Flea Control for Dogs

Fleas are the most common external parasite of pets in North America. Fleas are small wingless insects that use their specialized mouth to pierce the skin and siphon blood from their host. When a flea bites, it injects a small amount of saliva into the skin to prevent the blood from coagulating. Some animals become sensitized to flea saliva and animals that are allergic can have severe itching and scratching from a single bite. Flea allergy dermatitis is the most common disease among dogs.

Current flea control products are primarily either oral or topical systemic treatments. Most of the products may be used for prevention as well as to treat existing flea problems. One group of products control fleas by interrupting their development by killing or stopping the maturation of flea larvae and eggs. These drugs are called Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs). One common oral product used is lufenuron which is found in the Program® line of products which are administered orally in tablet or liquid form. Methoprene and pyriproxifen are also IGRs that are available as sprays or collars. The FDA shares regulation of these products with the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Because even the same products from other countries have not been approved by these agencies, it is illegal to purchase or import these products for use in the United States.

Currently the most popular flea control products kill adult fleas (adulticide), are applied topically and work rapidly. Popular topical products utilize fipronil which is the key ingredient in Frontline® Top Spot and imidacloprid which is in Advantage®. The most popular product on the market, Frontline Plus®, utilizes both an adulticide and an IGR. An oral adulticide that is also available is nitenpyram which is in Capstar® and begins to kill fleas in 30 minutes. Frontline Plus also kills ticks which makes it the most popular product where ongoing tick protection is required.

Consult with your veterinarian to determine which flea and tick control products are best for you. The choice of flea control will depend on your climate, environment, your pet’s activities, and potential for exposure. However, with consistent use, it is almost always possible to control your flea problem. Using these products throughout the year typically will eliminate the need for regular insecticidal use. The following provide additional summary information on selected popular products.

Program from Novartis®

Program is available as a once a month pill or oral liquid suspension to be given with a full meal. Adult fleas that ingest Program’s key ingredient, lufenuron, produce sterile eggs. Program does not kill adult fleas so pets remain susceptible to fleas hatching and maturing pupa already present in the environment. Therefore, some time may pass before the all fleas are killed in an environment. In order to stop the life cycle, every animal in the environment must receive lufenuron. Pets should also be sprayed with an adulticide during the first week or two of starting Program.

Advantage from Bayer®

Advantage is applied topically on both dogs and cats and seems to be very well-tolerated by sensitive cats. Advantage kills fleas within 24 hours and 100% protection can be maintained for cats for 21 days and 90% protection can be maintained for dogs for 28 days. Advantage is susceptible to washing off so dogs that are active outdoors and dogs that swim or must be bathed frequently should be re-treated frequently. Up to weekly re-treatment is allowed. The imidacloprid in Advantage does not effect ticks, but K-9Advantix, with permethrin does. K9 Advantix is only labeled for once a month K9 Advantix is ONLY FOR USE WITH DOGS and MUST NOT BE ADMINISTERED TO CATS.

Frontline Spray, Frontline Plus And Frontline Top Spot from Merial®

Frontline Spray, Frontline Plus, and Frontline Top Spot comprise the market leading Frontline flea control product line. The fipronil in Frontline products is a broad spectrum insecticide available as a spray or topical. Fipronil works by binding chemically to the pet’s hair and is absorbed through the follicle by the sebaceous glands. As a spray, fipronil kills fleas at 95% for over 80 days after application on dogs and for 1 month with biweekly bathing. Frontline is labeled for puppies and kittens as young as 8 weeks (10 weeks for Top Spot) and it is not washed off by bathing. Frontline is also affective against ticks. Some cats may show minor adverse reactions with high volume use of the alcohol based spray product which should be applied no more than once a month. Frontline Plus also contains the IGR, S-methoprene which inhibits the growth of immature fleas.

Capstar from Novartis®

Capstar is an oral tablet for dogs and cats that may be administered as young as 4 weeks of age. It offers extremely rapid and complete killing of adult fleas and is safe enough that the tablets may be used whenever fleas are seen on your pet as often as once per day. Capstar may be used in combination with an IGR to kill fleas immediately to compliment the long-term control of an IGR such as Program.

Pet Safety During the Summer

The Dog Days of Summer

Summer’s hot weather means that your family and your pets will probably be spending more time outdoors in the yard. The new season can also bring along dangers for our pets, here are some tips to help your family pets stay safe this summer.

Everyday Garden Plants and Flowers

Warm weather puts everyone in the mood to plant pretty flowers in the yard or garden. However, many species of plants and flowers are poisonous to pets. And plant pesticides can also be deadly for your pets. Also make sure to check the labels of gardening products you purchase for pet safety, or use organic pesticides and fertilizer in your garden.

Some of the more common flowers that are poisonous include: Amaryllis, Azalea, Chrysanthemums, Cyclamen, Daffodils, Easter cactus, Hyacinth, Lilies, Narcissus, Oleander, and Tulips. Even your pet birds can become ill from chewing on a Lilly.  List of Plants Toxic to Your Pet >


Just like humans, pets can get allergies too so keep an eye out for itchy skin irritations, ear infections, loss of hair, or a runny nose and sneezing. Also pets with pink noses can be sensitive to the sun, requiring sun screen if they are outdoors for long periods of time. Make sure to check with your veterinarian.

