The Importance of Flea and Tick Preventatives for Dogs

dogs fleasOne of the most common questions that dog owners ask is if a flea and tick preventative is really necessary.

The answer is yes. Without one, your dog could get sick or you could end up with fleas and ticks inside your home.

Where can a dog get fleas or ticks?

Just about anywhere. Dogs can pick up fleas and ticks at doggie day care, the kennel, groomer, or even your own backyard where animals such as raccoons are known for depositing flea or tick eggs.

What conditions can a flea and tick preventive help avoid?

There are many conditions that can be avoided by using a preventative:

  • Biting adult fleas
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Flea allergies
  • Lyme Disease
  • Skin infections
  • Hot Spots
  • Tapeworms
  • Ehrlichia (bacteria often transmitted by ticks)

How to tell if your dog has fleas or ticks

Repeated scratching is one of the main signs that a dog has fleas. Adult fleas are easy to see, while those in stages such as eggs, larvae, and pupae are often harder to spot. The easiest way to determine if your dog is affected is to use a flea comb on its fur and place the hair on a dampened white paper towel. If there are any dark spots that create a red stain, your dog has fleas.

As for ticks, larger ones are usually seen on the fur, especially after they feed. Smaller ones, such as deer ticks, are often harder to find. Run your fingers through your dog’s fur, and if you feel a bump or swollen area, look to see if you can find a burrowed tick. Also check the inside of the ears.

To learn about the different flea and tick preventatives, please contact us today.