Toxic Pet Medication? Ingredients to Avoid

Do you use flea or tick medications on your pet?

A report released by the Natural Resources Defense Council linked chemicals found in flea and tick medications to serious health problems in both pets and humans. The main offenders are organophosphate insecticides and carbamates, which interfere with nerve signals in the body. Though these chemicals are meant to work on insects, they can have similar effects on the nervous systems of pets and humans, particularly children because of their developing nervous system. There is also ample evidence to suggest that long-term exposure to products containing such chemicals can produce serious health problems, such as later-in-life cancer and Parkinson’s, in children who were exposed at an early age. Kittens and cats are also particularly vulnerable when exposed to over-the-counter products for dogs.

This doesn’t mean that all flea and tick medications are dangerous: this mainly applies to older brands of OTC medications. Avoid products that list chlorpyrifos, dichlorvos, phosmet, naled, tetrachlorvinphos, diazinon, malathion, carbaryl, or propoxur in their active ingredients. Take the safe route and always get your pet’s medication from your vet–it’s not worth the few bucks you’d save by buying products over the counter. There are also safe non-pesticide methods to flea and tick control, including using flea combs, regular shampooing, increased vacuuming and sweeping, and keeping pets inside. But again, talk to your vet about what is best for your pet.

Green Options Media is a network of environmentally-focused blogs providing users with the information needed to make sustainable choices. Written by experienced professionals, Green Options Media’s blogs engage visitors with authoritative content, compelling discussions, and actionable advice. We invite anyone with questions, or simply curiosity, to add their voices to the community, and share their approaches to achieving abundance.

By Kelli Best-Oliver, Green Options


Kelly R4 years ago

Thank-You, for the post especially when you said something about keeping your pets inside. Not only will they not get fleas they are more likely to not get into fights(usually cats), contribute to over population, and being picked up by research vehicles, or being hit by one along with a whole host of other things

Angela N.
Angela N5 years ago

thank you :)

Elaine A.
Elaine Al Meqdad5 years ago

Love all the pet info. I even bookmarked this page.

Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

Mel M.
Past Member 5 years ago

thank you for the article

Walter Firth
Walter Firth6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

nikki mazen
nicole lewis6 years ago

are the flea and tick collars toxic since they wear them for longer periods of time?

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Bracky Y.
Bracky Y6 years ago

whew, it's a good thing I didn't use the cat flea medication I bought! I have more than one cat and I know full well that if you give flea treatment to a cat who also has a buddy then their buddy might lick the flea treatment. so I used homemade flea treatment with lemon juice which wasn't toxic. it works pretty well!

ed S.
ed Strong6 years ago

ive used revolution for years and it kills 90% of all parasites but i noticed a drop in fertility of my male and female cats plus my kittens that were born died few weeks later . now that i have not used revolution for a couple of years my cats are conceving more and kittens living longer . for 2 yrs my female cats were steral , no heat cycles . revolution says it makes flea eggs not hatch , makes fleas steral . revolution is absorbed into your animals blood , use at your own risk ; bewarie of what you use on your pets . i now use sargents flea and tick that is a holistic formula and a great deoderiser also , problem is its only good for 3 days at a time to repell blood suckers . im thinking about using an oiler additive trying garlic and orange oil or lemon oil to help keep it longer in their fur after a rain.