Keeping our pets free of fleas and ticks has become a year-round challenge in Westchester County.  The good news is that you can significantly reduce your pet's risk of a flea and tick-borne diseases by taking just a few simple preventive steps.

Use Flea and Tick Preventive Medications

Topical and oral flea and tick medications are very effective at keeping fleas and ticks off dogs and cats.  Not only do they kill adult fleas and ticks, but they also prevent the development of eggs and larvae.  Our staff will recommend specific products for your pet given their lifestyle and health history.  

Check Your Pets Frequently For Ticks

Make sure you check your dog or cat for ticks every time they return from outside, especially if they spent time in tall grasses or weeds. Here's how:

  • Run your hands over your dog or cat's head and body, feeling for bumps.  Remember to check your pet's paws and ears, too.
  • If you feel a bump, part their fur to inspect the bump.
  • If you see a tick attached to your pet's skin, remove it as soon as possible.  It can take up 24 hours for an attached tick to transmit disease to your pet.

Remove ticks with tweezers, grasping it's head as close to your pet's skin as possible and pulling it straight out. Don't crush the tick's body when removing it.  Place the removed tick in a sealed jar or ziplock bag. If your pet develops a rash or symptoms of Lyme disease over the next few weeks, bring the tick to us so we can test it for Lyme or other tick-borne diseases.

Symptoms of Fleas

Often, you can see the fleas on your pet's fur, especially around the head, neck and rump. If your dog or cat is frequently scratching, licking, or biting its fur or skin, it may have fleas.  Check their fur for small deposits that look like dirt in your pet's fur or white eggs.  

Be sure to tell us if you suspect your pet may have fleas, as flea bites can cause skin infections, and a variety of health problems -- even anemia!

Spray Your Yard

Use a pet-safe flea and tick spray on your grass and bushes shrubs -- look for one that kills both adult fleas, ticks, eggs, and larvae.  Caution - even when using a pet-safe spray, be sure to wait until the spray dries completely before letting your pets or children back on the grass!  The effective term of sprays typically varies from one to three months.

Deer, raccoons and other mammals often carry ticks into your yard.  Consider building a fence to prevent them from coming into your yard.  Mice are also common carriers of ticks.