Safe Outdoor Areas

If your dogs are outside a lot, turn the lights on for them at night. Older dogs and cats can begin to get blind so they need light, just like people, to see better in darkness.

Check to see if there are any buckets or toys, like wagons, that could collect water. Remove all “standing water” and turn these items upside down. Make sure that you change the water often in all ponds or pools.

Holes in the yard should be filled. Check around your barbecue and make sure gasoline, kerosene, or propane is sealed in tamper proof containers away from fire area. Also, the last thing anyone wants is for a pet to escape through a hole in the fence, and get hit by a car – so check fences often to prevent this.

Family members should be prepared for emergencies so have your vet’s number handy for everyone to locate, including housekeepers and babysitters.

Dog Safe Halloween

How Much Fun Is Halloween For Your Dog?

Kids and Halloween just go together, but not so much with our furry buddies. Dogs and stress go together like fire and water and I’m sure you don’t want your dog stressed this, or any other, holiday season.

No Candy for Doggie!

According to the ASPCA, dogs are more likely to suffer from poisoning and burns on Halloween than any other time of the year!:( Of course, you don’t want your furkid harmed due to negligence or cruelty .. here are some tips to keep in mind this Halloween season:

  • Keep your dog inside and away from all the commotion on Halloween!
  • Any open door is a potential for escape. Keep tags and collar on your dog during the trick or treating time, especially. Keep a baby gate in front of your door so your fur baby can’t run off with the trick or treaters!
  • Keep all forms of candy, and their wrappers, out of your dog’s reach.
  • Candy, especially Chocolate, is toxic for dogs. They just can’t digest it, keep your dog’s own treats on hand if she/he is feeling left out.
  • Keep decorations away from puppies’ reach, particularly electrical cords. Take care with rubber bands in costumes and chewable pieces from toys and all those scrumptious smelling wrappers.
  • Be nice to black cats.
  • If a costume comes with a face mask, don’t use it. Dogs usually aren’t too happy with having one wrapped around their face, getting fur tangled in the rubber bands.



Have a fun filled, and safe, Halloween!


Pet Food and Veterinary Assistance

Need Help With Vet Bills or Pet Food? 

Because our pets are a life-long commitment, it’s not unheard of for a dog or cat mom or dad to face a financial hardship at some point in the life of their fur-kids.

We can all agree that before bringing an animal into your heart and home, it’s important to be prepared for the financial responsibilities – veterinary care, quality food and treats, preventative measures, etc. – that come along with pet parenthood. However, over the course of that 15-20+ year commitment, things happen. Jobs are lost, injuries or accidents make it impossible to work, economies take a hit.

Unfortunately, in many cases of financial hardship, it’s the family pet that suffers.

Follow the link below if you need help with pet food or vet costs, as there are always alternatives!


How To Choose a Pet Sitter

Thinking of Hiring a Pet Sitter?

Choosing the right pet sitter for your dog or cat is crucial to your pet’s well-being and safety while you’re away. If hiring a pet sitter is something you’re thinking of, for now or in the future, here are some things to think about if this is all news to you!

You are entrusting your fur baby to anothers care, whether your home or the pet sitter’s home for boarding, or if you’re still in the kennel stage – consider these suggestions when choosing who will care for your pet in your absence.

Find Your Perfect Pet Sitter

  • Qualifications

During your Meet and Greet with your potential pet sitter, ask whether they’ve completed any special courses – such as Pet First Aid CPR.

Dog CPR and First Aid ~ Recertification is necessary every 2 years.

Additionally, if your pet has any special needs, medications, food or behavior issues, the pet sitter must feel comfortable managing them while you’re gone.

  • Communication

How will your pet sitter communicate with you while you’re away? Professional pet sitters will record daily notes about your pet’s activities, eating habits or mood. PetStay Today sends you digital photos daily to let you see exactly how your dog is feeling, doing and the quality of care they’re receiving.

  • Services and Fees

It’s important that you’re both on the same page about what’s expected, and the fees involved, the length of stay, pick up and drop off times. We aren’t open to the public for drop ins – we schedule by appt and reservation only.

  • Reviews and Recommendations

Your pet sitter should be able to show you reviews with recommendations for pet sitting services and in-home boarding. In addition, any pet sitter, or boarding kennel, should want to interact with your pet, and you, prior to your absence. Look up those reviews and read them carefully!

If you find the one-on-one interaction of pet sitting demands too much of your time and/or attention, and you prefer to deal with institutional kenneling, it’s best to Avoid disreputable kennels by knowing who they are.  You’ll find them by careful research for their reviews, and they’re out there.

  • Medical Release Form

In New York State, an attending veterinarian can’t treat a pet without their owners permission. A very important document that is often overlooked but, dogs especially, can be unpredictable in their reactions to the stimuli around them in a new environment. Even the smartest dog in the world has a developed mentality of the average toddler. A professional pet sitter will have you sign a medical release form in the event of an emergency, or sudden illness, so that your pet can get necessary medical treatment should the need arise!

