Fleas and ticks are one of every dog owners' biggest nightmares. Both can be incredibly harmful to our pets, not to mention us. To effectively treat against fleas and ticks (and the diseases they spread) first you have to identify which is which.
So what are the differences between these two parasites and how do we tell them apart?
Is it a Flea or is it a Tick?
Ticks are easier to find than fleas but they are still tough to hunt down. Use a flea comb to go through a dog's hair, particularly in denser areas of the coat and between the toes, around the ears, face, mouth and tail. Ticks are small insect-like bugs with 8 legs. Comprising a small head and bulbous body, ticks can be anywhere from 1/16th of an inch to 3/4 of an inch in size. Also check the dog's bed, favorite resting places and your bed for additional ticks. Note: Ticks only stay on the host to feed. Once fed they will drop off and lay eggs, so it is vital to check dogs for tics as soon as they come indoors.
Getting Rid of Fleas and Ticks
Flea eradication needs three steps; a topical powder to kill the adult fleas, topical shampoo to kill flea eggs and a thorough cleaning of the house (particularly carpets and pet beds) to remove any other traces of fleas. Note: Regular vacuuming is very effective at removing fleas.
Prevention is Always Better than a Cure
Taking precautions to prevent and control fleas and ticks is always better than having to eradicate then once an infestation has set in. Monthly flea and tick prevention treatments are especially good at providing 24/7 protection for your pets, and the acknowledged leader in this field is Frontline Plus. All good pet supply companies will have a selection of effective flea and tick controls from this respected flea and tick control specialist.