It's that time of year for fleas and ticks.
Fleas and ticks are external parasites that can cause extreme discomfort for your pet and can also cause serious diseases. Fleas are insects that can be found in any environment. There are more than 2000 species of fleas, but the common cat flea is the one that most commonly afflicts dogs and cats.
A disease of concern that can be caused by fleas is flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), which is a severe allergic reaction to flea bites. Some pets are so allergic that even a single bite can cause a reaction.
Ticks, however, are not insects, but they are closely related to spiders, scorpions and mites. There are approximately 80 tick species found in the United States. Yet only a handful of them are of real concern to pets and people.
Tick bites can be painful and irritating, but the real concern with ticks is the number of serious diseases they can transmit, such as Lyme disease, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. These diseases can cause significant illness and even death in both pets and people.
Ticks are found in virtually every region of the United States. They are most prevalent in the early spring and late fall.
Just keep in mind that when using flea or tick products meant for dogs, they should never be used on cats, and vice versa.
So as we head outside with our four-legged friends, Josephine readers weigh in on their favorite flea and tick products for dogs.
“Frontline. Hands down.” - Annie
“Seresto. Lasts for 8 months.” - Angie
“We use Nexgard and it keeps all four of our dogs free of the lovelys they bring inside. It's a chewable, too, so you give it to them like a treat which always makes it nice.” - Nic
“Bravecto.” - Ceclia
“Triflexia does flea ticks and worms.” - Samantha
“Comfortis at the vet.” - Kim
“Seresto is the best collar. Topicals don’t work. I get a pill called Simparica (something like that) for my pom and she’s never had a flea. Also protects against ticks and mosquitos. It’s like $11 and lasts for a month. I get it at the vet. Bravecto is a really good pill too.” - Kellsey
“Simparica is what I give my dog and it works and he loves the taste of the chew tab.” Melanie