a dog and a cat about to have spot on medications applied to them by their owner

How to apply spot on medication to your dog or cat

Some medicines for preventing ticks, fleas and worms are applied topically to the skin. These are sometimes called "spot on" preparations. Here you will find tips and advice on how to apply them safely and effectively to your dog or cat.

This article was written by a FirstVet vet

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Tips for spot on medications

Spot on preparations are placed directly onto the skin at the back of your pet’s neck. The reason for applying it to the back of the neck is to prevent them licking it.

Start by reading the instruction leaflet in the packet. This contains important information about the medicine, including the correct dosage for your pet, how often to repeat the treatment, and possible side effects to look out for.

The dose will depend on the age, weight and species of your pet. Giving the correct dose will ensure that the treatment is effective and that your pet is fully protected. It is very important to always use cat specific products for cats. Dog specific products must not be applied to cats as they can cause serious toxicity.

Application method

1. If necessary, remove the pet’s collar temporarily, before applying the product.

2. Ask a family member or friend to offer your dog a treat, or place a treat on the floor to distract them, whilst you apply the drops.

3. Part the fur at the back of the neck and apply the drops directly onto the skin.

4. Empty the entire pipette, unless your vet, or the instruction leaflet, have advised a different dose.

Avoid touching the application spot until the treatment has dried, and finish by washing your hands. Wait for 24 hours before bathing your pet or allowing them to swim.

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