Hartz’s line of UltraGuard flea and tick protection has been a popular alternative to more expensive flea and tick preventatives for years.
Unfortunately, many cat and dog owners have discovered that saving a few dollars at the register can lead to high veterinary bills and the death of their pets.
Facebook pages (e.g. Hartz Products Are Killing Our Pets and Facebook Pets And People Against Hartz Pet Products) and a website known as HartzVictims.org are filled with stories dating as far back as November of 2002 from pet parents who used Hartz UltraGuard topical flea prevention or flea collars on their cats and dogs.
Every story either ends in the severe injury or the death of the animal UltraGuard flea and tick preventative was applied to.
Steve M. posted on HartzVictims.org: “I purchased the Hartz UltraGuard Flea and Tick Prevention. Applied it by label directions as I alway have with any flea treatment. Within 24 hours, my cat began to lose his hair around his neck, shoulders, and head. He is not the same cat now. His personality is fearful, he runs from me and hides. He meows a sound that sounds like he is trying to use words instead of meows. The fleas are worse on him now than before the treatment. He has signs of skin damage in areas that were not treated. It is inside of him, and I cannot do anything about it. I feel horrible. His skin is red and irritated. I cannot touch him now to pick him up; he just runs away and hides. I cannot get to him to wash it off. It has been 5 days. I am surprised he is still alive.
Brianna S. posted on HartzVictims.org: “On Monday, Mom picked up two Hartz flea collars, one for each of our dogs, to take them for a walk. I got home from work and noticed the scent they omitted was particularly strong in comparison to collars we’ve previously purchased. My dogs were restless all night and in the morning wouldn’t eat. I found this behaviour very strange and immediately took my older dog to the vet as she was so weak she could barely move. After some research, we immediately removed the collars. Our vet mentioned that no matter what size the collar, the medication was the same across the sizes. She sent off some blood work, but thought it would pass as her signs weren’t severe. I took my sick dog home where she continued to throw up water. At 3 a.m., awful howls came from our dog. Her stomach was spasming, legs rigid, unable to move. Shortly later, she passed away. Our dog was very small and a little older, but before yesterday she showed no signs of anything wrong. She was happy, spunky and playful. I feel like my dog was taken from me without notice. She never overly showed signs of aging, or getting old ,and her check-ups were regular and healthy. Luckily, our other dog is quite a bit younger and stopped acting strange once the collar was removed. Our older dog though, our family and the vet fear, was unable to break down the chemicals on Hartz collars due to her age and size, ultimately poisoning her and resulting in her death.”
Michelle M. posted on the Facebook page Hartz Products Are Killing Our Pets: “We lost our beloved Dexter Nov. 15, 2015 from using Hartz flea and tick products.. These products need to be taken off the market, and Hartz needs to be held responsible for so many deaths of beloved animals. Every time I think that I caused our sweet boy’s death, it makes me furious and sad. I tried to save a few dollars and look what happened. We will see you again at The Rainbow Bridge sweet boy…”
Hartz insists its flea and tick preventatives are completely safe for pets and has even refunded pet owners the money spent on the products, but consumers are unimpressed with the gesture.
Dawn W. posted on the Facebook page Facebook Pets and People Against Hartz Pet Products: “A Hartz flea collar killed my beautiful two-year-old cat. I’ve spoken with Hartz, and they are refunding me the cost of the collar. Big deal…I could care less about the money. I want all of their flea products pulled from store shelves until they are able to change the ingredients.”
What are your experiences with Hartz pet products? Let me know in the comments, and your story might be featured in my next article as I follow the stories of Hartz victims.