New Survey Shows Dog Owners Prefer Topicals to Prevent Bug Bites by Nine-One Margin

May 5, 2014 – Lenexa, KS –  No one wants to get bitten by ticks, fleas and mosquitoes. Pet owners also want the same protection for their beloved dogs, according to a recent survey of more than 2,700 dog owners. And, fortunately, dog owners can find prevention and protection from bug bites for their furry friends.

By a nearly 9-1 margin, dog owners overwhelmingly prefer topical medications squeezed from a tube and placed on the back of their dog that help reduce the chances of their pet being fed on by dangerous fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. Only topical medications can kill through contact and help reduce the chances of biting and feeding from dangerous parasites. When asked about such protection, 84.25% of dog owners said they prefer such topical applications compared with only 16% (15.75) that prefer beef-flavored oral treats that only kill fleas and ticks after these pests bite and feed on the blood of their dogs.

The online survey was sent to newsletter subscribers of in late April. It’s part of a campaign, “Why Wait for the Bite?” to educate pet owners about the importance of helping protect their dogs from dangerous parasite bites and to realize the major differences between topical and oral medications.

Although oral medications are effective and often considered convenient, unfortunately these flavor treats work systemically or “from the inside-out.” In other words, oral medications require that the dangerous parasite first bite the pet and take a blood meal for the oral preventive to kill parasites such as ticks and fleas. And there are currently no oral products on the market that kill mosquitoes.

But that doesn’t need to be the case with topical parasiticides such as Vectra 3D®. Easily applied, Vectra 3D® safely and effectively combines the best of both worlds by killing dangerous parasites on contact and helps prevent them from feeding on pets.

Dog owners overwhelmingly agree on “Why Wait for the Bite:”

  • Nearly three-fourths (70.47%) of dog owners weigh bite prevention and killing the insects as equally important, an advantage only available through topical medications. More than one-fourth (27.10%) say it’s more important to prevent flea and tick bites while only two out of 100 (2.42%) believe it’s more important to just kill the pesky parasites, which oral treats do but only after a dog gets bitten by the bug.
  • Dog owners aren’t interested in buying oral medications that require bites to kill fleas and ticks. More than nine out of 10 (91.04%) wouldn’t buy a flea and tick control product that only works after their dog gets bitten.
  • Flipping that around, nearly all dog owners (95.70%) would not use a human tick and mosquito protection product that required they first be bitten for it to be effective.
  • Pet owners love their pets and don’t want their dogs to feel any pain or discomfort from flea, tick, or mosquito bites. Nearly all (93.32%) say they are “very concerned” about preventing such bites.
  • And dog owners certainly fear the worst when it comes to bites from fleas, ticks, or mosquitoes. Nearly all (96.9%) say they are very concerned about the potential for disease transmission from bites by fleas, ticks, or mosquitoes.

The survey demonstrates the connection between people and their dogs, says Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins, D.V.M., Esq., Director of Veterinary Services for Ceva Animal Health. As an accomplished veterinarian, she says that many pet owners still do not understand the importance of prevention and protection from bug bites.

“First and foremost, every pet owner needs to understand there is a serious health risk when you fail to protect your dog from parasites,” Dr. Hodgkins says. “There are a number of even conscientious dog owners who fail to understand this. For example, nobody in their right mind likes fleas. However, very few pet owners truly understand the severe health risks of just a single bite.

“Most pet owners understand that they do not want their dogs to be bitten by a parasite and suffer from the sting of a bite or the damage to the skin. But, it’s far more than a cosmetic concern or compassion for their beloved pet. They really need to understand that any bite may pose a health risk, sometimes severe, sometimes even fatal, to their dogs.”

That’s why it’s imperative for dog owners to discuss prevention and protection with a veterinarian, Dr. Hodgkins says. “This should not be a one-sided conversation. It’s incumbent upon pet owners to ask questions and share information about their dog.”

“The first question should be, ‘Doctor, what parasite-transmitted diseases should I worry about for my dog?’ Veterinarians can address this in detail based on their knowledge of your area.

“This leads into the next important question: ‘What is the best approach and the steps that I need to take to protect my dog?”

“Most veterinarians understand the repellency benefits of topical medications,” Dr. Hodgkins says. “Veterinarians consider it the leading parasite protection since those mosquitoes, ticks, fleas – even lice – never have the opportunity to bite the dog. With oral medication, those parasites need to feed to even activate the systemic advantage of an oral medication.”

After all, Dr. Hodgkins says, campers never head to the woods without such protection. “Just ask any camper if they would rather take a pill that protects them from diseases but allows a tick, mosquito or flea to bite them for the medication to work. No. They will tell you that they prefer a product that prevents any bite in the first place. It’s intuitive that pet owners should think and act the same way for their dogs. Why wait for the bite when there are proven topical products that can stop the bite before it even happens?”

Stopping the bite before it even happens to your dog makes absolute sense, agrees Steve Dale, host of nationally syndicated radio show Steve Dale’s Pet World and nationally syndicated columnist.

“Pets are suffering needlessly because pet owners aren’t aware of what’s available to protect their dogs from parasites,” Dale says. “Our pets bring us so much joy but we don’t want parasites in our house. All of the things that can be scary to our beloved dogs and us can be avoided. These are simple steps and reasonably affordable, especially considering the expense and troubles that compound if we allow those parasites to infect our pets.

“Just one flea bite can result in an allergic response in some pets, and even a handful of bites may lead to major issues,” Dale says. “Those bites also itch and become an annoyance for the pet. Their scratching impacts their quality of life and potentially ours if they keep us up all night.”

As the most widely read pet journalist in America, Dale has heard his share of horror stories from readers and listeners about dogs keeping their owners up all night as they scratch those itches from bug bites. That’s especially true as people become closer to their pets, even allowing them to sleep in the same bed. “Your pet has fleas and he or she is in bed with you? How gross is that!”

“The reality is that oral products require the parasite to bite the pet in order to work, allowing a greater opportunity for the parasite, particularly ticks, to transmit diseases,” says Dales. “If you repel them, they don’t even get a chance to dine with a blood meal from your pet.”

Visit your veterinarian and talk about the options available to protect your dog, Dale recommends. After all, as the survey notes, protection against bites by stopping these before they even happen goes a long way in helping man’s best friend.

For more information about Vectra3D® visit

About Ceva Animal Health: Ceva Animal Health’s key companion animal products include the Vectra® line of parasiticides, Adaptil® and Feliway® pheromone behavior aids, Senilife® for treating cognitive impairment in aging dogs and Altresyn® (altrenogest) for equine reproduction. The company’s North American headquarters is in Lenexa, Kansas. Visit



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