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MANAGING FLEAS AND TICKS FOR DOGS AND CATS

Four-legged friends are a happy addition to the family. Find out how to help protect your dogs and cats from blood-sucking pests that can spread disease.

Close-up of a woman giving their dog a shampoo.

Dogs, cats, and other pets are beloved members of the family. But they can also introduce unwanted insects into the home. More importantly, some of these insects can spread diseases to your pets. For example,tickscan transmitLyme Diseaseand Rocky Mountain spotted fever to dogs and cats.

We’ve got expert tips to help you protect your home and furry family members fromfleasandticks—and the diseases they can spread.

FLEAS AND YOUR FURRY FRIEND

Fleas are the most common external parasite on dogs and cats.1 These biting pests can make your pets miserable and lead to a flea infestation in your home. That’s why it’s important to learn how to recognize the signs of fleas andtake quick action to eradicate them.

SIGNS OF FLEAS ON DOGS & CATS2

Close-up of rashes and fur loss on a dog's body.

While you may see fleas scurrying quickly through your pet’s fur, the most common signs of fleas on cats and dogs include:

  • Excessive scratching, licking, or biting.

  • Rashes or lesions on your pet’s body.

  • Fur loss due to a reaction to flea bites or excessive scratching and licking.

  • Pale gums, which can indicate anemia in your pet due to blood loss.

  • Flea feces, which look like small black or reddish-brown specks, on your pet or around your home.

FLEA PREVENTION & ELIMINATION TIPS

  • Ask your vet about treatments that help prevent and kill fleas on dogs and cats.

  • Inspect your pets for signs of fleas regularly, especially during warm months when these pesky parasites are at their peak.1

  • Wash your pet regularly with a flea shampoo.

  • Use a flea comb to help reduce the number of adult fleas.

  • If signs of fleas persist, do a follow-up treatment two weeks after the first one because fleas in cocoons may survive the first round.

  • Take quick action to helpprevent and kill fleas in the homewith expert tips from our entomology team.

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DID YOU KNOW?

An adult flea can consume up to 15 times its body weight in blood each day.3 And if your dog or cat is infested with fleas, it can introduce hundreds of new flea eggs into the home every day.

HELP PROTECT YOUR PETS FROM TICKS

Ticks can spreadLyme Disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tick paralysis, and other diseases to dogs and cats. They can also cause anemia, and skin irritation and infection.4 To help protect your four-legged friends, be sure to ask your veterinarian about tick-prevention products for dogs and cats. And read below for expert tips to help you find and remove ticks from your pets.

HOW TO CHECK YOUR PET FOR TICKS5

Close-up of a dog owner spreading their dog's fur to reveal an embedded tick.

To check dogs or cats for ticks, just run your fingers through his or her fur using gentle pressure to feel for any small bumps. Pay special attention to these common tick hiding spots on pets:

  • Under the collar

  • In and around the ears

  • Around the eyelids

  • Under the front legs

  • Between the back legs

  • Around the tail

  • Between the toes

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ACT FAST TO REMOVE TICKS

It only takes a tick from 3 to 24 hours of feeding to infect an animal with Lyme disease.6 That’s why it’s so important to check your pets for ticks every day, especially after they spend time outdoors, so you can find and remove these blood suckers as soon as possible.

 

HOW TO REMOVE TICKS FROM DOGS & CATS6

  • Part your pet’s fur to expose his or her skin and the tick.

  • Grasp the tick as close to your pet’s skin as possible using a fine-tipped tweezers.

  • Pull the tick upward slowly and firmly. Don’t twist or jerk the tick because this can cause part of its mouth to break off in your pet’s skin.

  • Put the tick in a sealable jar or plastic bag with a teaspoon of rubbing alcohol to kill the tick. Save the container for a few weeks so you can take the tick to your veterinarian to examine in case your pet becomes ill.

  • Disinfect the bite area and skin around it with an antiseptic.

  • Check the bite area frequently for a few weeks. Make an appointment with your veterinarian if the bite looks irritated/infected or if your pet has trouble walking, seems especially tired, or isn’t eating or drinking like normal.

  • Never crush a tick with your fingers after removal to avoid infecting yourself with tick-borne diseases.7 Instead, dispose of a live tick by putting it in alcohol, flushing it down the toilet, placing it in a sealed bag/container, or wrapping it tightly in tape before putting it in the trash.

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DID YOU KNOW?

You should never use nail polish, petroleum jelly, alcohol, gasoline, or a hot match to remove ticks from pets because these methods can force infected fluids back into the bite.8

SC J Institute of Insect Science for Family Health logo
WE STUDY INSECTS TO HELP YOU PROTECT YOUR PETS

At theSC Johnson® Institute of Insect Science for Family Health, our scientists are dedicated to helping families worldwide learn how to use pest control products and help protect themselves and their pets against insects that can transmit diseases.

FIND SOLUTIONS FOR PESTS THAT AFFECT PETS

Protect your pets from blood-sucking insects that spread disease with products designed to help you get rid offleas, andticks.


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