Next week we will be bringing home a new pug puppy. We have been organic for the last two years in the yard. Many vets and breeders recommend Frontline and K9 Advantix for flea and tick control. These products contain pyrethium (spelling?) which is a toxin that kills fleas and ticks and even mosquitos. Isn't this harmful to dogs as well? A vet has told me it is not harmful to dogs because it does not enter their bloodstream only their skin, but dogs lick their skin. Any advice on these products and the best organic way to keep parasites and pests off dogs?
As far as I know, both K9 Advantix (Bayer) and Frontline Plus (Merial) use PERMETHRIN, not pyrethrum, as the second active ingredient. There is quite a difference between pyrethrum and the synthetic pyrethroid permethrin, so don't confuse them (especially if cats are involved). If you've been maintaining the yard organically, do you have fleas in the yard where the dog goes? If you do and if the yard is fenced, it would be a good thing to put out beneficial nematodes now.
The idea/marketing behind pushing/using the permethrin-added products is to repel mosquitoes and thereby "help prevent" heartworm. I believe that if I were going to go a chemical route on heartworm, I'd rather use the heartworm-specific preventatives rather than relying on a hit-or-miss spot-on repellent. I have seen some misleading suggestions about mosquitoes and West Nile Virus in dogs. According to the CDC, WNV is not a risk to dogs, so I wouldn't give much credence to marketing hype about repelling mosquitoes for that purpose.