.
Just remember to talk to your vet before starting your dog on any heartworm preventative treatment as they will need to be tested for heartworms first. If you’re happy with the heartworm medication your dog is on then Comfortis is the clear option.
The Pros and Cons
It can be hard making a decision with so many options out there. Compared to when we first saw spot-on treatments like Frontline the options can seem to be endless.
If you’re still struggling to make a decision then here’s a quick look at all the pros and cons of Comfortis.
On the plus side, Comfortis will kill all fleas anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours after the medication has been administered.
While it does not kill flea eggs and larva it does kill fleas more or less on contact, preventing them from laying eggs in the first place.
In most cases, dogs will eat up this tasty beef flavored chew without any hesitation. When there is hesitation it usually doesn’t take much to get them to eat the tablet. Once they have taken the medication your dog is protected from adult fleas for up to 30 days.
This medication is safe for your dog and can be taken year round. It can also be taken in conjunction with medications like Sentinel that prevent heartworm as well as preventing flea eggs and larva from developing.
This can be a way to give your dog a better spectrum of coverage from pests overall. Honestly, this is probably the method I would choose for my own dog if I were the one making a decision!
There are few downsides, but those include the fact that it does not kill flea eggs and larva on its own. There are very few side effects to worry about with this medication and the most common issue is vomiting.
In places where ticks are a problem to you might want to look into a different treatment or talk to your vet about combining Comfortis with spot-on treatments like Frontline Plus or K9 Advantix that work very well against ticks.
Always make sure you consult your vet if you are looking at combining medications to get the complete coverage for your pet. It is the best way for you to be sure the combination of treatments will not be harmful to your dog.
In the end, the decision on which flea control method you use is up to you – but Comfortis is a highly effective
flea control treatment that many pet parents love and trust.