First, fleas and ticks—especially ticks—carry diseases that can kill your dog, or at the very least make its life miserable: Lyme disease, Erlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tularemia, etc. They can kill YOU, too, or make your life miserable. So it’s best to control these pests!

About Ticks

Tick Species and Signs of Ticks

Ticks are pests that feed on the blood of animals and humans. The most common types are the deer tick (Black-legged tick), and the American dog tick. Most are reddish-brown to brown in appearance and have eight legs. Ticks are most likely to be seen in the warmer months (Spring through Fall) and they live in wooded, bushy and grassy areas.

Learn more about what ticks look like at their different life stages here: http://www.tickencounter.org/tick_identification

About Fleas

Similar to ticks, fleas are small pests that feed on the blood of animals (and even humans). Fleas are a nuisance to pets as well as dangerous because they can transmit tapeworms and other diseases, and in extreme circumstances can cause anemia. Fleas breed very quickly and can spread not just on your pets, but in various stages in your carpets, furniture, even bedding! Fleas can be picked up anywhere outside, and since females can lay 40-50 eggs a day, an infestation can happen in a matter of days.

Products the Kill, Repel or Prevent Fleas and Ticks

You might want to consider natural or non-chemical options if you are not afraid to touch fleas or ticks. I’m not squeamish about touching fleas and ticks and I’ve pulled them off of all of us without leaving the head behind.

The chemical flea and tick control products are more powerful and work better (meaning, you’ll kill more pests) than the more natural products, but, in my opinion, it’s with risks that you should be aware of and accept when you choose to use them.

Total Dog Company carries a number of products for flea and tick management, including natural and chemical, starting this week. What follows is the current roster, with notes about features of each.

Note: For all the products we sell, read and follow the label directions. Pay attention to the age of pets on which the product can safely be used, and whether or not the product is safe to use around cats if there are cats in your household. This website has some easy-to-understand information about various pesticides: