How to Protect your Pet from Fleas and Ticks

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How to Protect your Pet from Fleas and Ticks

How to Protect your Pet from Fleas and Ticks


It’s a myth that fleas and ticks are only around in the summer - they’re a year-round nuisance! But when the days are longer, the sun is warmer and grass grows higher, it’s much easier to pick them up, so it’s timely to look closely at protecting our pets from these parasites.


Why protect


A scratchy pet is an uncomfortable pet but fleas and ticks aren’t just nasty little critters which cause your pets irritation; they also bring diseases which, if not checked, could cause illness. Thankfully infestation is preventable and I’m glad to share my top tips for protecting your pets from fleas and ticks.


#1 Be observant - outdoors


Watching what your pet is doing - and where it’s going - can be key to prevention. In particular, look out for:


  • Long-grass areas and avoid walking there as ticks like lurking in long grass, ready to latch on as your pet (or even you) walk by.
  • Signs of worms and larvae in your pet’s poo. In addition to being nasty to notice, these could also signify infestation, as fleas can introduce tapeworms and the larvae may be present in the poo. If you spot something, a treatment trip to the vets is advised.


#2 Keep an eye out indoors 


  • Something we love about our pets is the petting, so make the most of these hands-on moments by carrying out a regular full-body check, which can be incredibly helpful in preventing small pest problems from getting worse. Part the fur and introduce a flea comb into the grooming, to help you spot fleas and ticks so you can step up prevention with treatment.
  • Did you know that fleas can lay dormant indoors for up to 9 months? Regular, thorough hoovering can help, but also wash textiles regularly and use a hot wash for pet bedding. If you spot signs of fleas in the house, for example in rugs, carpets or sofas, sprays are available but always follow instructions for safe use.


#3 Timely treatments


They say timing is everything, and it’s certainly true for prevention and treatment in pet care:


  • It’s easy to forget when regular treatments are due, but using a calendar or diary can help. Many flea and tick treatments include reminder stickers to pop on the calendar or, if you use a digital planner or organisation app, set a reminder notification for when the next treatment is due.
  • If you notice issues, such as skin irritation, excessive scratching or listlessness, a prompt check-in with the vet and a bit of timely treatment can sometimes be all that’s needed to stop infection or infestation in its tracks.  


#4 Ongoing care


Remembering that fleas and ticks are an all-year round hazard, my final tip is to incorporate prevention into your ongoing pet care routine: 

  • Instead of a standard pet collar, perhaps consider swapping to a scientifically proven pet flea collar.  Many include protection against both fleas and ticks, plus have other features we like such as having a safety-release and being water-resistant. This way, even if a treatment gets missed or your pet gets up close and personal with a critter, their overall risk is reduced. 
  • Signing up to a pet care health plan with your vet is great for ongoing care. It also means you’ll receive regular reminders from your vet practice when treatments are due.


Being a responsible pet owner is all about protection and prevention. Taking action to prevent illness and irritation from fleas and ticks brings the fantastic reward of better health for your pets and peace of mind for yourself.

Paul Manktelow

Veterinary Surgeon

Dr Paul Manktelow is a vet who's worked for almost 20 years on the front line in some of the UK's busiest veterinary hospitals. Paul also appears regularly in the media as a TV and radio presenter, writer, public speaker and podcast producer.