top of page
  • Writer's pictureJess

Keeping Your Canine Companion Flea & Tick Free

Updated: Feb 13

image of a dog tick

Dog fleas and ticks are not just a nuisance for dogs; they can pose serious health risks if left untreated. These pesky parasites are more than just a minor inconvenience; they can transmit diseases and cause discomfort for your furry friend.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of tick and flea prevention in dogs. From understanding the risks to choosing the right preventive measures, this guide will provide the best methods to get rid of fleas.

Understanding the Enemy: Fleas and Ticks

Before we delve into prevention methods, let's get to know our adversaries. Understanding the life cycle and behavior of fleas and ticks is crucial in removing fleas effectively.


image of a dog flea

Dog fleas are tiny, wingless insects that feed on your dog's blood. They are notorious for causing itching and discomfort.

Fleas reproduce rapidly, laying eggs in your dog's fur, your home, and even your yard. To get rid of fleas, its important to understand the flea life cycle:

Flea Eggs

The first of the flea life stages come in the form of flea eggs. While they minuscule and inconspicuous, they can pose significant risks to dogs and their living environments.

When adult fleas lay eggs on a dog's coat, they often fall off and scatter throughout the dog's surroundings, such as bedding, carpets, and furniture. These eggs are resilient and can survive for weeks or even months, waiting for the right conditions to hatch into flea larvae.

Once hatched, these larvae can quickly infest the environment and continue their life cycle, eventually becoming adult fleas that target dogs again.

the flea life cycle

The presence of flea eggs can lead to persistent infestations, causing continuous discomfort and health issues for dogs. Therefore, effective flea control measures should not only focus on eliminating adult fleas but also breaking the flea life cycle by addressing eggs and larvae within the environment.

Adult Fleas

an image of a dog scratching and gnawing his leg

Adult fleas pose significant risks to dogs' health and well-being. These tiny parasites are not just annoying; they can lead to a range of health problems.

Flea bites cause itching, discomfort, and skin irritation, which can lead to incessant scratching and biting.

In some cases, dogs can develop allergic reactions to flea saliva, a condition known as flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), characterized by severe itching, redness, and hair loss.

Fleas can also transmit diseases and parasites, such as tapeworms and various bacterial infections, posing additional health threats to dogs. Furthermore, heavy flea infestations can lead to anemia, especially in puppies or smaller breeds, as fleas feed on the dog's blood.

It's crucial for dog owners to take preventive measures to protect their pets from the risks associated with adult fleas, including regular flea control and monitoring.


an image of a large tick

Ticks are arachnids that attach themselves to your dog's skin and feed on their blood. Ticks can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

They are often found in wooded areas and tall grass. Its incredibly important to always spot signs of soreness or blood on your dog's skin as early as possible so you can source the best treatment early.

The Risks: Why Prevention Matters

Fleas and ticks aren't just annoying; they can pose significant risks to your dog's health, particularly adult fleas. They have also been known to bite humans and other pets so it is incredibly important to spot early, ideally at pupa stage. Let's explore why prevention is crucial:

an image of a vet administering flea treatment

Health Risks

  • Disease Transmission: Ticks are known vectors for diseases like Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis. Fleas can transmit tapeworms.

  • Allergies: Flea bites can trigger allergic reactions in some dogs, leading to intense itching, inflammation, and discomfort.


  • Flea Infestations: In severe cases, a massive flea infestation can lead to anemia, especially in puppies and smaller breeds.

  • Tick Infestations: Large tick infestations can also lead to anemia in dogs due to excessive blood loss.

Secondary Infections

  • Constant Scratching: Flea and tick bites can lead to open sores, which can become infected with bacteria.

Psychological Impact

  • Stress: Constant itching and discomfort from flea and tick infestations can cause your dog significant stress and anxiety.

Preventing Fleas & Flea Treatments

Now that we understand the importance of prevention, let's explore the various methods available to keep your dog flea and tick-free, and what flea treatments are available to help with an active flea problem.

an image of a dog bathing with shampoo

1. Topical Flea Treatment

Topical Flea treatments, often applied between your dog's shoulder blades, are a popular choice. These treatments contain active ingredients to handle fleas and typically provide protection for one month . Consult your veterinarian before using any form of flea treatments.

2. Oral Medications

Oral medications, available as tablets or chews, can effectively prevent fleas and ticks. They are often preferred by dogs who dislike topical treatments.

3. Flea Collars

Flea and tick collars are another option. These collars release chemicals that repel and kill parasites for several months. They are a really solid method to get rid of fleas and they are often the first product pet parents invest in to become flea free.

4. Shampoos and Sprays

Flea and tick shampoos and sprays can be used during baths. While they offer temporary protection, they are less effective for long-term prevention.

image of fleas on a dogs coat

5. Environmental Control

To prevent re-infestation, it's essential to treat your home and yard for fleas and ticks. Regular vacuuming, washing your dog's bedding, and yard maintenance can help. Killing adult fleas to protect against further flea infestation is a must!

6. Natural Remedies

Some pet owners prefer natural remedies like essential oils (e.g., lavender or cedar-wood) to repel and kill adult fleas. However, always consult your vet before using these methods.

7. Flea Spray

an image of a flea spray product

Flea sprays offer effective and quick relief for dogs suffering from flea infestations. They are easy to apply, safe for dogs when used as directed, and can provide long-lasting protection by targeting fleas at various life stages. Flea sprays are a versatile and cost-effective solution that provides peace of mind for both pet owners and their furry companions.

Choosing the Right Prevention

The best prevention method for your dog may vary based on factors such as their age, health, lifestyle, and your location. Consult your veterinarian to determine the most suitable approach.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How often should I apply flea medications?

The frequency depends on the specific product you're using. Most topical treatments are applied monthly, while oral flea medications may vary from one to three months. Always consult your veterinarian before you apply flea treatment!

2. Can I use the same preventive treatment for both fleas and ticks?

Some products offer protection against both fleas and ticks, while others are specific to one. Consult your vet for the best option. Again, always consult a vet before applying any preventive treatment.

3. What should I do if I find a tick on my dog?

Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible and pull upward with steady, even pressure. Clean the area and your hands thoroughly.

4. Are there natural remedies for flea and tick prevention?

Yes, some natural remedies can help repel fleas and ticks, but they may not be as effective as pharmaceutical options. Always consult your vet before using natural remedies.


Protecting your dog from fleas and ticks is essential for their well-being. By understanding the risks and choosing the right preventive measures, you can ensure your furry friend enjoys a happy, healthy, and pest-free life.

Consult your veterinarian for personalized guidance and recommendations based on your dog's unique needs. Remember, a little prevention goes a long way in keeping your canine companion safe and comfortable.


Sam - Owner, Wag & Whistle

wag and whistle logo

8 views0 comments


bottom of page