Ticks and Fleas: Know How to Fight Them

February 25, 2019
Whether it's on you or your pets, ticks and fleas couldn't get more annoying.

The chance that you and your pets have of getting infested with ticks and fleas grows as the temperature rises. These annoying parasites, besides provoking skin irritation and allergies, can also transfer diseases to both animals and humans. For this reason, it’s important that you know how to keep them at bay.

Consulting your vet for the best anti-parasite products

A puppy that has fleas and ticks scratching.

As it’s often said, it’s better to be safe than sorry. This is why you should try everything you can to prevent your furry friend from getting infested by ticks or fleas.

In any case, whether it’s preventing parasites or curing them, you must consult the veterinary doctor about which products are more suitable for your dog.

A professional should indicate the best treatment, according to your dog or cat’s characteristics. Some parameters include:

  • Age. It’s clearly not the same treating an adult dog as treating a puppy.
  • Weight. The dose should be administered in proportion to the size and weight of the animal.
  • Health conditions. Based on the pet’s medical record.
  • Habits and the pet’s living conditions/area. Based on whether the animal lives in the countryside or in the city, spends a lot of time outdoors or mostly stays inside.

When fighting against ticks and fleas, always ask the vet for the best products that suit your pet’s needs and characteristics.

Things to consider when acquiring an anti-parasitic product for your pet

There’s an abundance of flea and tick-fighting products in the market. That’s why it’s important that you get the best alternative to use for every stage of your pet’s life by consulting a veterinarian.

You don’t want to buy at random, or to rely only on the advice of friends or neighbors. It’s also not advisable to choose a product just because it’s cheaper. Cheap can be expensive in the long run.

If you’re not satisfied with the vet’s advice about anti-parasite products, you don’t have to take his word for it. You can ask other professionals for a second opinion and then make your own decision.

However, before treating your pet with an anti-parasitic product, read the information leaflet carefully and follow the instructions to the letter. And if you still have any doubts, consult the professional again.

Veterinary products for parasite control

It’s important not to forget that these products need to be designed for veterinary use and for each dog breed in particular. Here are some of the different product options used to fight fleas and ticks:

  • Anti-flea and tick dropper
  • Tick and flea sprays
  • Anti-tick and flea powder
  • Tick and flea shampoo

Bear in mind that the dose should be appropriate for your pet’s size and age. And only repeat the application as indicated by a professional.

In addition, you should pay close attention to any adverse reactions your furry friend may get after the application. If that’s the case, take it to the vet as soon as possible.

Notes on homemade and natural recipes against fleas and ticks

Besides the anti-parasite products generally elaborated in specialized laboratories, there are numerous homemade anti-parasite recipes that you can prepare at home. People have been passing down these ideas or have shared them by word of mouth. You can also find these ideas on the internet.

The first thing to keep in mind in these cases is that natural or homemade is not always synonymous with harmless. And that your dog or cat could end up with serious skin irritations.

So, if you want to use some of these options, consult the vet to see if it’s advisable to use them on your pet.

Getting rid of ticks

A dog being groomed by its owner.

If you can locate ticks on your doggie’s fur, it’s advisable to remove them yourself, rather than using a specific product to exterminate them.

There are special tweezers you can use to remove them and the operation must be carried out with great care. The parasite is attached to the animal’s skin and because of this, you’ll need to remove it totally.

Again, ask the vet to explain how to remove ticks. If you don’t dare to do it yourself, take your pet to the veterinary and have them do it for you.

Blagburn, B. L., & Dryden, M. W. (2009). Biology, Treatment, and Control of Flea and Tick Infestations. Veterinary Clinics of North America – Small Animal Practice. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cvsm.2009.07.001

Coles, T. B., & Dryden, M. W. (2014). Insecticide/acaricide resistance in fleas and ticks infesting dogs and cats. Parasites and Vectors. https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-3305-7-8

Samish, M., Ginsberg, H., & Glazer, I. (2004). Biological control of ticks. Parasitology. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0031182004005219