Preventing and Treating Fleas and Ticks in Dogs and Cats

Fleas and ticks are among the common concerns every pet and pet owner has, especially during the warm season. Those pesky parasites are out for your pet’s blood and thrive in dogs' or cats’ fur. They can even cause different diseases that can put your furry friends in danger.

If your dog or cat happens to experience flea and tick infestation, worry not because there are ways you can ward off the parasites for good. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to protect your beloved dogs and cats from the persistent menace of fleas and ticks. Uncover the best prevention methods to keep your fur babies happy, healthy, and itch-free.

What are fleas?

Fleas are wingless insects that commonly plague pets. They can be acquired from other pets, your garden, or even your own home. These sneaky creatures are capable of hitching a ride on our pets, making them unwitting carriers.

Dalmatian sitting on the grass

With astonishing agility, certain flea species can leap over 100 times their own body length. To make matters worse, fleas have quite a lifespan, ranging from 14 days to a year. Female fleas can deposit up to 50 eggs daily and a staggering 1,500 throughout their lifetime.

These eggs eventually hatch into tiny larvae that burrow into carpets, upholstery, and, unfortunately, your pet's bedding. They remain in a dormant pupae stage for months until vibrations and warmth trigger their transformation into adult fleas, eagerly latching onto passing hosts like your pet cat or dog.

  • Flea symptoms

Fleas bring great discomfort to your pet's body. The clear indication that your dog or cat has fleas is, unsurprisingly, persistent scratching. If your pet is allergic to fleas, they may develop sores and scabs. Itching and sometimes excessive grooming can result in bald patches on their coat.

Cat scratching

In severe cases, a flea infestation can pose a medical emergency for young or frail animals, leading to anemia from blood loss. Fleas can also transmit diseases to your pet, raising further concerns.

Moreover, flea larvae can harbor tapeworm eggs. If your dog or cat ingests an infected flea, it becomes a host for tapeworms—an additional parasite. It's also crucial to ensure they receive treatment for worms.

What are ticks?

Ticks are tiny parasites that look like spiders and feed on the blood of other animals. Their bodies, which are egg-shaped and become larger and darker when filled with blood, are supported by eight legs. Unlike fleas, ticks can't fly or jump. Instead, they brush past whatever your pet is sitting on and either climb up or drop down onto their coat.

Ticks are usually found in wooded and grassy areas, and while they are active all year, they are most visible in the spring and fall. Tick infestations in cats are less common than in dogs, although they do occur.

Ticks and Fleas on dogs

Tick symptoms and complications

Tick infestations can cause several annoying and perhaps dangerous symptoms in pets. Here are five signs that you should be aware of:

  • Skin irritation

Tick bites result in redness, swelling, and pain. Pets might acquire sores or cuts from excessive scratching.

  • Allergies

Tick bites can worsen symptoms in pets with allergies. These include extreme itching, swelling, hives, and problems breathing. Allergies can develop into skin diseases in dogs and cats and require immediate veterinary care.

  • Diseases

Ticks can spread diseases to pets when they feed. This includes Lyme, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Fever, fatigue, joint discomfort, loss of appetite, and organ damage can result from untreated diseases.

  • Anemia

Ticks can cause cats to lose a lot of blood. Anemic pets are frail, passive, and have pale cheeks. 

  • Tick paralysis

Some tick species produce a neurotoxic substance that can paralyze pets if ingested. If left untreated, symptoms might lead to total life-threatening paralysis.

Dog at a vet

Tick and Flea-Free Zone: How to Treat Your Pet’s Tick and Flea Infection

To prevent fleas and ticks on your pet, it’s essential to use pet care products that are made specifically to treat fleas and kill ticks. Here are some of the best sprays, soaps, medicine, and drops you can use on your dog and cat for effective flea and tick prevention:

Muddy Paws Citronella Tick and Flea Pet Spray 100ml

Muddy Paws Citronella Tick and Flea Pet Spray 100ml

This natural tick and flea pet spray from Muddy Paws harnesses the power of Citronelle True Hydrosol for natural protection against fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. Chemical-free and safe for pets, it's the gentle and effective choice for a pest-free environment.

