Flea and Tick Prevention for Dogs and Cats
Flea and tick prevention can seem like a never-ending job. But if not taken care of, these pests can irritate your pet and lead to diseases, such as Lyme disease. There are many different methods for getting rid of and preventing ticks on dogs and cats.
Besides regularly checking your pet for hitchhikers, it’s important to treat your pet, your home, and your pet’s outdoor environment. Learn more about tick and flea treatments for dogs and cats, as well as flea and tick prevention.
Spot-on medications can be effective for controlling both fleas and ticks. They are applied to your pet’s back, and they usually deter pests for up to 30 days. Also known as a topical solution for cats and dogs, this type of treatment kills fleas and prevents flea infestations.
If you choose to use spot-on medications, it’s important that you read all labels carefully. Products containing an active ingredient called permethrin should not be used on cats. It’s always a good idea to consult your veterinarian before application.
Dips & Shampoos
You can bathe your pet with a medicated flea and tick shampoo. For a shampoo to work effectively, they generally have to stay on the skin for 10 minutes before being rinsed off. While these shampoos kill pests on contact, the effective ingredients won’t last as long as other methods, which means that you will have to repeat this process more often.
Using a flea and tick dip is another option. This concentrated chemical needs to be diluted in water and then applied to your pet’s fur. Unlike a shampoo, a dip is not rinsed off. The chemicals in dips tend to be strong, so they are not recommended for all animals. Consulting with your veterinarian before use is advised.
Oral medication is another option for flea and tick prevention. These medications work by disrupting the life cycle of fleas and killing both immature fleas and ticks. Oral flea and tick control can be beneficial because it’s easy to give.
Tick and flea collars are available for both dogs and cats. These collars contain chemicals that get transferred onto your pet’s skin. They are most useful for protecting the neck and head. Make sure to read the label carefully, as some collars are intended for use on dogs only and are toxic to cats
Powders & Sprays
Two more topical options are tick and flea powders and sprays. These methods work by killing and repelling pests, plus they can sometimes be applied in your household and in your pet’s outdoor environment. Be sure to read the instructions of flea and tick sprays and powders before use.
House & Environment
Flea and tick control applies to your house and environment, as well. Fleas and ticks like moist, shady, and cool areas, so mow your lawn regularly and keep your pet’s outdoor environment clear of tall grass, leaves, and other brush.
To keep pests out of your home, vacuum your floors and furniture often. It’s also a good idea to regularly wash your pet’s bedding and any other blankets and rugs that he may sit on.
Alternative Methods of Flea and Tick Prevention
Some pet owners have success with combining traditional and alternative methods of flea and tick prevention. Here are some ideas from Thomas Pet!
- There is evidence that kelp can be beneficial when it comes to repelling fleas on dogs and cats. As a natural flea repellent, kelp can be a great addition to your pet’s flea control treatment plan.
- Many pet owners find that Brewer’s Yeast with Garlic supplements are a safe way to help control and repel fleas and ticks. Although it’s unknown what drives the pests away, some people think the ingredients may cause an unpleasant odor or taste.
When it comes to fleas and ticks, it’s always best to consult your veterinarian for advice concerning your specific pet’s breed and medical history, especially if your pet has a history of neurological disorders. There are also prescription-only medications that can help with fleas and ticks, so your vet would be able to assist with that, as well.
Flea and tick protection is key to your pet’s health, so Thomas Labs® recommends being proactive and taking steps to prepare your pet for flea and tick season. Flea and tick control can take many different forms. Whichever method you choose, be sure to have a solid plan and stick to it!
The materials and information provided on this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of your veterinarian or other pet healthcare professional. Consult your own veterinarian if you have medical questions concerning diagnosis, treatment, therapy, or medical attention.