Continuously changing climatic conditions throughout the United States combined with the rising popularity of pet travel, are making veterinarians no longer consider seasonal treatments for fleas and ticks an effective way of controlling infestations.
Instead, many veterinary professionals, along with pet industry manufacturers, are suggesting that year-round treatment prevention is a much more practical and medically sound approach to controlling the problem.
With so many generic flea and tick medications available over the counter alongside a plethora of both holistic and chemical collars, sprays, shampoos, plus home and garden treatment merchandise, retailers have an unique opportunity to create their own in-store prevention centers and do brisk business 12 months a year.
Last year Bayer Healthcare launched their line of Seresto flea and tick collars for cats and dogs designed to offer eight months of protection, the first product to offer such long-term efficacy.
“Through August 2013, over 250,000 dogs and cats have been protected with the only eight-month premium flea and tick preventative that exists in the U.S. market, and feedback received and level of satisfaction from veterinarians and pet owners has been very positive and consistent,” Dave Van Brunt, vice president of marketing for the companion animal business unit, Bayer HealthCare Animal Health, said.
With so many flea and tick treatments available to pet retailers, the onus has been thrust upon them to really understand what they are selling. This is especially important, since the category is consistency growing and merging at a fast rate.
For example, last year the Perrigo Company acquired Velcera in a deal that took PetArmor flea and tick products under their gigantic umbrella which also includes the extensive range of products from Sergeants Pet Care, a company they acquired in late 2012.
Another range now looking for shelf visibility comes from Absorbine known in the marketplace for its equine products. The company recently introduced a line of flea and tick products for dogs.
The UltraShield EX is a spray-on that offers 17 days of waterproof protection, along with a built-in sunscreen, and coat conditioning ingredients.
Jeff Fowler, national sales manager for Natural Chemistry, said when dealing with the flea and tick issue, consumers sometimes assume natural products are not effective, or take too long to work.
“Our USA-made formulas for shampoos, bedding and yard sprays have been proven to provide residual killing and repelling of fleas, ticks, and also black flies and mosquitoes and begin working immediately,” he said. “Treat the pet as needed based upon activities. For example, if you are going for a walk and your pet has an issue with fleas and ticks, you would use before leaving home.
“The added advantage of natural botanical ingredients that work synergistically with one another to provide effective, natural protection and are safe to use around children as well, is parents do not have to worry about their family being exposed to any harmful chemicals. All products have a pleasant cinnamon, clove and vanilla scent.”
Richard’s Organics First Defense Premise Treatment manufactured by SynergyLabs says that a single application offers protection of the home against fleas for a full year. According to the product details, it’s made from “environmentally boric acid, and dehydrates and kills fleas at larvae stage ending an infestation within a week or so.”
Carlos Zamora, marketing coordinator for the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company, explained that all the products in the line, such as the shampoos and bedding sprays work in conjunction with one another and that the shampoo is safe for puppies as young as eight weeks of age and over.
When it comes to ticks, a growing sector of this market also deals with their removal from both pets and people, and has received a lot of press in recent months with the noticeable increase in Lyme disease nationwide.
Since launching the Tick Key 5 years ago, Donna LaFountain has seen business boom in conjunction with the year-round increase in the tick problem.
“It’s being viewed as a must-have safety item for both people who work in the field or with animals whether its search and rescue dogs or farm animals, or people who simply enjoy the outdoors,” LaFountain said.
This high-strength anodized aluminum key is available in seven bright colors.
Another product gaining nationwide recognized is Tick-SR.
The product, sold in towelettes for single applications or in bottles, works by dissolving the “glue” that bonds the tick to the host as well as impeding the blood flow to the area cutting off the tick’s meal.
It also helps disinfect the wound to further prevent infection.