Trying to get rid of fleas and ticks is a battle for the ages!
We fog, bomb, vacuum, and spray our homes. We shampoo, comb, dip, collar, and quarantine our dogs – all in a desperate attempt to be free from those hungry, bloodthirsty pests. Despite all of our efforts, it can be difficult to get real and honest reviews about the products that are supposed to help us defeat fleas and ticks.
Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Spray is probably one of the leading products in the all-natural flea spray category. It has a decent reputation. But let’s see if it does everything it claims to do on the label.
Vet’s Flea Spray Rating
Vet’s Best Spray contains essential oils instead of chemical insecticides. There are properties to essential oils that can kill and repel fleas and ticks. Some oils act as octopamine or adrenaline blockers in insects, which cause their central nervous system to go haywire.
They die from the interference to their heart rate, muscles, and metabolism. Yet these oils don’t always work on fleas and ticks in every area. Pests can build up resistance to even the hardiest and most toxic of synthetic pesticides.
The clear trade-off with Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Spray is that you get an environmentally friendly product that can be used on your dog, in your home, and even on yourself. There is also a formulation for cats that has a slight adjustment to the levels of the ingredients due to cats’ lowered ability to deal with the toxicity of essential oils.
Pest Strategies Rating
“Vet’s Best Spray hits all the marks for being a safer product for many pets, but it may not work in every situation”
There are two things that keep Vet’s Best from having a full five-star rating – allergic reactions and ineffectiveness.
There’s more to learn about both of those topics below and why I give Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Spray a 4/5-star rating.
Pros and Cons
First, here are the overall pros and cons to using this chemical pesticide alternative.
- All-natural and environmentally friendly
- Pleasant scent
- Kills fleas, flea eggs, and ticks with direct contact
- Repels fleas and ticks with frequent application
- Safe for use around children
- Non-staining formula for home use
- Product guarantee offered with full refund
- Requires multiple applications
- Potentially not as effective as chemical insecticides
- Fragrance of clove is bothersome to some
The Key Features
There are some features to Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Spray that make it different from other brands.
1. Blended All-Natural Ingredients
Vet’s Best Spray contains a formulation of peppermint oil and eugenol, which is clove extract. These essential oils have shown insecticidal properties. It has no harsh chemicals like pyrethrins or permethrins and it also has no cedar oil, which can cause a reaction in some pets.
2. Safe to Use Around the House
Not only can you spray this product directly on your pet and their skin, you can use this product in your home. Flea control should have a comprehensive approach where you not only treat your pet, but you also treat the places the live, sleep, play, and eat. The formula claims to leave no stains, but you should still test small areas first. You can also use this spray on your shoes and pant legs when you go outside, making it an all-purpose spray.
When evaluating products, we use five criteria:
- Company Reputation
- Active Ingredient
- Ease of Use
- Pet and Child Safety Rating
- Overall Effectiveness
Reputable Company/Customer Service:
Vet’s Best products were developed by a veterinarian, Dr. Dawn Curie Thomas in the 1980s. She was disappointed in the bad side-effects that some medications and insecticides caused the pest she treated, so she formulated her own natural alternatives based on scientific principles. Born into a family of scientists, this came naturally for Dr. Thomas.
Vet’s Best parent company is Retail Products Group (RPG). RPG has lines of other pet products including buffalo rawhide chews, pet waste bags, puppy pads, cleaning solutions, and other pet-centered products.
Vet’s Best seems to have a good reputation. They have an 800# to contact the company directly and they also have a contact form on their website for questions and concerns. Each product has a guarantee and can be returned for a full refund within 30 days. This is not limited to one bottle like other companies so you can buy multiple bottles for your home, yard, and pet to really test it out.
The company also features a blog which answers questions about pet care in general and under their “How to Use” section, they offer specific tips and tricks for using their line of products.
The two active ingredients in Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Spray are peppermint oil (.30%) and eugenol (.70%), a clove extract. These all-natural oils are generally accepted as safe for use as pesticides.
They are listed on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of minimum risk pesticide products. However, some animals may have adverse reactions.
Ease of Use:
The spray bottle itself is easy to use, though the need to reapply at least every 24 hours, if not more, makes it tedious to use. The label states to “repeat as necessary.”
Is This Pet and Child Safe?
Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Spray gets high marks for pet and child safety. You can comfortably spray this product around your home with very low risk of unwanted side effects.
However, pets can have allergic reactions to a full range of products including their shampoo, food, and even their toys. Some dogs and cats have bad reactions to chemical insecticides so owners want to try all-natural options instead.
The thing to remember is that the term “all-natural” on the label of a product does not necessarily mean that a pet will not have a reaction to it.
Some reactions include: Lethargy, vomiting, rashes, redness, and itchy, dry skin.
An all-natural flea and tick control spray can be effective, but it takes a great amount of diligence on a pet owner’s part to help it along. Instead of just putting on a few drops of insecticide once a month on the back of your dog’s neck or giving him a pill, you may find that you have to spray your dog several times per day. This is due to the volatile nature of essential oils. This just means the oils vaporize quickly and don’t leave any residual effects. It appears that Vet’s Best has worked out a stronger formulation that may help the volatility issue somewhat.
The other aspect of ineffectiveness for essential oils is that plant compounds have subtle variations depending on where and how the plants are grown. Producers of all-natural products must have very stringent quality assurance programs to make sure their products are effective consistently.
Varying plant compounds could account for some of the inconsistent results with all-natural products, though they could also be attributed to user error such as not spraying enough, not using an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, and not understanding the flea and tick life cycle to fight them efficiently.
“How Does It Compare Against Competitors?”
Let’s see how Vet’s Best stacks up against the competition, (one in the natural area, and one outside of it):
- Wondercide Natural Flea, Tick & Mosquito Control Spray for Pets + Home
- Adams Plus Flea and Tick Spray for Cats and Dogs
How Does Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Spray Compare to Wondercide Natural Flea, Tick & Mosquito Spray?
There are a lot of similarities between Vet’s Best line of products and Wondercide. They are both all-natural, but have different essential oil formulations. Wondercide has cedar oil and lemongrass, and would be best for pets who have had reactions to peppermint or cloves. Also, some pet parents are not fond of the smell of cloves either and choose Wondercide instead. Cedar oil, however, is another one of those oils that can cause a reaction in some pets. The toss-up between these two basically comes down to the individual sensitivities of each pet and their owners. The overall efficacy should be relatively similar.
Wondercide is a much newer company, so for that reason, I would give the edge to Vet’s Best.
How Does Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Spray Compare to Adams Plus Flea and Tick Spray for Cats and Dogs?
Adams Plus Spray has the active ingredients etofenprox and S-Methoprene, which is an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR). This makes Adams a more effective product as a pesticide because it also works to sterilize eggs and larvae which halts the life cycle of fleas. The trade-off is that these chemicals are harsh and toxic in order to do their job so effectively.
The decision between a natural product and a chemical pesticide could come down to the size of the infestation. If you have a serious problem, you made need to bring out the big guns. If you have a smaller flea or tick issue, you could make do perfectly fine with a natural repellent. When in doubt, check with your veterinarian to see which option will work best for your pet and your specific situation.
The Bottom Line
Vet’s Best has done a good job producing a product that appeals to a certain, savvy pet owner who doesn’t want to treat their pet with chemicals.
As an all-natural alternative, their Flea and Tick Spray is a good option for killing fleas, eggs, and ticks, however, pet owners should be aware of the limitations and the additional work they may need to do to truly eradicate a flea infestation in their home.