How to Control Fleas and Ticks on Your Pet
Fleas and ticks can cause a lot of misery for your furry friend. These pesky parasites bite your cats and dogs, attach themselves to your pets, feed on their blood, transmit diseases, and can even spread some diseases to you and your family.
It is always a good idea to prevent fleas and ticks on your pet rather than treating the problem after an infestation has already started. Once these stubborn parasites have set up colonies on your pet or in your home, controlling them becomes more challenging.
However, if your pet has already got fleas or ticks, don’t worry! With an effective vet flea treatment or tick collar for dogs or cats, you can easily get rid of any fleas and ticks on your pet. For instance, the Seresto Flea and Tick Control collar kills fleas through contact within 24 hours and repels and kills ticks before they bite your pet.
Here are a few things you should know in order to successfully control fleas and ticks on your pet.
How do cats and dogs get fleas and ticks?
Dogs and cats usually get fleas from other flea-infested animals. Fleas can jump up to 33 cm. This means that fleas from a stray animal or one of your pet’s furry friends can easily jump onto your pet during their daily walkies.
While ticks don’t jump or fly, they wait for your dog or cat to pass by them, often holding on to grasses or foliage. As your pet brushes against those grasses, the ticks would latch onto your dog or cat.
Unfortunately, your pets can get fleas and ticks even when they are indoors. For instance, you or your family members can unknowingly bring fleas into the house. Once the fleas find a way into your home, they can easily jump ship and invade your pets.
That’s why you should always protect your pet against fleas and ticks, for example with the use of a Seresto collar. The collar is clinically proven to be effective against fleas and ticks for 7-8 months.
How to spot ticks on your pet
Contrary to a common misconception, ticks are not always large or easy to spot. They only grow in size as they latch onto your cat or dog and fill their bodies with blood. If you carefully run your fingers over your pet’s skin, you should be able to identify any ticks. However, sometimes you may mistake any skin tags or scabs on your pet for ticks. In order to confirm, consider taking a close look at the lump and see if it has the same colour as your pet’s skin. If the colours are different, it could be a tick. Ticks are often grey or dark brown. Also, you should clearly be able to see a tick’s eight legs.
How to tell if your pet has fleas
When it comes to spotting the signs of a flea infestation, start by asking yourself the below questions.
- Is your dog or cat itching a lot more than usual?
- Can you see any tiny dark specks, aka flea dirt on your pet’s skin?
- Can you capture any dead fleas or flea dirt with a flea comb?
- Can you spot a series of red bites, aka flea bites on your pet’s skin?
If you replied with ‘yes’ to one or more of the above questions, your pet probably has fleas.
How can you remove present ticks safely from your pet?
Ticks are notorious for carrying and spreading diseases in cats and dogs. For instance, your pet can get Babesiosis and Lyme disease from tick bites.
Once you spot a tick on your pet, try to remove it without delay as early removal helps mitigate the risk of infection. However, removing a tick may need some practice as you have to learn how to extract the entire tick at once.
If you pull the tick in the wrong place or excessively squeeze it, you may end up breaking the tick and leaving its mouthparts behind in the pet’s skin, which could increase the risk of infection. Follow the steps below to remove a tick the right way.
- Wear gloves and get a tick removal tool, aka, a tick hook.
- Before you start the process, make sure the pet stays still in one place.
- Part the pet’s fur to get a good view of the tick.
- Use the tick hook to grasp the tick securely but don’t squeeze or crush it.
- Now pull the hook straight upward to remove the entire tick.
- If the tick breaks, disinfect the area with alcohol and visit your vet if you’re concerned about the remaining part. Never try to remove the broken part yourself.
- Collect the tick in a sealable jar and dispose of it.
- Clean the bite area and the tick removal tool and wash your hands with soap and water.
How to get rid of fleas and ticks on pets
You’ll find many treatment options to control and prevent fleas and ticks on pets. However, you should be able to choose a treatment method that works best for your pet and suits your lifestyle. Here are two of the most popular and effective options.
1. Flea and tick collars
Flea and tick collars have come a long way since they were first introduced. Unlike older-style collars, modern collars can keep your pets protected against fleas and ticks for several months at a time. For instance, one application of the Seresto Flea and Tick Control collar is enough to give your pet 7-8 months of continuous protection. Thanks to technological advances, newer-style collars like Seresto collars are capable of releasing the active ingredients at a slow and constant rate over a long period. This also helps spread the ingredients evenly across your pet’s entire body.
The newer generation collars also outperform their older counterparts in terms of safety and effectiveness. For instance, Seresto collars contain imidacloprid to kill fleas within 24 hours, and flumethrin to actively repel and kill ticks through contact. This also means that fleas and ticks do not have to bite your pet to be affected.
In addition, the Seresto flea and tick collars for dogs and cats come with a ratchet release mechanism that allows the collar to widen should your pet become trapped.
It is easy to see why flea and tick collars are one of the most popular methods out there for treating fleas and ticks on pets. Remember, however, that not all collars are created equal. It is always a good idea to use a vet-recommended flea and tick collar, such as the Seresto Flea and Tick Control collar.
2. Spot-on treatments
Spot-on treatments are essentially medicinal liquids applied directly to your pet’s skin. You have to manually squeeze the liquid medication onto the pet’s skin between its shoulder blades. Then the treatment will spread across the pet’s body and kill any fleas and ticks through contact before they even bite your pet.
However, not all spot-on treatments work the same way. Some treatments get absorbed into the pet’s bloodstream, meaning fleas and ticks must bite your cat or dog in order to be killed.
Spot-on treatments are an effective solution and they can offer protection to your pet for up to one month.
However, if you are looking for the longest-lasting single application flea and tick protection product, Seresto collars are definitely worth checking out.