Ticks & Fleas in Dogs

Ticks and fleas are small, blood-sucking parasites that can infest dogs, causing irritation and discomfort. Ticks are arachnids that typically attach themselves to a dog’s skin and feed on its blood.

They are most commonly found in areas with tall grass or dense foliage, and can spread diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Fleas, on the other hand, are small, wingless insects that feed on the blood of dogs and other animals.

They are known for their ability to jump long distances, and can spread diseases such as tapeworms and anemia. Both ticks and fleas can be difficult to control once they have infested a dog, so it’s important to take preventive measures to keep your dog protected.

The Dangers Of Ticks and flees in Dogs

Ticks and fleas can pose a number of dangers to dogs. Here are some of the potential risks associated with these pests:

  • Disease transmission: Ticks and fleas can transmit various diseases to dogs, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and ehrlichiosis. These diseases can cause a range of symptoms, including fever, fatigue, and joint pain, and can be difficult to treat.
  • Anemia: Fleas are known for their ability to suck large amounts of blood from their hosts, which can lead to anemia in dogs. Anemia is a condition in which the body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues, which can cause weakness, lethargy, and other symptoms.
  • Allergic reactions: Some dogs may develop allergic reactions to the bites of ticks or fleas, which can cause intense itching, redness, and swelling. This can lead to secondary skin infections if the dog scratches or bites at the affected areas excessively.
  • Discomfort and distress: Both ticks and fleas can cause discomfort and distress in dogs, as they can be difficult to remove and may cause itching and irritation.

It’s important to take steps to prevent and control ticks and fleas in dogs to reduce the risk of these potential dangers. This may include using preventative medications, keeping your yard clean, and washing your dog’s bedding regularly.

If you notice any unusual symptoms in your dog, such as excessive scratching or lethargy, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.

Five Ways To Deal With Ticks And Fleas in Dogs

Ticks and fleas are two common parasites that can infest dogs, causing discomfort and potentially spreading disease. As a pet owner, it’s important to take steps to prevent and control these pests. Here are five ways to deal with ticks and fleas in dogs:

  1. Use a preventative medication: One of the most effective ways to prevent ticks and fleas is to use a preventative medication that’s specifically designed for dogs. These medications can be administered orally or topically, and they work by killing or repelling ticks and fleas before they can attach to your dog’s skin. Be sure to follow the dosage and application instructions provided by your veterinarian or the manufacturer of the product.
  2. Keep your yard clean: Ticks and fleas often live in areas with tall grass and debris, so it’s important to keep your yard clean and well-maintained. This includes mowing the grass regularly, removing leaf litter and debris, and trimming back overgrown bushes and shrubs.
  3. Check your dog regularly: Regularly checking your dog for ticks and fleas is an important part of pest control. Look for small, dark spots on your dog’s skin and coat, and use a flea comb to check for fleas. If you find a tick, use tweezers to carefully remove it by grasping it as close to the skin as possible and pulling gently.
  4. Wash your dog’s bedding: Ticks and fleas can also live in your dog’s bedding, so it’s important to wash it regularly. Use hot water and a detergent specifically designed for pet bedding to help kill any pests that may be hiding there.
  5. Use natural pest repellents: If you prefer to use natural remedies to control ticks and fleas, there are a number of options available. Some people find that using essential oils, such as lemon or eucalyptus, can help repel pests. You can also try adding a few drops of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water, as this can help make your dog’s skin less attractive to pests.

By following these tips, you can help prevent and control ticks and fleas in your dog and keep your furry friend happy and healthy. Always consult with your veterinarian before using any pest control products or natural remedies to ensure they are safe and effective for your specific dog.

Symptoms of Ticks and Fleas in Dogs

The symptoms of ticks and fleas in dogs can vary depending on the severity of the infestation and the individual dog’s reaction to the pests. Here are some common symptoms to look for:

  • Excessive scratching or biting at the skin: Both ticks and fleas can cause itching and irritation in dogs, which can lead to excessive scratching or biting at the affected areas. This can cause redness, swelling, and even secondary skin infections if the dog scratches or bites excessively.
  • Small, dark spots on the skin or coat: Ticks are visible to the naked eye, and they may be seen as small, dark spots on the skin or coat. These spots may be surrounded by redness or swelling.
  • Presence of fleas: Fleas are small, wingless insects that are difficult to see with the naked eye. However, you may be able to spot small, dark specks on your dog’s skin or coat, which could be flea dirt (fecal matter produced by fleas). You may also notice small, moving dots on your dog’s skin or coat, which could be fleas.
  • Anemia: If your dog has a severe flea infestation, it may develop anemia, which is a condition in which the body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. Symptoms of anemia in dogs may include weakness, lethargy, pale gums, and rapid breathing.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.

