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Tick & Flea Prevention for Dogs and Cats

Nothing feels better than scratching an itch, but there’s nothing quite as annoying as an itch that just won’t quit. As a pet owner, you know that fleas and ticks are extremely common. In fact, they are the most common external parasites found in both cats and dogs, so it’s important to treat your pets on a regular basis. Fortunately, there are many different types of pet flea and tick control on the market today. Even better? Many of those options are proven reliable and effective, so you’re guaranteed to find one that perfectly fits your furry friends’ needs.

Types of Pet Flea and Tick Control

There are a number of preventatives available for different needs, from chewables to topical treatments to wearable collars. Some cover just fleas, some cover only ticks, and others are multi-purpose, so it’s essential to thoroughly review the product to ensure it’s the right option for tick and flea prevention for dogs and cats.

Oral
Most chewable options are designed to look and taste like a treat, making it an easy and hassle-free process to administer the meat-flavored tablet when the time comes. One advantage of chewable tablets is the time frame of protection — some can protect pets from various external and internal parasites for up to three months at a time! Additionally, some chewable treatments are available for cats, too!

Topical
There are several different topical solutions available for pet flea and tick control -, all of which require re-application on a monthly basis. Depending on the product, topical treatments are known to cover a range of parasites from fleas and ticks to black-legged ticks, Lone Star ticks, and brown dog ticks, along with internal parasites like roundworm, hookworm, and heartworm. Many reputable topical brands also offer formulas for felines.

Collar
Tick collars typically protect pets from fleas, ticks, lice, and flea larvae for up to eight months. They serve as an excellent alternative for pet owners who struggle with remembering to administer monthly treatments. They are also available for dogs and cats!

Flea and Tick Prevention Tips

According to The Strategist, “performing regular tick checks in addition to whatever preventative treatments you might use, especially if you take your dog hiking, play in areas with lots of tall grass”. It’s also recommended to clear away any dead branches, grass clippings, or piles of leaves. Keeping your grass short and eliminating overgrown vegetation can help reduce the presence of parasites.

Some other preventative measures you can take include:

  • Read the label
    • Never apply medication made for cats to dogs or vice versa unless otherwise stated on the label.
  • Regularly inspect your pet’s coat
    • Examine ears, around the eyes, eyelids, muzzle, paws, between toes, under legs, lips, under tail, near the behind, under the collar.
    • Run your fingers through the pet’s fur and check for any abnormalities that may be an insect hiding or attaching.
  • Learn tick removal
    • The sooner you remove a tick, the less likely your pet will contract a secondary illness.
  • Keep yard mowed and short
    • Remove leaf litter, tall grasses, and brush from your yard.
    • Avoid walking through deep grassy patches as insects can hitch a ride on your clothes and enter your home.
  • Treat all of your pets at the same time
    • This helps prevent cross infestation.
    • Keep pets away from other pets during flea season.
  • Treat environment when treating pet
    • Wash toys, blankets, and bedding in soap and hot water or dispose altogether.
    • Vacuum carpet and sofas and empty vacuum containers outside.

Fleas and ticks are abundant in Arizona, and depending on where you live, they may or may not be a problem, but prevention is always easier than treatment. However, there are only select veterinary-approved products on the market so before administering any type of flea and tick control, you should consult your veterinarian to ensure your pet is receiving proper treatment according to their particular needs.

Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

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