German shorthaired pointers (GSPs) are great dogs, particularly if you are looking for a born and bred hunting dog.
Even if you are not using your GSP as a hunting dog, these energetic dogs love to run around and explore the wild, which means that they are prone to picking up fleas and ticks.
Fleas and ticks are problems across the whole United States. Besides irritating your dog’s skin and getting into your home, these pests can cause more serious health complications such as Lyme disease if left untreated.
Here are some of the best treatments to try to beat the pests for your German Shorthair Pointer.
Our Top Flea and Tick Treatments for GSP Are:
Frontline Plus is one of the most common flea and tick prevention treatments for dogs. It is a topical treatment that kills pests such as fleas, ticks, lice, and their larvae.
Besides killing bugs that nest on your GSP’s fur, it also repels pests including fleas, ticks, and mosquitos from coming near your dog.
One of the benefits of Frontline Plus is that it is waterproof, which is helpful as German shorthaired pointers love swimming, particularly if you take them hunting for waterfowl.
To apply Frontline or any other topical cream, remove the blister with the cream and apply it to your dog’s fur in one to four spots, depending on its weight.
The cream distributes naturally throughout its body thanks to the sebaceous gland.
You have to reapply most topical treatments every 30 days, which is inconvenient for some dog owners. They are effective for shorthaired breeds such as GSPs.
While Frontline is convenient and most effective, it does not provide 100% protection, especially toward the end of its protection period.
Some dogs experience side effects such as sluggishness for a day or two after the treatment.
Other common topical treatments besides Frontline are Vectra 3D and Advantix II.
Besides topical treatments, you can also get chewable pills against fleas and ticks for your GSP. The two most common types are Bravecto and Nexgard.
Bravecto is a flea and tick-repelling medication administered in the form of a chew toy.
You only need to give one to your GSP every 12 weeks, meaning that the protection period is much longer than for topical solutions or even other pills such as Nexgard.
Many GSP owners are satisfied with Bravecto because it not only prevents bites, but it also repels insects altogether.
Nexgard is another chewable medication against fleas and ticks. It is FDA-certified to protect against Lyme disease as well, which Bravecto does not.
Nexgard is also highly effective against fleas and tick bites in general, more so than topical solutions but slightly less so than Bravecto.
You also have to give it to your dog more frequently, which is once a month with its food.
Chewables are the most effective form of flea and tick repellent for GSPs, and you can talk to your veterinarian if you can’t decide between Bravecto and Nexgard.
The medications are approved for slightly different populations.
Nexgard works for very young dogs, starting at eight weeks, while your GSP has to be at least six months old to start Bravecto.
However, Bravecto is safe for pregnant and lactating dogs, so use that if you are planning on breeding your GSP.
Before starting your German shorthaired pointer on any chewable treatment against fleas and ticks, you should know that a small minority of dogs that take these medications experience adverse side effects such as seizures.
Talk to your veterinarian if you have any concerns and monitor your dog carefully the first few days.
Some dogs also refuse medication and chews, so if you have trouble feeding your GSP pills, try another method.
They are also harder to get since you need a prescription from the veterinarian.
Flea and Tick Repellent Collars
Besides creams, another form of topical flea and tick repellant is the repelling collar. The most popular brand is Seresto.
Seresto flea and tick collars go around your dog’s neck and last for eight months.
Although not as effective as some oral treatments, they are still highly effective at preventing bites, infection, and nesting.
Seresto collars have the advantage in that you just have to use one for tick season and not worry about reapplying a cream or giving your dog another pill. However, the collar only works if it is physically attached to your dog.
Many German shorthaired pointers are very active dogs, particularly if they are hunting dogs.
While your dog is running through the woods, it could snag the collar and break it, taking away its only method of protection from fleas and ticks.
If your GSP is very active or prone to breaking collars, use a more durable method.
There are a few reasons why GSP owners turn to natural remedies to repel fleas, ticks, and other pests. Some dogs react badly to prescribed anti-flea and tick medication, which often has harsh chemicals in the ingredients.
Some treatments are environmentally harmful or have ingredients that can harm vulnerable members of your household such as babies.
Some popular natural remedies include garlic powder, rose geranium essential oil, and citronella. These remedies all have strong smells that repel pests.
Dilute them in a spray water bottle and apply to your dog’s fur for protection.
Although natural remedies are gentler on your dog, they are also gentler on fleas and ticks.
They repel some pests but will not prevent all bites. If you live in an area with plenty of ticks or take your German shorthaired pointer hunting often, you may need to break out the heavy-duty tick prevention medication to protect your dog.
Tips To Keep Your GSP Tick Free
There are a few methods for preventing fleas and ticks from getting on your GSP’s fur.
Chewables are usually the most effective, but also the riskiest because they can cause severe side effects in some dogs.
Topical treatments such as Frontline are also effective but require frequent reapplication and do not kill all pests. You can also try other treatments such as collars and natural remedies.