Pet Health Protect your pet from pesky pests

Published on August 7th, 2014 | by Debbie Martin


How to Protect your Pet from These Pesky Pests

Annoying pests and parasites such as ticks, mites and fleas can cause a lot of health problems for your dog, cat, rabbit or other pets – so it is important to know how to protect your pet and keep them safe from them and in the event that they get infested how to get rid of them. Parasites like these can case irritation and they can also bring with them all sorts of skin problems and diseases.

It is essential to keep a close eye on your pet and check them out for parasites on a regular basis, as they will not be able to tell you if something is wrong. When you notice that your furry friend has a problem with parasites you should take immediate action and treat the infestation as soon as you can – every day they are left to their devices makes it harder to eradicate them completely.

Here are some tips to keep in mind for spotting the signs of an infestation early, so that you can give your pet the quickest and best possible treatment:


Ticks are a significant health problem for pets (especially dogs) in the UK and if your pet is infested with this type of parasite it can cause a lot of problems. Ticks are known for transmitting infectious diseases to both humans and animals. These creatures are blood sucking parasites, which will attach themselves to your pet’s skin with their mouth. They will then feed from the blood of your dog, until they eventually fall off several days later.

During this time the tick will cause irritation, as well as transmit diseases such as Lyme disease. The site of the tick bite could develop into an abscess if it gets infected. This is why a tick should be removed as soon as it is spotted.

How to Remove a Tick

First, purchase a tick removal kit from a pet store or your vet or use tweezers. Keep your pet calm and restrain them, then firmly grip the tick close to your pet’s skin. Twisting, gently pull the tick free.

When you have done this, make sure that you avoid any contact with the tick fluid so that you can avoid any potential diseases or infections. Dispose of the tick and clean the wound with an anti-septic. If you don’t think you have removed the entire tick or you are not confident performing this procedure yourself, you can ask your vet to remove the tick instead for you.


Small pets such as guinea pigs, rabbits and rodents are most likely to be affected by mites, which usually come from contact with poor quality hay used in bedding. If you notice that your pet has a lot of dandruff or is moulting very heavily, you should check them for mites.

If you find a mite infestation, you should seek veterinary advice. Don’t use parasite treatments that are designed for cats or dogs on a small rodent such as a rabbit or a guinea pig, as they can be dangerous for animals of this size.

There are thousands of different types of mites out there, so see your vet so that they can determine which type of mite you are dealing with and what treatment would be most effective. The right treatment will ensure that all of the mites are removed and no further irritation is caused to the skin.


Fleas are another harmful parasite affecting pets such as cats and dogs and probably the most common. They are attracted to warm blooded animals and they will bite your pet, causing irritation and scratching. This will lead to skin inflammation, rashes and infection. Also in very young or very old pets a flea infestation can be potentially dangerous because it can lead to anaemia.

Also the fleas from your cat or dog also like to bite human skin – so get rid of the problem before it spreads to everyone in the house! There are many ways that you can treat fleas but one of the most effective ways is to use one of the many spot-on treatments available such as Eliminall, Advantage or Frontline. There are also products that you pour on your pet, tablets that your pet can take, household sprays to treat carpets and bedding to kill eggs and stragglers and many more such as an insecticide spray.

If you are not sure which product you should use, you can consult your vet and they will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each option. They will also be able to give you advice on dosage and how best to use each option. Or you could call one of our many trained members of staff who are also qualified to give advice and will only be too happy to assist. Fleas can be really stubborn to get totally rid of in your home, so make sure that as soon as you spot them to contain the situation and use preventative measures to remove them.

These are just a few important pointers to keep in mind when it comes to protecting your pet from pests such as mites, ticks and fleas. With the right care and diligence, you will be able to save your pet from the nasty annoyances and potential serious health problems caused by these irritating creatures.

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About the Author

Debbie has worked for Beeston Animal Health for a number of years and although generally involved with the marketing these days she has a great deal of knowledge on many things to do with small animals.

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