Fight Fleas and Tackle Ticks

A dog’s soft warm fur provides the classic environment for fleas and ticks and it’s inevitable that your dogs will come into contact with these pests at some point in their life. Both fleas and ticks are more common in the warmer months, however it’s not uncommon to spot them during the colder times of year. These insects survive by sucking blood from you pets, which can cause an array of health problems from mild allergies to fatal diseases. However, with a little know-how, they can be easily controlled.

Fighting Fleas

What are fleas?

Fleas are the most common external canine parasite. They are approximately 1-2mm in size and live from 7-14 days, allocating their time between laying eggs and living and feeding on your dog. Not only are they the number one cause of skin problems on dogs but they can transmit diseases and even cause anaemia, especially in young puppies.

How do you know if Your Dog is playing host to fleas?

If your dog is excessively licking and scratching, it may well be due to fleas. For more evidence, look for the following:
  • Flea droppings- little black specks you can usually see by separating your dog’s fur, especially just above the tail.
  • Look for white specks (flea eggs) in your dog’s fur
  • Scabs or hot spots on the skin could mean a flea allergy
  • How to treat and prevent fleas?


    One of the most effective ways to kill and prevent fleas is via oral tablets from your vet. These tablets can start killing fleas within 30-minutes and protect for a month.

    Spot on Treatments

    A liquid treatment that you put on the back of your dog’s neck to kill fleas and their eggs. Again a prescription from your vet is generally the most effective method.


    These are mainly useful for killing existing fleas but not as a prevention. Always follow the instructions carefully.


    Historically, flea collars had a limited effectiveness. However, there is a new generation of prescription flea collar available from your vet. They work by dispersing the active ingredient through your dog’s body rather than simply sitting on your dog’s neck. It’s always wise to get your vet’s opinion on which flea treatment is best for your dog.

    Tackling Ticks

    What are Ticks?

    Ticks are eight legged parasites that attach themselves to your dog and survive by drinking their blood. As they fill themselves on blood they increase to the size of a small pea. Ticks hover on tall grass and shrubs waiting for a host, such as your dog, to pass by and therefore you dog is most likely to pick up a tick whilst walking in long grass or woods. They can cause severe irritation and also transmit disease.

    Ticks are eight legged parasites

    How to spot a tick?

    It never hurts to check your dog regularly for ticks, especially in the warmer months when they’re most likely to strike. They are much easier to spot than fleas and generally look like a small warm. On closer inspection you will also be able to spot their legs. You may also find redness arounf the tick from skin irritation.

    Safe ways to remove a tick

    It’s essential never to pull a tick out from your dog’s skin as it’s likely the mouthpart will be left behind and cause infection. There are special tick removing tools that are available from your vet and most pet shops and that remove the whole tick safely, leaving nothing in your dog’s skin.
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