Safe Use of Flea and Tick Preventive Products

Safe Use of Flea and Tick Preventive Products

They’re creepy, they’re crawly…and they can carry diseases. Fleas and ticks are not just a nuisance, but pose animal and human health risks. They suck your pet’s blood, they suck human blood, and can transmit diseases. Some of the diseases that flea and tick can transmit from animals to humans (zoonotic diseases) include plague, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, bartonellosis and others. That’s why it’s critical to protect your pets from these pesky parasites and keep the creepy crawlies out of your home.

Fortunately, there are many effective flea and tick preventives on the market to help control the pests and prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases. Knowing what kind of product to use, and how to use it, is critical to the health and safety of your pet. Many are spot-on (topical) products that are applied directly to your pet’s skin, but there are some that are given orally (by mouth). Although medicines and pesticides must meet U.S. government-required safety standards before they can be sold, it is still critical that pet owners carefully consider their flea and tick preventive options (and closely read the label) before they treat their pets with one of these products.

Ask your veterinarian about Flea and Tick Preventive Products

Consult your veterinarian about your options and what’s best for your pet. Some questions you can ask include:

  • What parasites does this product protect against?
  • How often should I use/apply the product?
  • How long will it take for the product to work?
  • If I see a flea or tick, does that mean it’s not working?
  • What should I do if my pet has a reaction to the product?
  • Is there a need for more than one product?
  • How would I apply or use multiple products on my pet?

Parasite protection is not “one-size-fits-all.” Certain factors affect the type and dose of the product that can be used, including the age, species, breed, life style and health status of your pet, as well as any medications your pet is receiving. Caution is advised when considering flea/tick treatment of very young and very old pets. Use a flea comb on puppies and kittens that are too young for flea/tick products.

Read more at avma.org