Flea and Tick Questions, Answered Everything You Need to Know

BY | September 19 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
Flea and Tick Questions, Answered

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K9 Advantix II for Dogs

Flea & Tick
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Many pet owners have heard of them, but don't really know much about fleas and ticks. We're here to help educate pet parents on how these pests operate, where they come from, how they harm your pet, and how to prevent and get rid of them.

Spot-on treatments like K9 Advantix II, Bravecto spot-on treatment for cats, and Frontline Plus have become popular among many pet parents. They're affordable, work well, and kill adult fleas and ticks as well as stop the life cycle of the younger parasites. But what are you really protecting against? What are fleas and ticks? How do they work, where do they live, what do they do, are they all that scary?

You've asked, and we've answered. Scroll through to find answers to your top flea and trick questions. If you have a question that hasn't been answered, leave it in the comments below. We'll add an answer as soon as possible!

Flea Basics

What Are Fleas?
You've got to know the enemy before you can defeat it! Learn everything you could ever want to know about fleas here.

Fleas and Lice: Whatโ€™s the Difference?
An exploration of the similarities and the differences between lice and fleas and how both affect your pet.

How Fleas Jump (And How High!)
Fleas are some of the most exceptional jumpers on the planet. Hereโ€™s how they do it.

What Do Fleas Look Like?
How to recognize a flea in every stage of its life, including when it is in larval form.

How Flea Collars Work
Learn how flea collars work and decide if they are right for your pet.

What Temperature Do Fleas Flourish In?
Fleas like warm climates, but is there such thing as too warm for those pests? Find out here.

What is Flea Dirt?
Flea dirt is flea feces. Find out what it means for your petโ€™s health here.

What Diseases Do Fleas Cause?
By not protecting your pet, you are putting both them and yourself at risk.

Tick Basics

What are Ticks?
Information on different tick varieties, the tickโ€™s life cycle, how to find a tick on your pet, and much more.

What Diseases are Caused by Ticks?
A list of diseases caused by ticks, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

How Ticks Bite
Ticks use their mouths to transmit dangerous diseases. Learn about the process here.

What Do Ticks Look Like?
The differences in appearance between hard ticks, soft ticks, and several different types of tick species.

What if My Dog Eats a Flea or Tick?
Find out what could happen to your pet if they ingest one of the pests that have been bothering them.

Medications, Treatment, and Prevention

Do I Really Need Flea and Tick Protection?
The short answer is yes! Protect your pet from fleas and ticks to keep them healthy.

Do I Need to Protect My Pet After Flea Season?
We recommend you protect your pet year-round. It will make a difference!

What is Comfortis?
Learn about Comfortis, an FDA-approved chewable flea pill for dogs.

Does Cat or Dog Breed Matter When Choosing a Flea and Tick Product?
While the breed of your dog or cat doesnโ€™t matter when choosing a treatment, the size of your pet does.

Will I Overmedicate My Pet if I Mix Flea Meds?
Read and follow the package instructions for any and all medications you give your pet.

How Do Flea and Tick Treatments Work?
Find out how the treatments you use on your pet actually work.

Dealing with Fleas and Ticks

How Do You Stop a Flea Infestation?
Advice on how to remove fleas from your pet, as well as how to de-flea your house and yard.

How to Remove a Tick
A step-by-step guide for how to remove a tick from your pet.

Which Are More Revolting: Fleas or Ticks?
Both of these pests are disgusting. Read here to find out which one is the worst!

What Does a Flea Bite Look Like?
Learn how to recognize a flea bite on your pet.

How to Check for Fleas
When in doubt, brush it out! Hereโ€™s how to check to see if your pet has fleas.

How to Find Fleas and Ticks

An animal's true vampire: fleas and ticks. These small insects latch onto an animal's skin and feed off of their blood. Many wild animals live with a flea or tick infestation, but these blood-sucking creatures aren't only attracted to non-domesticated animals. Pets are perfect targets for such little critters. A dog or cat's fur is a warm and safe haven for fleas and ticks to call home. That is why monthly preventatives like Vectra 3D are so important. Here's how to find fleas and ticks on your pets.

First, it's important to know that these insects' diet of blood can cause numerous health problems for pets. Allergic reactions and anemia can develop from an infestation, and young puppies and kittens are especially vulnerable to the effects of blood loss. A tiny insect might not seem like it can do so much damage, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in numbers. Fleas and ticks often attach to animals in groups, and since just one flea can drink 15 times its own body weight in blood, imagine what kind of damage 100 fleas can do. This is why it's important to detect fleas and ticks early on so that treatment can begin to rid your pet of this nuisance.

How to Detect Fleas

Fleas have a flat body on either side and are slender down the length of their backs. They measure no more than a few centimeters long and they look like dark moving spots to the naked eye. Fleas are known for the ability to jump great lengths, approximately 13 inches or about 200 times their body length. So, catching a flea is no easy task. If you are unable to see a flea crawling through your pet's fur, check for other signs of their presence. Fleas are often detected by little black specks that they leave on an animal's fur, which is flea feces. Fleas also lay eggs in an animal's fur, which look like tiny white balls. An animal's fur can become dry and irritated by fleas. Hot spots, dry or scabby skin, and hair loss are all signs of fleas. But one of the easiest ways to know that a pet has fleas is by their reaction to the symptoms. Constantly biting or scratching their skin are telling signs that your pet may have fleas.

How to Detect Ticks

Ticks are much easier to spot than fleas. For one, their bodies are about three times bigger than a flea's body. They are dark insects with round, flat bodies and tiny heads. Their legs are positioned at the front of their bodies so they can burrow their heads into an animal's skin. This leads to the second reason that ticks are easier to spot: they don't move around as much. Ticks can usually be found around the neck, head, ears, or eyes of an animal. They can often be felt through the fur of a dog or cat by running your hand across the head or neck of your pet. Ticks will become larger and a lighter brown as they fill with blood. Some ticks, such as the deer tick, are lighter in color. Ticks can carry diseases, which can be deadly for pets. These diseases can cause loss of appetite, joint pain, or fever. Ticks, like fleas, will also cause skin irritation. If your pet experiences any of these symptoms, check for ticks on the skin.

How to Treat for Fleas and Ticks

Flea and tick medication can be obtained from your vet or an online certified pet pharmacy to treat and prevent fleas and ticks. Flea collars can also deter fleas from clinging to your pet. Another preventative measure that can be taken is using products such as PetArmorK9 AdvantixAdvantage II for CatsAdvantage Multi for CatsNexgard Chewables, or Frontline Plus to kill fleas and ticks. If your dog or cat already has fleas or ticks, special shampoos can rid your pet of the insects. When looking for shampoos, check for brands that will offer the widest range of protection. A shampoo that will kill fleas, ticks, and eggs is the best bet for your pet.

Ticks can also be removed manually from an animal's skin. Using a pair of tweezers, grab the tick as close to the head as possible and pull straight up to pull it out. Be sure to not pop the belly or twist as you pull the tick out. Then, clean the area of the skin where the tick was.

Fleas and ticks can bite people too, so it is important to detect and treat them early for the sake of your and your pet's health.

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis, or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

Related Products

K9 Advantix
Advantage II for Cats
Frontline Plus
Comfortis

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