It is not uncommon for household pets to track in little hitchhikers in the form of parasites. Fleas are small, hard-shelled pests that can be found in a pet's outdoor environment or picked up from other affected animals. Fleas feed on the blood of the dog or cat and subsequently jump off the host animal to lay eggs. The flea life cycle can be hard to break, making flea infestations difficult to eradicate. Flea bites can cause much irritation for the infested animal, and if not treated quickly, serious complications such as dermatitis, anemia and tapeworm infestation can occur.
If the pests you find do not jump and appear to have a flat body and eight legs, you may have found a tick. Inhabiting wooded areas, these parasites latch on to dogs or cats to engorge themselves with blood. They can be challenging to find on a pet, as they make their way through even dense coats of fur to latch on to the skin of the animal. Ticks may carry a wide variety of diseases that can be transmitted to the host as the ticks feed, so it is important to remove them properly and immediately. Infestations may be avoided with the use of topical preventative and routine checks of your pets, especially around the base of the tail and behind the ears.Learn more about Bugs