Looking Out for Ticks and Fleas on your Pet

As many pet owners may already know, it can be quite common for our pets to pick up unwanted pests such as ticks and fleas, especially during this time of the year.

It is recommended that your pet receives flea treatments on a regular basis using veterinary approved products. Depending on the products used, flea treatments should be carried out on a monthly basis or every 12 weeks. Ticks on the other hand, tend to be picked up by our pets when adventuring through woodlands or high grass and it’s best to regularly check your pet for any stowaways and remove immediately.

While of course prevention is always the best course of action, there may be times when your pet suffers from a flea infestation or ticks, so it’s important to be aware of the key symptoms your pet may display and what checks you can do on a regular basis:


If your pet has managed to welcome a few unwanted tenants on its coat, these are some of the most common symptoms to look out for:

  • Excessive scratching, itching, biting and licking
  • Flea dirt
  • Ear and skin infections
  • Red, irritated skin and scabs
  • Loss of hair which tends to be over the lower back, tail and rear leg area

Fleas like to find their new homes in the neck, ears and underside region of your pet and measure at approximately 1-3 millimetres in length. Though small, they are generally easy to see moving around your pet’s coat due to their dark brown bodies.

If you have identified fleas in your pet’s coat, it’s best to get veterinary advice and immediate treatment as it can be very uncomfortable for your four-legged friend.


These small parasites latch themselves onto your pet’s skin, draining their blood. As they feed they will grow larger in size before dropping off.

Ticks carry a number of infectious diseases which is why it is so important to keep your pet tick-free and remove these unwanted pests as soon as possible. If left untreated, ticks can transmit Lyme disease, which can cause serious symptoms in dogs such as fever, loss of appetite, and swollen or painful joints.

After any walks and outdoor play, run your hands over your pet’s coat from head to tail with gentle pressure to feel for any small lumps or bumps on their skin. Some common key problem areas here include in and around the ears, under the collar, and around the eyes and tail.

If you do identify ticks on your pet’s skin, make sure to be careful in its removal. Avoid squeezing the tick’s body or leaving the head in as this can increase the chances of your pet contracting a disease.

Keeping on top of your pet’s health is always a key priority for owners and at this time of the year, ticks and fleas will certainly keep you on your toes! For treatments, advice, and products, make sure to contact the USPCA Veterinary team and visit our Pet Supplies Shop.