Dogs and cats are some of the best snuggle partners humans can dream of for a comfortable experience. The soft fur of dogs and cats protects them from dynamic temperature and dust materials. However, it also becomes a hiding place for small bugs and insects. The two most common bugs that dogs and cats encounter are Fleas and ticks. These bugs cause substantial damage and increase the threat of other health problems. Some of the similarities between fleas and ticks are:
- Both fleas and ticks can transmit various other diseases.
- Fleas and ticks survive on pet's blood.
- Both the bugs can cut loose skin to access blood vessels.
Differences Between Fleas and Ticks
Many individuals think that fleas and ticks are identical. However, both the bugs have significant differences. Some of the prominent differences are:
- Weather Conditions: Both ticks and fleas can survive in warmer conditions. However, ticks tend to stay longer in colder conditions. They can even hide under the snow. Fleas can only tolerate warmer weather conditions.
- Diseases: If your dog or cat has caught fleas, they will most likely develop a skin infection. However, ticks can transmit potentially deadly diseases to humans and other pets.
- Parasite Type: Fleas can be categorized as wingless insects with six legs in simple comparisons. They possess the ability to jump and cut open pets' skin to survive on blood vessels. Ticks fall under the category of spiders since they feature eight legs.
- Spreading: In comparison with ticks, fleas infect households and pets as they multiply themselves in a short period. Ticks retain their hosts and stay for an extended period until they die.
Since we know the significant differences between fleas and ticks, it is essential to understand the causes, identification, and treatment of bugs in dogs and cats.
How Does Dogs Catch Fleas and Ticks
There is no denying fact that dogs love to play and experience new outdoor activities. Gardens and roads are places where fleas and ticks are present in advance. Fleas can easily catch your dog's skin and become their food source. Whenever a flea gets on your dog, it can stay there for weeks and multiply by laying eggs. Ticks develop themselves in various stages. They account for most of the seriously transmitted diseases.
Potential Side Effects of Fleas and Ticks on Dogs
If fleas and ticks are not detected in the early stages, it causes various adverse effects on dogs. Some of the potential side effects of fleas and ticks on dogs are:
- Skin Irritation and Infection: These are the two most common effects of fleas and ticks on dogs. If you see your dog scratching their body, you must take early steps to remove the bugs.
- Scabs and Scales: In case you are unaware, scabs are protective tissue that is formed on the skin. When fleas and ticks damage the dog's skin, scabs are formed on different body parts.
- Rashes and Red Inflamed Skin: If your dogs have fleas and ticks on their body, rashes and red, inflamed skin will be visible, irritating them throughout the day.
How To Spot Fleas on Dogs
Fleas are more difficult to spot than ticks because of their small size factor. However, fleas result in itchiness and annoying behavior, visible to the dog owners. In addition, if your pet dog is allergic to the saliva of fleas, it will result in skin infection and other diseases. Some of the various ways through which you can spot fleas on dogs are:
- It would help if you actively looked out for the red skin patches around your dog's neck, waist, and belly parts.
- If you see with precision, the fleas will appear red and brown.
- If you find black specks of debris, it will likely be flea feces.
- You must comb your dog's hair from the back to the front to get a good look at their skin. There are special flea combs available in the market. Alternatively, you can use a decent comb for the process.
Since fleas can multiply themselves, it becomes necessary to spot them in the early stages for hassle-free treatment. However, if the fleas stay longer, the severity of skin infections may increase, and they might also spread to humans.
Different Remedies To Remove Fleas and Ticks From Dogs
Now that you know the side effects and causes of fleas and ticks, you must know the different remedies and prevention methods to keep your snuggle partners healthy and free from bugs.
Some of the ways to remove and prevent ticks from dogs are:
- Ticks Dips and Collars: Various dips and collars are available in the market that dog owners can use to eliminate ticks. If you are unaware, tick dips are chemical solutions mixed with water and applied to the dogs' skin with a sponge. Similarly, tick collars possess certain chemicals that help the fur avoid ticks and other bugs.
- Oral Medications: Oral medications come under spot-on treatment and can help in various ways. The medicines are easy to digest, and it does not have any adverse effect on dogs.
- Sprays and Powders: If you wish to avoid oral medications, you can use special tick sprays and powders available in the market. It is strictly advised that tick sprays and powders must be used in consultation with the doctor, and no other animal must come in contact with the products.