Spray this behind your pet’s ears, around the neck, and under the paws after bathing and drying. You can also mist a general amount on the pet’s bedding to eliminate those pesky pests.

Frontline Spray for Cats and Dogs 100ml

Frontline Spray for Cats and Dogs 100ml

The ultimate solution for external use against ectoparasites in cats and dogs. This powerful Frontline Spray for Cats and Dogs effectively treats and prevents flea and tick infestations, including those carrying Lyme disease. It also controls Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) and tackles mites and biting lice in dogs, ensuring your pets are protected from pests and infections.

Bayopet Tick and Flea Dog Soap 90g

Bayopet Tick and Flea Dog Soap 90g

Here is your go-to solution for effectively eliminating and managing ticks, fleas, and lice in dogs. Bayopet Dog Soap for ticks and fleas are safe for all dogs, excluding nursing dogs and pups under three months old. Daily use is possible for maximum effectiveness.

Simply wet your dog and apply the soap generously to create a rich lather. Let it remain in the coat for five minutes and rinse thoroughly.

Frontline Plus Tick and Flea Drops for Small Breed Dogs

Frontline Plus Tick and Flea Drops for Small Breed Dogs

Frontline Plus Tick and Flea Drops provide convenient topical treatment for dogs weighing up to 10 kilograms. Each package contains three pipettes for easy application. This fast, effective, and convenient treatment controls fleas and ticks in dogs and puppies aged eight weeks or older. With fipronil and (S)-methoprene, it targets all flea stages, providing long-lasting protection.

NexGard Chewable Tablet for Medium Breed Dogs

NexGard Chewable Tablet for Medium Breed Dogs 4-10kg or 10-24lbs (3 tablets)

NexGard is a trusted chewable tablet for dogs weighing between four to 10 kilos. Each package contains three tablets, each consisting of 28mg of Afoxolaner. This veterinary-prescribed treatment is an effective insecticide and acaricide, providing monthly protection against fleas and ticks in dogs and puppies aged eight weeks and older.

Heartgard Plus Chewable Tablet for Large Breed Dogs

Heartgard Plus Chewable Tablet for Large Breed Dogs

Heartgard Plus is an effective anti-parasitic and anthelmintic treatment designed for large-breed dogs. Each package contains six chewable tablets. It prevents canine heartworm disease by eliminating heartworm larvae for 30 days after infection. It also treats and controls ascarids and hookworms, ensuring your dog stays healthy and protected.

How to Keep Your Home And Pet Pest-Free

Your home and your pets can both suffer from ticks and fleas. By following these five guidelines, you may ensure that your home is pest-free.

  1. Regular grooming - Brushing your pets regularly helps to remove ticks and fleas from their fur, preventing infestations and reducing the risk of diseases.
  2. Vacuum frequently - Regularly vacuuming your home, especially areas where your pets spend time, helps to eliminate ticks and fleas from carpets, furniture, and crevices.
  3. Wash bedding and toys - Ticks and fleas can easily latch onto your pet's bedding and toys, creating a breeding ground for infestations. Washing these items in hot water kills existing pests and their eggs, effectively removing them from your home.
  4. Maintain a clean yard - Keep your yard well-maintained by regularly mowing the grass, removing debris, and trimming shrubs. This discourages ticks and fleas from inhabiting the outdoor space.
  5. Use preventative treatments - Consult with your veterinarian and use recommended tick and flea prevention products for your pets. These treatments can help repel and kill pests before they become a problem.

combing pet cat

These tried-and-true methods are effective against fleas and ticks in both dogs and cats. Avoiding these annoying invaders can be as simple as keeping up with routine maintenance including grooming, vacuuming, washing bedding and toys, keeping the yard tidy, and applying preventative medications.

Drop by the nearest Pet Express store or visit and discover these tick and flea prevention products for your dogs and cats!
Pet health & nutrition