Fleas, ticks and other parasites are the last thing you want in your home and on your dog although they are a constant risk for dogs throughout their lives. Therefore, it is important to be proactive and prevent parasites on your friendly companion.
You should also be able to recognize the signs of flea and tick infestation on your dog, as these will help you get the right protective treatment in place.
FLEAS ON DOGS
Fleas are small and can be difficult to spot running around underneath your dog’s fur – you may even notice them on yourself before you notice them on your dog! Fleas and their bites are unpleasant for your poor dog and can cause serious itching, hair loss, and in some dogs, an allergic reaction1.
Fleas can present a big risk at home as a single flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day2, infesting your home and your dog’s environment. Flea larvae burrow deep into bedding and carpet and can even rest dormant for an extended period. To control the infestation and break this life cycle, it is necessary to use products that provide extended protection such as Bravecto® (fluralaner) that will protect for 12 weeks* with just one dose.
SIGNS OF FLEAS ON DOGS:
- Excessive scratching and licking
- Allergic dermatitis (red, inflamed sores or rashes)
- ‘Flea dirt’, small brown specks on your dog’s skin or fur
- Hair loss
TICKS ON DOGS
Ticks are another common infestation problem in household pets. They look a little bit like small spiders, but with an oval shaped body. They are blood-sucking pests, and their bodies expand as they feed.
As ticks can carry bacteria and other agents which cause various diseases, ticks on a dog must be removed as they pose a risk to you and your dog.
SIGNS OF TICKS ON DOGS:
- Excessive licking or biting
- Head shaking
- A small bump with legs which you see or feel while stroking your dog
If you see any of these signs, be sure to check your dog over, including looking inside the ears and parting the fur to look more closely. If you find a tick in your house while cleaning, check your dog.
HOW TO REMOVE A TICK
Put on a pair of rubber or latex gloves to reduce the chances of the tick passing on an infection to you. Take a pair of tweezers and grab hold of the tick as close as possible to the dog’s skin without hurting or pinching the dog. Pull the tick out in a straight motion3, being careful not to twist or crush the tick, and check to see that the tick has been removed from your dog’s skin.
If there is anything left behind, you may call your vet for guidance. If you do not feel confident in removing ticks, visit your vet so they can help you.
HOW CAN FLEAS AND TICKS BE TREATED ON DOGS?
If your dog has fleas or ticks, your vet can advise on the best course of treatment.
There are many options available for pet owners, including flavored chews and topical applications. Choose the form that works best for you and your dog.
PROTECTING YOUR HOME AGAINST FLEAS AND TICKS
It is perfectly normal to be worried about having fleas and ticks in your home, but there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of these parasites, and to protect your dog from infestation.
Combined with effective control treatments, these simple steps will mean your dog is much less likely to find themselves host to a flea and tick problem.
Fleas can be brought into your home either with your dog, your family, or animal and human visitors. If you find fleas in your house, don’t wait to see if more appear. Finding one is a sign there are others, and fleas can multiply quickly. You’ll be able to look for the signs of fleas on your dog such as excessive scratching and flea droppings, which look like fine dirt, on the coat. One way to find out if the small dark specks are flea dirt is to put them on a white paper towel and add just a drop or two of water. A red color from the digested blood will soon appear around the flea dirt on the towel.
Ticks, on the other hand, are usually brought in by your dog, as ticks hitchhike into houses by latching on to your dog’s fur. It is a good idea to help reduce the risk of ticks on your dog by brushing your dog when coming home from walks and before going into the house. There is also one type of tick, called the Brown Dog Tick, that can be found inside buildings.
PREVENTING FLEAS AND TICKS ON DOGS
Many believe that fleas and ticks are a summer problem, and prevention is only necessary in the hotter months of the year. While fleas certainly prefer it while it is warm and humid conditions, modern central heating means we cater to their tastes year-round.
Using a fast-acting, long-lasting treatment, such as Bravecto® (fluralaner) Chews for Dogs, which is easy to administer, allows you to be worry-free in knowing your dog is protected against fleas and ticks for nearly 3x longer than other monthly chews. Correct and convenient control means your dog’s well-being is looked after, reducing its risk of irritation and exposure to transmittable disease. Ask your vet about treatments and discuss your options.
*Bravecto kills fleas, prevents flea infestations, and kills ticks (black-legged tick, American dog tick, and brown dog tick) for 12 weeks. Bravecto also kills Lone star ticks for 8 weeks.
- Bruet, V., Bourdeau, P. J., Roussel, A., Imparato, L., & Desfontis, J. C. (2012). Characterization of pruritus in canine atopic dermatitis, flea bite hypersensitivity and flea infestation and its role in diagnosis. Veterinary Dermatology, 23(6), 487-e93. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3164.2012.01092.x
- lagburn BL, Dryden MW. 2009. Biology Treatment, and Control of Flea and Tick Infestations. Vet Clin Small Anim. 39:1173-1200
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022). Tick Removal. https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/removing_a_tick.html
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION:
BRAVECTO 1-MONTH (fluralaner) Chews: indicated for dogs 8 weeks of age and older. The most commonly reported adverse reactions include itching, diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite, elevated ALT, lethargy, and weight loss. BRAVECTO 1-MONTH is not effective against A. americanum in puppies less than 6 months of age. BRAVECTO (fluralaner) Chews for Dogs: The most commonly reported adverse reactions include vomiting, decreased appetite, diarrhea, lethargy, polydipsia, and flatulence. BRAVECTO (fluralaner topical solution) for Dogs: The most commonly reported adverse reactions include vomiting, hair loss, diarrhea, lethargy, decreased appetite, and moist dermatitis/rash.
BRAVECTO Chews and Topical Solution for dogs has not been shown to be effective for 12-weeks’ duration in puppies less than 6 months of age. BRAVECTO Chews and Topical Solution for Dogs is not effective against the lone star tick beyond 8 weeks of dosing. BRAVECTO Topical Solution for Dogs is for topical use only. Avoid oral ingestion.
All BRAVECTO products contain fluralaner, which is a member of the isoxazoline class. This class has been associated with neurologic adverse reactions including tremors, ataxia, and seizures. Seizures have been reported in dogs receiving isoxazoline class drugs, even in dogs without a history of seizures. Use with caution in dogs with a history of seizures or neurologic disorders.