The pet world is full of furfies, and as a Vet, I’ve had to treat hundreds of animals where the information found online has been incorrect. So today we’re looking at some of the more “popular myths” regarding fleas, ticks and the treatments that are out there.

Let’s start with fleas, a frustrating problem for pet owners.

Fleas can make your pet itch all over, some itch so badly, that they’ll scratch and chew themselves until they bleed! Some fleas also carry other parasites, that can include tapeworm, so fleas can actually lead to more dangerous parasite-related diseases.

Then there are our killer Aussie ticks.

Ticks can be outright killers, especially the infamous paralysis tick. Ticks also carry other diseases that cause weakness, lethargy and joint pain in cats and dogs if not properly protected (see our Fleamail parasite protection plans here). Now to the myths.

Myth 1: There is a flea or tick “season”.

While there are times of the year where fleas and ticks are more active, there is no such thing as a “season for parasites”.

Many people think that fleas or ticks die off in winter, however having treated hundreds of dogs in our coldest months, I can tell you that fleas and ticks can (and do) survive the winter quite happily. Your dog’s coat is the perfect warm spot in colder temperatures.

Myth 2: A few fleas are okay for pets.

Dogs scratch, it’s normal.

No, it’s not.

Imagine having lice where you head feels itchy all day, and no matter how much you scratch, you’re still itchy. It’d drive you nuts right? Fleas can cause irritation and unhappiness for your pet, even in small numbers. Some pets are even allergic to them, where a single bite can cause a condition called Flea Allergy Dermatitis, a very expensive condition to treat.

Fleamail is the easy way to protect your pup, kitten, cat or dog against parasites – and cheaper than bulk buying!

Myth 3: Supermarket treatments are the same as the veterinary grade ones.

If you’ve bought flea, tick and worming treatments from a supermarket, you may have wondered why they are cheaper than from a vet clinic. Perhaps it’s the bulk buying power of supermarkets?

Actually, that’s not the case.

The answer is, that not all flea and tick products are created equal. Store brands tend to contain cheaper, inferior ingredients or lower dosages to reduce costs than veterinary approved products. Some popular supermarket brands actually take three months to work! So saving a few pennies on the purchase price can cost you much more later.

Myth 4: Natural parasite preventatives work.

As a Vet and pet owner, I wish this was true. But garlic and rosemary extract (for example) should not be seen as a parasite preventive. If these natural alternatives worked, pharmaceutical companies would package them up and save billions in medical research every year.

The scary part, is that extracts come in various strengths, and some can be dangerous to your pet. If you are giving your pet alternatives, be very careful and ask your vet first.

Myth 5: Indoor pets don’t need protection.

While there is no doubt that outdoor pets face much greater exposure, it is important to recognise that fleas and ticks can (and do) infest indoor-only animals.

Where do these parasites come from then?

Most often they hitch their way into homes on people’s clothes, other pets and unwanted pests like mice, rats and possums that can live around your home. You can also carry them in after being outside or other people’s houses where pets have been. If you have an indoor pet, protection is hands-down better than cure.

What you can do to prevent fleas and ticks.

  • Groom your pet regularly and keep an eye out for any ticks and flea dirt or poo.
  • Clean your pet’s bed and anywhere they lay regularly.
  • Remove any unwanted scrub from your property and keep your lawn mown.
  • Vacuum regularly, especially under furniture.
  • Treat your pets regularly with a veterinary-grade flea and tick preventative.

Fleamail is the easy way to protect your pup, kitten, cat or dog against parasites – and cheaper than bulk buying!