Are Seresto Collars for Dogs Safe?

Are Seresto Collars for Dogs Safe?

Author WDF Staff


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Keeping our dogs safe from fleas and ticks is essential. One of the most popular ways to do that is by using flea and tick collars. These collars contain chemicals that repel insects. For decades, they have been one of the most elegant ways of keeping our dogs safe from these pesky topical parasites.

One of the most popular flea and tick collars is Seresto. This flea collar is made by Bayer, a pharmaceutical giant that merged its veterinary department with American Elanco in 2021. Seresto was really popular in the dog owner circles until recently. There was an interesting study that claims this product might be unsafe for animals. Here’s what you should know about Seresto flea collars for dogs.

What is Seresto?

Seresto is a flea collar that distributes the insect repellant across the dog’s body. The idea is that this collar will keep your dog safe from ticks and fleas. When tick or flea season comes, many dog owners will do anything they can to keep their pets and homes free of these parasites. However, even despite our best efforts, ticks and fleas can find a way to infect our dogs.

The active ingredients in Seresto collars are imidacloprid and flumethrin. Imidacloprid is an ingredient that will affect the flea’s central nervous system and kill them upon contact. The flea doesn’t have to bite your dog to be killed. Flumethrin is responsible for repelling ticks. It falls pyrethroid class, and this active ingredient should deter ticks from biting your dog. However, if they do happen to bite, the bite should kill the tick.

seresto collar for dogs

Are they safe?

In March of 2021, there was a huge discussion about the safety of Seresto collars. A non-profit organization organized research after a couple of incidents that happened where Seresto collars were involved in. Mind you, there wasn’t any actual proof Seresto had anything to do with those incidents. Still, dog owners and animal welfare organizations got pretty worried.

The manufacturer, Elanco, gave a statement and ensured the public their collars were very safe. If incidents happened, they were related to mild skin irritations. Naturally, these things are expected. Some dogs have more sensitive skin than others. When their skin gets in touch with insect repellants, they may provoke a reaction.

The debate around Seresto collar’s safety got so intense, it even reached Congress. Apparently, the non-profit collected documents that showed over 75.000 incidents that involved Seresto collars. Even if you are entirely new to the world of dogs, you can conclude that that number is on the extreme side. Keep in mind that Seresto was introduced to the US in 2012. That is over 8.000 incidents per year.

Problems with the research

If you don’t dig any deeper, 75.000 cases are reason enough not to use this collar on your dog. However, there are a few things that bother us. If the product was so unsafe, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), which regulates products containing pesticides, would issue a warning. Here are some of our biggest concerns regarding the legitimacy of the claim that Seresto causes harm to pets;

  • In the report, the EPA included all incidents regarding Seresto collars. That includes cases where dogs or puppies chewed up the collar and swallowed pieces.
  • There is a serious lack of evidence and investigations to the exact causes of death. Correlation does not mean causation. If a dog has a Seresto collar and ingests something toxic, like alcohol or chocolate, it doesn’t mean the collar caused the death.
  • There were huge seizures of counterfeit Seresto collars in 2020. They come from unknown manufacturers and contain unknown chemicals.
  • The articles and research don’t contain expert commentary or opinions. Vets are generally pretty happy with Seresto collars, and we doubt they would recommend something unsafe.

seresto collar for dogs

Benefits of using Seresto collars for dogs

When keeping dogs safe from fleas and ticks, we don’t want something complicated and difficult to use. There are different chewables, but they might cause various side effects. They also require our dogs to ingest pesticides, and many dog owners are against that. It is not really surprising that Seresto collars for dogs are so popular. Many dog owners love the fact that they simply have to place it around the dog’s neck, and they are protected. Here are some of our favorite benefits of using Seresto collars;

  • The protection lasts 8 months
  • Seresto has an affordable price
  • The collar is odorless and non-greasy
  • It protects against sarcoptic mange
  • Seresto is fast (starts killing fleas and ticks within 24 hours)
  • You don’t have to take it off for baths or swims (Seresto is waterproof, although frequent exposure to water will reduce its effectiveness)

In conclusion

There is always a chance dogs can have a bad reaction to a flea collar, and Seresto is no different. However, keeping dogs safe from fleas and ticks is crucial. If you are worried about Seresto’s safety, talk to your vet. We can tell you we use Seresto for our dogs, and we had no bad reactions on 17 dogs currently on our team. Seresto is an elegant and effective solution, although some dogs with really thick hair, like Swiss White Shepherds, might need a bit more protection. Nevertheless, most dogs and dog owners are really happy with what this collar offers them.

World Dog Finder team

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