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Win the fight against fleas & ticks

Mary Fetzer is a freelance writer and marketing consultant with a marketing degree from Penn State University and 15 years of international business experience. Mary specializes in writing about parenting, children, pregnancy, college, h...

Protect your pet from pests

No matter how well groomed your pets are, they can still fall victim to pesky fleas and ticks. These silent pests can cause serious problems for your pet, your family and your home. Arm yourself for battle and be rid of fleas and ticks once and for all.

Itchy dog

Fighting fleas

Your pet may be scratching, but itchiness isn't the only problem caused by fleas. Fleas can cause a variety of health problems for your pet, so it's important to treat them immediately.

  • Check your pet regularly for black specks (flea droppings). Good grooming habits are essential, but bathing and brushing alone will not rid your pet of fleas.
  • Begin with a flea product such as FRONTLINE Plus. This safe, effective product kills the fleas that are already on your pet and helps prevent new fleas from setting up camp in your pet's lovely fur coat.
  • Vacuum your home frequently -- not just carpets, but all soft coverings where your pet hangs out: sofas, chairs, beds and even the car. Check out these five ways to clean pet hair, too.
  • Launder your pet's belongings regularly. Use the hottest water possible on pet beds, blankets, stuffed toys and other soft items.
  • Keep your lawn well manicured. Mowing the lawn and bagging or raking the remaining clippings and leaves also helps in your flea fight.

Check out The Bloodsucking Menace slideshow >>

Fighting ticks

As with fleas, you must address both your pet and the environment. Ticks can live their entire four-stage life cycle on your pet: 1) The female tick lays hundreds (even thousands) of eggs, which hatch in about two weeks; 2) After hatching, the larvae latch on to feast on your pet's blood; 3) The larvae molt into nymphs and look for another host to feed on; and 4) Nymphs molt into adults, and the females lay eggs to start the cycle all over again.

  • Check your pet daily for ticks, especially on the head, face, neck and paws. (It's wise to check yourself and your family regularly as well.)
  • Treat your dog with a product that kills ticks at all stages of their life cycle. FRONTLINE effectively kills the larvae, nymphs and adults to continually control ticks.
  • Avoid taking your pet into tick-infested areas such as high grass, weeds and forests.

Check out The Terrifying Tick slideshow >>

If you find an adult tick on your pet, let your vet remove it. If your vet is unavailable, remove the tick yourself using tweezers. Avoid touching the tick with your hands. Save the dead pest in a capped bottle so the vet can determine what sort of tick it is.

More tips for healthy pets

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