Some of the ways to remove and prevent fleas from dogs are:
- Bath: In general cases, bathing your dog is one of the effective ways to remove fleas. It is suggested that you must use lukewarm water for the process. You can also various flea shampoos and soaps for a pleasant experience.
- Directly Kill the Fleas: Fleas are red and brown. If you see fleas on the comb while dressing your dog, you must dip the comb in hot water and kill the fleas.
- Apple Cider Vinegar Solution: You can spray apple cider vinegar solutions on your dogs to remove the fleas from the skin.
In most cases, dogs groom themselves and remove fleas and ticks on their own. However, if your pet dog has developed an allergy and skin infection, you must take appropriate actions. It is advised that you must consult a veterinarian before trying any remedies for a hassle-free experience.
Ticks and Fleas on Cats
Fleas and ticks are not limited to dogs. Cats can get infected with bugs. However, it is said that cats are more intelligent in hiding fleas. However, cats stand on the verge of potential health issues because of fleas allergy and infection.
Side Effects of Ticks and Fleas on Cats
Fleas are not always present on cats. However, if your cat has developed a certain allergy to bugs, the side effects might degrade the living and comfort. Some of the known sides of ticks and fleas on cats are:
- Skin Irritation: Skin irritation is majorly caused by moving fleas. It might be an early sign of skin infection if you often see your cat licking its body part.
- Rashes and Skin Infections: Rashes become inevitable when your cat constantly tries to comfort the skin through scratching and licking. Even if the fleas have stayed longer, skin infections occur in different body parts.
- House Contamination and Disease Transmissions: Fleas and ticks are linked with various diseases that can be transferred to humans and other pets. Once a flea catches a cat, it lays 30 to 35 eggs in 24 hours, increasing suffering. Your house can become a living space for bugs in a short period.
Spotting Fleas and Ticks on Cats
Spotting is the prime step that cat owners must take if they suspect a bug attack on their cats. Below are some ways to spot fleas and ticks on cats.
- Visible Bugs: If an adult tick attacks your cat, you can easily detect the bug with your eyes hovering around the skin. Similarly, tiny insects in red and brown color are fleas that can be present on any part of the body.
- Excessive Grooming: Lately, you must spot fleas and ticks if you are grooming your cat excessively.
- Red Patches on Skin: In the general defense mechanism, cats try to groom themselves by licking and biting the part where flea or tick is present. However, if your cat has developed a certain skin infection because of fleas and ticks, you will be able to see red patches on the skin.
Remedies and Prevention of Fleas and Ticks on Cats
Various products and prevention methods are available in the market that can be used to remove fleas and ticks from cats. Below are some ways you can use specifically for fleas and ticks.
- Destroy Flea Eggs From Home: In general cases, fleas lay multiple eggs, which makes it challenging to remove fleas from cats using home remedies. It is advised that you must remove fleas and their eggs from home.
- Antibiotics Medicines: If fleas are causing severe issues to your cat, you must consult a doctor and take the necessary antibiotics medicine for a faster recovery
- Do Regular Checks: Cats can hide fleas initially and groom themselves. However, it would help to do regular checks to avoid any extended hassle.
- Tick Collars: Like dogs, unique cat tick collars are available in the market that contains a chemical that prevents the skin from getting clutched by different types of ticks. However, you must use the tick collars after consulting with the doctor.
- Spot-on Treatments: Different types of spot-on treatments are used after analyzing the situation of the cats. You can also use spot-on treatments to prevent both fleas and ticks. The treatments advised by doctors are 100% effective in killing the bugs so that the life cycle does not continue and your pet is free from the bugs.
- Tick Powders: If your cat is uncomfortable wearing a collar, you can use tick powders with the same chemicals required for killing ticks. Alternatively, various tick sprays and soaps are available in the market, which can also be used to prevent ticks.
Since fleas and ticks are becoming common in dogs and cats, it is essential to understand the causes and prevention methods to let your animals live a healthy and comfortable life. You must note that some dog products are dangerous for cats. It would be best if you took utmost precaution while using flea and tick products for dogs and cats. In most cases, fleas and ticks are not a medical emergency.
However, suppose your cat or dog starts acting lethargic and loses weight unexpectedly. In that case, you must immediately see a veterinarian and take all the necessary steps to solve the medical issue.
The sooner you address the problems, the more snuggles you will get from your pets.