Preventing Fleas and Ticks on Your Pet

Gray and white cat scratching its ear with a hind leg; golden retriever-type dog in the background; fleas and ticks problem

Fleas and ticks can cause your pet serious health issues. Thankfully there are several ways to prevent parasites and keep your pet healthy. Read on to learn more.

Flea and Tick Treatments

The most effective way to keep your pet free of fleas and ticks is with a year-round preventative — a veterinarian can recommend the right type for your pet.

Topical: These come in once-monthly liquid applications that you apply directly to your pet’s skin, typically on the back of the neck. They’re designed to kill and sometimes even repel adult fleas. Some topical applications will also kill larvae.

Oral: Tablets are the most effective in treating and preventing infestations, and are a monthly dosage. They sometimes have a flavored option to entice your pet to eat them, though you may still need to conceal them in a pill pocket or other treat. The tablets will often kill eggs and larvae as well as adult parasites.

Collars: Modern flea and tick collars are more effective than they used to be and can provide protection for up to eight months. However, they only kill adult parasites and won’t stop current infestations.

Small yellow dog laying down in bed and scratching/biting his back, fleas and ticks problemAdditional Ways to Prevent Fleas and Ticks

  • Make sure your yard is tidy. Regularly trim back trees and bushes in your yard to help reduce flea and tick populations.
  • Vacuum frequently. Vacuuming and cleaning the carpets regularly helps get rid of flea eggs. It also greatly reduces your chances of a population increasing.
  • Keep your pup on leash. During peak summer tick season in your area, daily walks in your neighborhood are great! Daily romps through the woods or tall grasses are not. Keep your pet on a leash in low-grass areas to help reduce the risk of a tick latching on.
  • Check your pet and yourself. The quicker you remove a tick or kill a flea population, the faster you cut down the risk of disease and serious illness. On your pet, look between the toes, inside the ears, between the legs (in the “armpits”), and around the neck deep in the fur.

Whichever prevention methods you choose, the important part is to keep up with it so your furry friend stays healthy and happy!