Sentinel Flea Medication
Sentinel is produced by Novartis, the company that also makes Program Flea Control. It's made only for dogs. It uses a specific form of insect growth regulator called a chitin synthesis inhibitor. Basically, that stops young fleas from molting their outer shells, a must to become biting adults. It also makes the females lay eggs that can't hatch. It is taken orally in pill form by the dog and you have to give it to them as part of a meal.
The other good thing about Sentinel is that it prevents several kinds of worms, including heartworm. You have to give it to the dog once a month to keep it effective.
The main benefit to using Sentinel is if you have to protect your dog from both heartworms and fleas - it saves you from getting two separate pills. If you don't need the heartworm protection because you live in an area that is not exposed, then it might be cheaper to go with another brand. Another big benefit is that because it is taken orally, only your dog will be exposed to the chemicals. Most of the other brands are applied to the exterior of your dog and spread through the skin to cover the dog - since they're on the exterior, you come into contact with it as well.
The downside is that your dog is at risk of heartworms year round, and fleas are generally not depending on where you live. This means for part of the year, you are paying for flea control you don't need. It might be a good idea to switch to a heartworm specific product such as Heartgard or ProHeart for that part of the year, and switch back to Sentinel when you need protection from both.
The website of Novartis has some more details about Sentinel, including the dosage and tablet strength information. There is also a part of the site you can view here that has specific safety information, including summaries of various studies done of the ingredients.
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