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Why Is Your Dog’s Seresto Collar Not Working?

Fleas and ticks are the enemies of warm seasons because they cause so much trouble for your pooch. Sometimes, treatments for these infestations can make it even worse, that’s why many pet parents take preventive measures like the Seresto collar.

However, there have been instances where the Seresto flea collar is not working properly and in some cases, dog owners have observed harmful counter effects after they started using these collars on their dogs.

What should you do if your dog’s Seresto collar is not working? 

In the case your Seresto collar is not working, you should first check if you’re using it properly and then consider changing it to a new one or consult your veterinarian for an alternative flea and tick prevention method.

Seresto collars are considered highly effective tools against fleas and ticks and they’re particularly loved by pet parents because their effect can last up to 8 months.

Some pet parents will use these collars only during flea and tick season, others leave it on all year round, which is why its long-lasting effect is particularly important.

Nonetheless, there may be some products that are faulty or not as effective. Sometimes it may also be that there has been an improper or not careful enough use of the collar.

If you have problems with a Seresto collar, it may be for one of these reasons:

– Your dog is not wearing it: this may seem obvious, but the collar only works when your dog is wearing it and stops working as soon as you remove it. It has no lasting effect after you remove it. It won’t work properly even if it’s tearing apart, so check that it’s in its best conditions or consider buying a new one;

– You bathe your dog too often: the Seresto collar is water-resistant, but there is a limit to how often it can get wet. After a while, it will either stop working or lose effectiveness. It is recommended not to bathe your dog more than once a month while they’re wearing the collar, and swimming is also strongly discouraged;

– Your dog already has ticks: the flea collar is a preventive method, not a treatment and it may also not be as effective against adult ticks. If your dog has ticks before you apply the collar, you will need to remove them manually first, otherwise, they will cling onto your dog for weeks even while the collar is working;

– Your dog has thick fur: it may be hard for the collar to work properly on a thick coat because it can’t penetrate it thoroughly and that may be why the Seresto is not working.

When you’re following all instructions and safety measures and the collar is still not working, consider going back where you bought it and explain the situation. In the alternative, ask your veterinarian for replacement treatment.

Lately, there have also been several cases of fake Seresto collars, which are not easy to identify if you’ve never used a Seresto collar before.

How to identify a fake Seresto collar

Seresto collars are so well-known that it probably doesn’t come as surprising that some fraudsters have started making fake ones.

In the US there have already been cases of intercepted parcels from China containing counterfeit Seresto collars, which are produced at a lower cost with no regard for their real effectiveness or the harmful effects they could have on pets.

In fact, these fake collars could cause severe burns on your pet’s skin or, in the best case, simply not work at all and thus not protect your dog from fleas and ticks.

It is important to identify these fake collars and luckily, they are very different from the original.

If you want to know how to recognize a fake Seresto collar from a real one, you need to check the following:

Original Seresto collars have bigger packages (12 cm across) than fake ones

The design of the package is also different. Most original Seresto collars have a blue/dark blue triangle on the front, while the fake ones DO NOT have it;

The quality of the print on fake Seresto collars is very bad and may contain spelling mistakes. The front cover is a sticker that can be peeled off, which doesn’t happen with original Seresto collars because the package cover is NOT a sticker, but actually printed on it;

The Seresto logo on original products feels raised to the touch;

On the back of fake Seresto collars, you don’t find an expiration date nor LOT number, which are BOTH featured on the back of the original product;

Original Seresto collars packages are sealed with a plastic wrapper all around, while fake ones usually one have a small round sticker as a seal;

The inside of the tin lid on original collars is colored based on the type of product: red for big dogs, blue for small dogs, orange for cats;

The collar itself is also sealed in a plastic wrapper, which is usually missing in fake products;

Inside original Seresto collars packages, there is a leaflet with information and safety guidelines about the product;

Fake collars will feel different to the touch, they have a rubbery and cheap feel compared to original collars;

Original Seresto collars usually have a white powder finishing on them that you can clearly feel to the touch, which is missing in fake collars;

Seresto collars have a raised ridge along the entire length of the collar;

Original products have a safety release, NOT a buckle;

Original collars have the LOT number on the collar itself and it matches the LOT number on the package;

Fake collars usually smell of chemicals, originals DO NOT smell at all.

