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Flea, tick and worm treatment for dogs

Flea, tick and worm treatment for dogs

Fleas, ticks and worms can be a terrible irritation for dogs and owners. They’re almost impossible to get rid of without thoroughly treating both your dog and the entire home. Read this handy guide, written by Emily Moss from Animed Direct, on flea, tick and worm treatment for dogs.

How do dogs get fleas? 

Around 95% of the flea population live in the home and will lay eggs in your dog’s bedding, soft furnishings and cracks around the edge of the floor. Adult fleas are easily picked up by your pet, as they jump from animal to environment or from environment to animal.

Regular flea treatment is important for getting rid of existing adult fleas and to prevent your dog from getting fleas.

Signs your dog has fleas

  • Itching and scratching
  • Hair loss
  • Restlessness
  • Biting the skin
  • Visible eggs on the fur

How do dogs get ticks? 

Ticks can be found in grassy areas, such as woodland, moorland and gardens. They are active all year round but tend to be most active between March and October. You should check your dog regularly for ticks.

Certain ticks feed on pets (particularly dogs), humans, birds and other mammals. When ticks need to feed, they climb up vegetation, getting higher off the ground, ready to climb on board a passing host – they don’t jump or fly.

How to prevent ticks

To avoid ticks when out on walks with your dog, keep to the middle of a path and away from longer grass or overhanging vegetation. 

To protect yourself when walking your dog in a grassy area, wear long trousers, tuck them into socks or consider wearing wellies. Once you’ve finished your walk, give your clothes a brush down to get rid of any ticks that may have found their way onto you. Always check your dog after a walk. 

Treating your dog for fleas and ticks

When it comes to treating your dog for fleas and ticks, most treatments are not recommended for animals younger than 10 weeks old. Once they have reached the correct age, there are several options for treatment, ranging from flea combs, collars, spot-on solution to tablets. Ask your vet for advice about which treatment is best for your dog. 

Flea and tick collars and spot-on solutions are topical treatments that stay on the surface of your dog’s body. The solution spreads quickly from the point of application and then works when fleas or ticks come into contact with it.

The active ingredients in topical treatments get rid of the parasite in various ways. Some kill adult fleas and ticks. Others kill the larvae or sterilise the eggs. There are some spot-on treatments that combine active ingredients: Fipronil to kill live fleas and S-Methoprene to prevent flea eggs or larvae developing in your home.

How to treat your home for fleas

To stop a flea infestation in the home, wash all pet bedding at 60 degrees and vacuum your home regularly. Don’t forget to vacuum underneath the furniture. For extra protection use a household flea spray. The spray kills adult fleas on contact, which usually lasts for about two months. Household flea sprays can also prevent the development of any new eggs or larvae for up to 12 months. When used alongside a flea treatment for your pet, household sprays complete the tightest circle of flea treatments available.

Why do dogs get worms?

There are many different types of intestinal worms that can infect your dog, including hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, lungworms and tapeworms. They live in the inner organs or bloodstream of your dog and will infect their gastro-intestinal system.

The two worms to be the most aware of are lungworms and tapeworms. Lungworms can be dangerous for dogs and are transmitted through snails and slugs in the garden. From the intestine they can make their way into dogs’ lungs and cause coughing and breathing problems.

Read more about this and get advice on how to create a dog-friendly garden.

Tapeworms are commonly transmitted via small animals and fleas, which is why it’s important to regularly treat your dog for fleas. 

Signs your dog has worms

  • Diarrhoea (sometimes with blood)
  • Weight loss in spite of increased appetite
  • Dry and coarse hair
  • Vomiting (perhaps with worms in the vomit)
  • Pot belly (in puppies)
  • Anaemia
  • Blood loss and overall weakness

Treating your dog for worms

You should regularly give your dog a worming treatment specifically formulated for their size and weight. Never give dog treatment to a cat or vice versa. They may appear identical based on the ingredients, but the amount that needs to be given to dogs and cats is different. 

Ask your vet for advice about which type of worming treatment you should use and how often your dog should be treated. 

It’s recommended that you worm your adult dog at least once every three months. However if your dog lives with small children or elderly people they may need to be treated more frequently. One treatment may not cover all types of potential worm infections, so you should speak to your vet about which types of worms your dog is most at risk from contracting.  

If your dog is pregnant or has any other underlying health issues, you should always seek the advice of your vet. 

Established in 2010, Animed Direct is a UK based online veterinary dispensary. Visit Animed Direct for a wide range of prescription and non-prescription flea, tick and worm treatments. 

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