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A month ago I had to take our French Bulldog Lilly to the vet, she had a serious inflammation. She recovered well and is healthy again. While at the vet in the waiting area, I heard a woman asking for Frontline’s Flea and Tick treatment who was also complaining about the treatment being overpriced. She told the vet’s assistant she could get the same product online for at least $15 cheaper. The assistant looked at her and asked: “Are you sure it’s exactly the same product?”. She assured it was 100% the same treatment for $15 less and left the vet without buying it. That’s quite a difference that would buy some extra treats for your dog, right? The assistant looked at me and said after the woman had left, “I hope it’s not a counterfeit product”. Counterfeit pet products? I never, ever thought about that.

After he said that, the first thing that came to mind was the Omega 3 fish oil I add to my dog’s food and I couldn’t wait to check. While I was waiting to get Lilly’s medicines, I grabbed my phone and looked up the flea & tick product online (love technology). At home, I checked some online retailers and I realized that there are price differences in the same Flea & tick product, but never a $15 difference. I also made sure that the Omega 3 fish oil fulfilled all EPA requirements. I discovered a website warning about counterfeits pet pesticides with a link to the official website of the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States. I learned a lot on the web pages of the EPA and I want to share with all the online shoppers of pet products. (It’s not necessary to mention, not to buy products on the street.)

(The Environmental Protection Agency says:) Foreign-labeled flea and tick products are being unlawfully imported into the U.S. and packaged in retail cartons that look like legitimate EPA-registered pesticides under the trade names “Advantage” and “Frontline.” Inside the cartons are applicators that have been labeled and packaged for sale in overseas markets.

EPA is concerned because: Retail cartons may be missing directions for use Some products are not packaged in child-resistant packaging; Consumers cannot be sure the product contains the appropriate size applicator for the animal pictured or otherwise indicated on the retail carton. Some counterfeit products have stickers on the outside of the box to hide the foreign labeling. Otherwise, the only way to ensure you have legitimate product is by opening the retail carton and examining the actual product tube.

Here are the most affected and identified (by the EP) products:

• Frontline Top Spot for Cats (EPA Reg. No. 65331-2) • Frontline Top Spot for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 65331-3) • Frontline Plus for Cats (EPA Reg. No. 65331-4) • Frontline Plus for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 65331-5) • Advantage 10 for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 11556-117) 2 • Advantage 20 for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 11556-119) • Advantage 55 for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 11556-120) • Advantage 100 for Dogs (EPA Reg. No. 11556-122) • Advantage 9 for Cats (EPA Reg. No. 11556-116) • Advantage 18 for Cats (EPA Reg. No. 11556-118)

I also found the following information and it’s very important to know about this if you use pesticides on your dog or cat. There are more environmentally friendly and harmless products/remedies to protect your pet instead of using harsh chemicals. Try new Only Natural Pet All-in-One Flea Remedies for Dogs & Cats 8 oz, herbal defense spray and others. I use the Halo Herbal Dip Flea Tick Treatment for Dogs 0.5 oz and both the dogs and I are pretty happy. Consult your veterinarian about the best way to to protect your pets from fleas and ticks and whether pesticides are even necessary.  Also read Katie’s guest article about flea & tick treatments.

For photos and step-by-step guidance to help you identify whether you have legitimate EPA-registered Advantage and Frontline products, visit EPA’s how to identify counterfeit pet products page.

Safety tips for pet owners:

  • Consult your veterinarian about the best way to to protect your pets from fleas and ticks and whether pesticides are even needed.
  • Use extra care before use on weak, aged, medicated, sick, pregnant, or nursing pets, or on pets that have previously shown signs of sensitivity to pesticide products. If you use a spot-on product or any other pesticide on your pet, carefully read and follow the product label. Use flea and tick control products only on the animal specified by the product label – for example, dog products for dogs only and cat products for cats only.
  • Follow any label prohibitions against use on weak, aged, medicated, sick, pregnant, or nursing pets, or on pets that have previously shown sensitivity to pesticide products. Apply only the amount indicated for the size of the animal being treated.
  • Do not apply to kittens or puppies unless the product label specifically allows this treatment. Pay attention to the age restrictions for puppies and kittens on the label.
  • Monitor your pet for side effects or signs of sensitivity after applying the product, particularly when using the product on your pet for the first time.
  • Do not apply spot-ons to pets known to be sensitive to pesticide products.
  • If your pet experiences an adverse reaction, immediately bathe the pet with mild soap and rinse with large amounts of water. Keep the package with the product container (such as individual applicator tubes). Also keep the package after treatment in case adverse effects occur. You will want to have the instructions at hand, as well as contact information for the manufacturer.

If you have more questions visit EPA’s website here and read more about using pesticides on your dog here.

I am human, if you see a typo, please let me know at yurda@packpeople.com. If you have a story idea that you would like to share, please drop me an email. Thank you!

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