Fleas and ticks are insects that feed on your pet’s blood and they can cause health problems ranging from allergic reactions to serious tick-borne illnesses. Both fleas and ticks are a big problem for dog owners during the warmer months of the year and can persist all-year-round depending on climate conditions.
I would first like to answer a few common questions.
How did my dog get these fleas and ticks? The way animals get fleas is some other flea-infested animal – a stray dog
Flea Warning Signs: Dogs
You see excessive scratching and licking, so after close inspection of going through their hair you’ll notice
— Fleas (little tiny black specs that move) and flea droppings look like dirt, dark specks, in the fur
— Flea eggs which are white specks in the fur
— Scabs or hot spots on the skin — Where ticks can hide
You should check your dog often and thoroughly because scabs will cause redness of the skin, (irritated) which may lead to skin infections. When a flea bites your dog, it injects saliva into their skin. This in turn can cause and trigger an allergic reaction. That will be the scratching and biting and even hair loss you notice. Lots of times you will notice that at the base of your dog’s tail. But, rest assured, fleas hide all over your dog body from the ears, head to the belly to the toes.
The easiest way to find fleas on your canine is to go through his/her hair by brushing back their hair with your finger down to the skin level. You can also use a special flea comb that has very fine-teeth. This procedure should be done outside.
Ticks, on-the-other-hand, can be found most often attached near the head, neck, ears, or paws and are puffy little critters filled with blood. Ooo, aah.. Ticks should be removed gently by wearing a pair of gloves or using a tissue, paper towel, or with a pair of tweezers (my method). Squeeze too hard and you’ll pop that blood out. Just pull them straight out and don’t twist them. I also have a cotton ball with some alcohol on it to just clean/tap the area in question on each tick removed.
Need to know tick information:
There are three types of ticks
The American Dog Tick: This is the most common of ticks. The females have a large silver spot behind the head and after gorging themselves, they swell to the size of a small grape. They can cause infection and the disease can be fatal in dogs and may cause serious symptoms in people. It feeds on people as well as dogs.
The Brown Dog Tick: sometimes called the kennel tick, is common in the U.S. The adult brown tick is a reddish-brown and most of the time be found around the ears or between a dog’s toes and it can carry serious diseases that affect dogs, such as ehrlichiosis. And, Yes, it does bite people sometimes. Actually, all three do.
The Deer Tick: Deer ticks are reddish-brown as well and live in wooded areas. Deer ticks transmit Lyme disease which we know is very dangerous. Lyme disease causes fever and joint pain and, sometimes, serious kidney disease in dogs.
All three of these ticks bit people, so it is very important if you live in any of these areas to check your dog regularly.
There is one thing you can bank on for sure, and that is, if your dog has fleas, your home is filled with them. For every flea you see on your pet, the experts (vets) estimate there are at least 100 more in your house. Ouch! Yes, fleas also bite humans too and can cause infections.
TIME TO ELIMINATE YOUR FLEA & TICK PROBLEM
Learn how to create a happy, healthy home for your pet.
There is a good solution you can take to ward them off any time of year.
I am going to list my remedies that work on the Flea and Tick problem that has worked for me and will work for you as well.
1st. If you have a serious flea problem you will need to give him a bath with the shampoo listed below. There are two methods to use. a) if you have a yard, then first spray it with the Vet’s flea & tick yard spray, then spray the entire house (read directions it’s OK). b) then give him a bath. Preferred if you have a bathtub. Fill it full so you can completely cover the dog. Just hold them down (prefer to lay on their side), talk to him/her and you will see the fleas coming off. Drowning. Rinse. Then follow shampoo instructions.
Only if you have a really large problem with fleas, then I suggest this. Bomb the house. No, not that bomb, the spray foggers. Use a can per room. Set them, leave for a few hours. Naturally, no pets in the home. These two brands work well and will solve a big problem. Then, spray the yard (if have one), bath your canine. All dried, then put on the flea collar. I recommend two at the bottom.
The Vet’s Best Flea and Tick spray is a fantastic product for not only the dog but for the all-around-the-house. I have used this for preventative measures for years and recently the product was reformulated.
Best spray for inside the home: Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Treatment Spray for Dogs with Certified Natural Oils. 32 oz. on Sale Now! $6.79
The outside spray I listed below has worked for years and the price can’t be beaten even at Home Depot. It works and that’s the point. Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Yard and Kennel Treatment Spray. Kills Mosquitoes, Fleas, and Ticks with Certified Natural Oils. If you have a yard, then this is what will prevent those nasty fleas from coming inside with regular use. (read the label for your situation) 32 oz. On Sale Now! $10.49
I also listed two very good flea and tick shampoos. Once your problem has been solved, see the Shampoos for caring for their skin and coat.
As far as flea collars go for lasting protection, I have always used the Bayer Animal Health Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for my dogs. They will give you 8 months of good Tick and Flea Control on your dog.
This one collar offers your dog eight months of protection, saving you the hassle of reapplying another spot-on style treatment or giving your dog pills. The Seresto collar kills fleas within 24 hours of application, and reinfesting ones within two hours. It’s non-greasy, odorless, and continuously releases low concentrations of its active ingredients across your dog’s skin and through its coat. An extremely low-maintenance option, simply put the flea collar on your dog and forget about it for three to eight months. It’s water-resistant and will remain effective even after a bath or swim (I do take my dog’s collar off when bating).
For over 15+ years of using these brands, they are bar far the best flea and tick collars for dogs on the market. I have experimented with some of the cheaper brands and found they do not work as well and or the clasps are cheap and come apart. Purchase what fits your wallet.
Seresto for Small Dogs
Seresto for Large Dogs
Depending on “what’s in your wallet” I have for you a second choice to try.
For some neighbors where cost was an issue I did some research on the Rolf Club 3D and after several recommendations on its use and success, this can be an alternative.
Here is another saver. But, my only qualm about these is that the clasps are cheap and usually come apart before the collars are used up.
Note: It would be best not to get the collar too wet. If you’re using shampoo it will strip off the product. If your dog gets wet just a few times with it on that’s ok, but the more the collar gets wet the more it loses its effectiveness. It does say water-resistant and remains effective following a shampoo treatment, swimming, or exposure to rain or sunlight. I recommend removing it during the bath and can be put back on your dog after the bath is finished. Best to be smart!
Here your best bets for a flea fogger for the home if you feel you have a serious problem and want a guaranteed solution that will last. These will kill all the bugs, fleas, and ticks in your home. If you have a yard then use the spray I listed above. Once all of these steps are done, bathe your dog. Put on the recommended flea collar. Your good to go. (have a yard, follow directions and spray regularly).
My first choice is Hot Shot Fogger 6 With Odor Neutralizer, 3/2-Ounce, 2-Pack. A steal at $10.44 for 6 cans as of this re-write.
Here is a quick video on how to use the foggers in the home.
It all depends on what problems you encounter with fleas and ticks. I have covered all the bases for you. If you follow them, I promise your flea problem is controlled and can be eliminated.
The main problem most pet owners do not do is taking complete care of the problem inside the home and spraying the yard every 6-8 weeks (if there is one). The dog collars work great.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave a comment.
Updated July 1, 2021