Pet Flea & Tick Control

Person using flea treatment on cat

Flea and tick control is an important aspect of pet care, especially if your pet spends any amount of time outdoors. Fleas and ticks can bite your pet and spread disease all year long (despite the common belief that fleas and ticks are only a problem during warmer months), making it crucial that pet parents provide their pet with some sort of flea and tick control. Fleas and ticks are not simply annoying or painful for your pet — they can transmit diseases and create difficult to manage infestations, so it’s important to prevent them, and control them right away.

Flea and tick control options

There are several different options available when it comes to flea and tick control. Many products are available over the counter at your local pet store or online, but there are other medications that are available only by prescription from your veterinarian. When choosing a tick control product, look for those that are effective against various breeds of ticks for the best protection.

Topical flea and tick control options are probably the most popular and easily available. Most topical treatments come as a liquid in a small tube, and need to be applied on a monthly basis in order to be effective. You can purchase these from the pet store or the vet’s office, and they are dosed based on your pet’s weight.

Another topical flea and tick control option are powders. Available in formulas for both cats and dogs, some are meant to be applied on the skin, while others are to be consumed orally, or spread on carpets and other upholstery in the home.

Flea and tick sprays are a medicated spray that you can apply to your pet and within the home to kill and prevent infestations. They work by killing eggs, nymphs, and adults using either natural or chemical pesticides.

Flea and tick shampoos can prevent or treat infestations, and are highly effective for killing adult bugs on contact. This can help to provide your pet with immediate relief during an infestation.

Flea and tick control collars can provide longer lasting coverage than many topical treatments, with some products lasting up to 8 months at a time. There are also collars that you can replace monthly.

There are also pills, chewables, and tablets you can give your pet in order to treat and prevent fleas and ticks. They take effect quickly, and are easy to administer to pets who might otherwise have trouble with other flea and tick control products.

Side effects of flea and tick control products

Many flea and tick control products carry a risk of unwanted side effects, including skin reactions, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, tremors, or seizures.

While there is some risk of unwanted side effects when using a flea and tick prevention product that contains pesticides, the majority of pets experience zero side effects from these active ingredients. Many products are safe to use on pets 8 weeks of age and older, but be sure to consult with your vet to determine the best treatment option for your pet.

How to prevent fleas and ticks

Prevention is key when it comes to fleas and ticks. Using products such as topical medications and collars can help to prevent your pet from picking them up in the first place. Eggs, larvae, and pupae often live in carpeting, so ensure you’re vacuuming at least once a week, and more often if you spot fleas. Change the bag immediately to prevent reinfestation. Don’t forget to clean your car if your pets goes for rides. Shampooing and steam cleaning can help to kill any bugs that don’t get vacuumed up.

Dealing with fleas and ticks is never a pleasant experience, but with the right products and know-how, you can help treat any infestations, as well as prevent them from bothering your pet in the first place.

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