While buying online is convenient and often cheaper, it’s here that fake Seresto collars are easier to come across.

Many pet parents fall into this trap attracted by the cheap prices, but if you consider the health risks and consequent medical expenses, it is actually safer and cheaper to buy the original product.

You can find original Seresto collars through your veterinarian, in your local high street pet shop or agricultural store. When you buy from trustworthy and physical sources, it is also easier to solve problems if your flea collar is not working.

How long does it take for Seresto collars to start working? 

Sometimes when you think your Seresto collar is not working, maybe it just hasn’t started working yet.

In fact, these collars need 24/48 hours from the moment your dog starts wearing it to start releasing the flea and tick treatment.

Take also into consideration that the removal process could take weeks to be fully effective, so before changing a Seresto collar have a little patience!

Nonetheless, there may be issues related to these collars that are impossible to predict, such as:

– The active ingredients of the collar aren’t spreading properly over your dog’s coat, preventing the treatment from working successfully;

– The collar may only work around the neck area and not reach the tail area, leaving part of the coat without defenses;

– There are many kinds of tick and fleas, some of them could be immune to the active ingredients of the Seresto collar.

Every dog is unique and could have different reactions to the active ingredients, so the Seresto collar might simply not be the ideal solution for your dog. Consult your veterinarian to know what options are available for your pooch.

How does the Seresto collar work? 

The active ingredients in a Seresto collar are mainly Flumethrin and Imidacloprid. These components are meant to kill ticks and fleas, but also:

  • Kill parasites on contact
  • Keep ticks and flea away for up to 8 months
  • Kill flea larvae
  • Kill nymphs
  • Protect your dog from parasites bites
  • Control infestations of the coat

Having “active” ingredients means the collar will work non-stop and slowly get rid of all infestations. However, as we mentioned if ticks were already present on your dog when they first wore the collar, it could take several weeks to get rid of them.

Also, if the coat was infested by pupae (larvae cocoons) you need to consider that these will turn into fleas or ticks within 6 weeks and the collar will start slowly getting rid of them only then, so it’s a slow process.

Among pet parents and dog experts, there are conflicting opinions regarding the effectiveness of these collars. In fact, while they’re good at preventing infestations, they’re not optimal at treating them and may also be too weak to kill adult fleas.

In addition, the action of flea collars is limited to your dog’s back, while fleas tend to hide in many subtle places like armpits, bellies, backsides, and groins, which could make these products fairly less impactful.

Using Seresto collars is not recommended for dogs under 7 weeks of age, pregnant dogs, old or immunocompromised dogs, and nursing dogs. Before you decide to start a flea and tick treatment, consult your veterinarian.

How long do Seresto collars last? 

The official statement from manufacturers is that Seresto collars last up to 8 months, however, it also depends on the kind of lifestyle your dog has.

For example, if you regularly bring your dog for a good swim, the Seresto collar may last 5 months, if you’re lucky.

Some pet parents prefer to change their Seresto collar more often, especially during high season for flea and ticks (every 1-2 months), however, given that this kind of product is not exactly cheap, as long as it works properly it is not necessary to replace it.

It is recommended to keep your receipt so you can remember when it’s time to change the collar. In case you can’t remember when you purchased it, it’s safer to just replace it right away.

Flea and tick collar poisoning in dogs. 

While flea collars are the most popular choice to get rid of flea and tick infestations, there is also a lot of concern from pet parents and some veterinarians around these products.

Specifically, there have been several cases of dogs seemingly being harmed or poisoned by flea collars, including the Seresto collar.

The issue has become prominent enough to spawn several articles across the web that absolutely discourage pet owners from buying these products.

The main concern is that the components that are meant to poison and kill fleas and ticks may also harm your dog in the process. Many pet owners do not feel safe applying these kinds of chemicals on their dog’s coat.

Incidents involving Seresto flea collars. 