Unless you already have signed forms filed with your own veterinarian, expect a concerned, conscientious and professional pet sitter or boarding kennel to ask you to sign a medical release form. (Please download and print our Veterinarian Release Form prior to your pet’s stay.)

  • Read the Fine Print in the Contract

Read the entire boarding contract before signing. Many kennels state in their contract –they aren’t responsible nor liable if your dog is killed or injured while in its kennel. Personally, if I were to bring my dog to an institutional kennel, which I would not, I would never sign such a contract. It tells me (a) there’s a chance it has happened before (b) there isn’t enough oversight of the dogs’ interactions (c) dogs aren’t fed regularly and/or (d) food bowls are picked up in 15 minutes whether the dogs ate or not.  Many kennels utilize this practice – and the dog hasn’t had a chance to eat! There is a belief that if the dog is hungry enough, or when they get hungry, they’ll eat. This just isn’t true. Under those depressing circumstances, a dog is much Less likely to eat and more likely to fall into depression, become agitated, irritable and anxious ..  just like a person would.

  • Who’s Watching The Dogs?

If you’re bringing your dog to an institutional boarding kennel ~ fleeting distress signals of discomfort, anxiety, bullying, and severe anxiety in some dogs may be overlooked by staff, so it’s crucial that someone is personally supervising dogs’ play time in person – not merely with video monitors.

Ask if the kennels’ policy is to exercise dogs in one group together for socializing. Regardless of how they limit the number of dogs in the group – Big Dogs should always be separated into their own group of Big Dogs. Some big dogs, who can be of the sweetest ever nature, may see small and/or medium breed size dogs as prey and kick off long lost or even unknown hunting instincts. Be very wary of any pet sitter or kennel that mixes big dogs with dogs other than big dogs, whether its out of negligence or ignorance, its a dangerous mix.

Remember to ask the pet sitter or kennel’s policy regarding actual human accompaniment while dogs exercise, play and have potty time. Some pet sitters and kennels may leave dogs to run around in groups, or separately, unsupervised as a general policy.

Here at Pet Stay Today, dogs are never let outside alone to play or tend to business. I always accompany each and every dog into our fenced-in backyard. It’s our opinion that leaving a dog outside alone is like letting a toddler play outside alone. We guarantee a safe and pleasant stay for your much loved doggy!



Pet Sitting and Home Dog Boarding, What Are the Differences?

What is Pet Sitting and Home Dog Boarding? And, what is the difference?

You need to go out of town for your work or business, go on vacation, attend a wedding or go to your family reunion. One of your biggest concerns is: who is going to care for my dog? Who is going to feed your pet, and what about the litter box? Who is going to take the dog out to attend to business and get some exercise and play time?

Will your dog really do better in a caged run next to other dogs? What about at night when no one is around? Does your dog suffer from separation anxiety and fearful when not with his family?

Commercial boarding or pet sitting and home dog boarding – which is the least stressful for all concerned?

Home Dog Boarding

In the past, commercial boarding was the only solution for pet owners needing to leave their pets.  Fortunately for them, and us, cold concrete and steel runs with sterile steel cages in a rather depressing environment are no longer the standards.

Stress is the biggest problem with boarding pets in the traditional commercial kennel facility.

The personal attention home dog boarding provides reduces your pets’ stress

I provide a fun and friendly environment for your dog with the personal care and attention that a commercial dog kennel just isn’t able to provide. Your dog is given the same amount of love and care as I do for my own.


In home dog boarding provides a normal, natural environment with lots of love. We have a fenced, spacious backyard but your dog is not left unattended and is always accompanied by me to play, exercise and attend to needs.


Pet Sitting and Drop In Visits

Pet Stay Today offers two types of pet sitting:

  1. I come to your home 2-3 times daily to feed, allow potty time, exercise and playtime for your dog. If requested, I will water the plants, bring in the mail and packages, rotate curtains/lights, and take out the garbage.
  2. I can come to your home when your pet absolutely cannot leave the home and needs overnight companionship and medication.
  3. I only travel 3 miles from zip code 13492 in Whitesboro, NY – this is a limited service provided within this radius.

Having a pet sitter come and go also has the unexpected added advantage of providing a live-in appearance when no one is home. Mail and newspaper collections eliminate away-from-home signals to potential thieves. A pet sitter creates near normal household activity that discourages possible risks when leaving a house unoccupied.

So, Which is Better – Commercial Boarding or Pet Sitting and Home Dog Boarding?

To me the obvious choice is pet sitting and home dog boarding! It is as close to a normal environment for the pets as possible, eliminates a great deal of stress for your pet and you, and is also great insurance against crime. It is my personal choice for my own dog.

Pet Stay Today is a Proud Member NAPPS

Pet Parents can get valuable information and resources from NAPPS, too! Click here for the -> NAPPS website and choose the heading “Pet Parents”.

Professional Pet Sitting Service and Home Dog Boarding in Whitesboro, NY for:

Dogs – Home Dog Boarding and Pet Sitting
Cats – Pet Sitting


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