Dogue de Bordeaux puppy, fleas attack
Dogue de Bordeaux puppy – Flea Attack

Tick Paralysis

Some ticks can cause a short-term condition called “tick paralysis, which is marked by a slow but sure inception of difficulty walking that develops into paralysis. If you notice these or any other signs of illness in your dog, contact your vet as soon as possible so that proper testing and treatments can begin.

Finding And Removing Ticks From Your Dogs And Cats

If you find an embedded tick, be sure to remove it quickly.

Here’s how: Wear latex gloves to protect yourself from infecting yourself with any diseases or bacteria. Use a pair of tweezers or buy a specially-designed tick removal tool from your pet care provider or pet store. This will help you to grasp the tick at the point of attachment. Try to do this as close to the skin as you can possibly get.

Be very careful not to squeeze the body of the tick. If the tick bursts, its body fluids may cause bacteria and disease to be injected into the site where it has bitten your dog.

Pull the tick directly out from the skin slowly but steadily. You should not twist or turn your tick remover. Some of your dog’s skin will come off with the tick, still stuck in the tick’s mouthpiece, but this is normal. A little bleeding may occur and if this happens, just apply light pressure to the area until it has stopped.

Sometimes it also happens that a part of the tick’s head stays behind in the dog, embedded in the skin. If this happens, use the tweezers to gently pull it out if it is possible. If it cannot be done, don’t become worried.

It will fall off in due course.  It could, but rarely causes complications. I usually advise owners to just keep a good eye on the site and visit the vet if they have any concerns at all.

Removing Tick in dog
Removing Tick in Dog


After you have removed the tick and any of the mouthpieces that might have stayed behind, you have to clean your dog’s skin at and around the area where the tick was.

You can use mild soapy water and a disinfectant and dry the skin after.  Do watch your dog and the area for a few days to make sure it is all in order. Remember your vet is only a phone call away.

Lastly, l want to tell you about a product that l have found on the market.  The name of it is “tick away” by the company beaphar.  It has a little nozzle that you point directly at the tick and then pull the trigger.  It works kind of like a wart freeze.  You do not have to pull the tick off in the traditional way and there is no fear of broken skin or mouthpieces left behind.  You don’t have to get your hands dirty at all.  All you do is spray it on and the tick will fall off all by itself.

I use this product myself or recommend it for owners that find touching or working with ticks absolutely unbearable. Regular grooming will help keep your pets clear of ticks and other parasites. Read more in our article about grooming.

Future Prevention & Control Measures

Fleas and ticks are a major problem. These can be really itchy which causes our dogs to scratch most of the time. Too much scratching can result in lesions and breaks in our dog’s skin. This can also lead to another infection and other skin problems. This can be really challenging especially if we have long-haired dogs.

Our dogs need to have healthy skin for them to enjoy and live a full life. It has always been said that prevention is better than cure but then there are times when it is beyond our control. Here are some control measures as well as treatment options for fleas and ticks.

  • Clean your house. If you are still planning to get a dog or if you already have a dog, it is of utmost importance that you keep your house clean. Fleas don’t only live in your dogs; these can also be found in the surroundings. If your house is carpeted, fleas can flourish within the fibers so it would be best if you vacuum as often as you can.

    If you don’t, the fleas in their early stages of development will continue to stay lodged in your carpet and your dog can get it anytime especially when they’re lying down on your carpeted floor. Always clean your house; not just the living room but every single nook and cranny.
  • Insecticides. If you think that vacuuming and cleaning are enough, then you are wrong. To really decrease the chances of your dog getting any fleas, it is also helpful if you spray insecticides on the carpet, the rugs, and other areas of your house especially those dark, damp areas.

    Do not also forget to spray underneath the beds and furniture as well as the baseboards. If you are going to buy an insecticide, always check the label and go for one that contains active ingredients that inhibit the multiplication of flea and tick eggs.
  • Outdoors. Do not just limit your cleaning to the insides of your house; it is also important that you clean your yard and any surrounding areas around your house. Remember that your dogs go out too.

    Ticks and fleas can survive almost anywhere so it is for sure that these will be able to survive the outdoors. After you clean the outdoors, do not forget to spray insecticide all around the surrounding area of your house.
  • Of course, do not forget your pet dogs. Use flea control products on them. These products will help control the multiplication and eventually eliminate the fleas thriving on your dog especially if your dog has already been harboring them. But in case your dog is still flea-free, you can still use these products to keep the fleas from making a home on your dog’s fur.
  • Always keep your dog as clean as possible. Do not let them play with dogs that have skin diseases and are infested with ticks and fleas because these can easily transfer to your dog. You can always use a flea comb whenever you are brushing your dog’s hair because this type of comb is made especially to remove ticks and fleas stuck on your dog’s hair.

Read also: Worms in Dogs: Answers to the Most Important Questions


Marco Heitner

Hello, my Name is Marco. My family has had pets since I can remember. Today we have a large aquarium and, since recently, a four-month old Labrador. I am the owner of this website, and it is my great pleasure to provide helpful knowledge about pets. Our team is constantly working hard to publish well-researched reports here.


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