Dr. Coger, a dog trainer, and veterinarian warns pet parents against the harmful effects of Seresto collars by reporting data from the US EPA Office of Pesticide Programs Incident Data System.

The data reads that in the year 2016-2017 alone there have been over 14-thousand incidents involving Seresto collars, of which 300 were animal deaths resulting from the use of the collar.

The most common symptom associated with these collars is the appearance of seizures even in dogs that were completely healthy before they started using Seresto.

Other symptoms may include skin rashes, gastrointestinal problems, and chemical burns. It is important to remember that your dog is going to lick their fur and therefore these chemicals, could turn out lethal when ingested.

Seeing how at least 10% of the total incidents reported were either fatal or severe, one might wonder if it’s worth it to take the risk to use this kind of product on their dog.

Human health risks related to the use of flea collars. 

Another reason for concern is that a study by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) highlighted how dangerous the consequences of the use of flea collars are for humans.

In fact, flea collars may contain excessive levels of pesticides that remain on the animal’s coat for weeks after use. Everything and anyone that comes in contact with the pet in question is at risk of being infected by these pesticides.

It doesn’t help that these toxins easily move from a pet to house furniture, toys, and eventually, people. Even kids who play with the family dog may easily come in contact with these chemicals.

One of the most dangerous chemicals found in flea collars is Tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP), which particularly affects the central nervous system.

For a pregnant woman or a small child, this could mean the development of serious disabilities that will stay with the child for the rest of their lives.

How to choose the right flea and tick treatment for your dog. 

Choosing the right treatment for your dog is easy, but can be a trial-and-error process.

First of all, you need to decide whether you want to use the most popular chemical products, or if you’d rather go the natural route. By making this choice, you will already narrow down your options greatly.

A flea and tick treatment should be tailored to your dog’s needs. Depending on the area you live in, there may be different kinds of ticks and fleas so you need to take this detail into consideration when choosing the treatment.

In some areas, ticks can carry fatal illnesses like Lyme disease, so it will be important to take the right precautions to avoid your dog getting infected.

The flea treatment should also match your dog’s lifestyle. A couch surfer may need less protection than a dog who spends most of the time running outside.

There are several treatments apart from collars, which include but are not limited to dog treats, sprays, or topical solutions.

The first treatment you try may not be the right one, so it’s important you keep track of your dog’s reaction to it and change the treatment according to what they feel comfortable with.

After all, you will make the process easier for yourself if you choose something your dog accepts without struggles. Consider that you’re going to apply this treatment for their whole life and you don’t want to fight with your dog every time.

When you’re in the process of choosing the right prevention method for your dog, make sure to wait 30 days from the application before applying a different product, or you will risk harming your dog.

Alternatives to flea and tick collars. 

When you step out of the flea collars world, you will see that there are many alternatives to try out, and not all of them involve the use of industrial products.

Here are some tips to keep your dog clean from ticks and fleas without collars:

  • Bathe your dog often, especially after they played outside
  • Wash your dog’s bed weekly and if possible, replace it regularly
  • Use diatomaceous earth on your furniture, rugs, and carpets to kill the fleas

You can also improve your dog’s diet to make it healthier or change their diet from kibbles to raw food. While not fully proven, fleas are notoriously attracted by sugars, which are heavily featured in processed food.

Changing your dog’s diet to a raw one might make your dog less attractive to these parasites. Of course, before making any changes in your dog’s diet you should consult your veterinarian.

There are also many essential oils that are flea-repellents, such as:

  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Citronella
  • Lemon
  • Cedarwood
  • Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Neem
  • Clove
  • Rosemary
  • Catnip

Before using oils, it’s recommended to study them thoroughly and learn which oils are better for pets. In fact, some oils may be toxic for pets, even though it usually depends on the amount and the original source.

Dogs have a strong sense of smell, so make sure to learn which amount of oil is safe for your dog to have on. Once you have mastered essential oils, you can also make your homemade flea and tick repellants.

Note also that only high-quality oils should be used for these treatments, which usually exclude those you can find at the grocery store.

If you’re thinking of using essential oils to replace the usual flea and tick treatment, please talk with your veterinarian beforehand.