FB pixel

Tick and Flea Prevention Season

David Smith, DVM – Director of Veterinary Services, Leader Dogs for the Blind
Golden retriever Leader Dog seated in a wooded area

It’s that time of year again, the birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming and the ticks are everywhere!

The best way to avoid discomfort or disease from ticks and fleas is to do your best to keep them away from yourself and your pets. This is especially important for working dogs, like our Leader Dogs and Future Leader Dogs.

When it comes to ticks and fleas, we prefer to use a medicated line of defense to protect our dogs; Leader Dog uses Vetality® Avantect®II for Dogs. This is a veterinary prescription quality flea and tick solution with the same active ingredients found in K9 Advantix II, but at a lower cost. Vetality® Avantect®II kills bugs on contact, which means they don’t need to bite your dog to die.

An added precaution is to avoid areas where ticks and fleas are more likely to be found. Don’t let your dog run through grassy fields, limit their exploration while on hiking trails and avoid high-deer population areas, as deer are a common host (an animal on which a parasite lives) for ticks.


  • Ticks are blood-feeding arthropods (closely related to spiders and scorpions) about 3/16-inch long, depending on the stage of its life cycle.
  • Ticks feed by latching on to a host (such as dogs and human), embedding their sharp, barbed mouths into the host’s skin and sucking its blood.
  • Ticks wait for their next host from the tips of grasses and shrubs. When a dog or person brushes the spot where a tick is waiting, it quickly lets go of the grass strand and crawls aboard.
  • Ticks need multiple meals from different hosts, putting them in the perfect position to carry diseases from animal to animal.


  • Fleas are small insects about 1 to 2 mm in length.
  • Adult fleas live in the coat of dogs, cats and other animals, feed on their blood.
  • Fleas are commonly found in shaded leafy debris piles, underneath decks, furniture and carpet fibers.

I found a tick on my dog, what do I do?

If you find a tick on your dog the first step is to take a deep breath and remember the following:

  1. If the tick is moving, meaning it is crawling on your dog or your clothes, you can quickly try to brush it off with a disposable cloth or remove them with something sticky like masking tape or a lint roller.
  2. If the tick is already embedded in the skin the best way to remove the tick is to grasp it firmly with tweezers as close to the skin as possible and firmly pull it straight out. Once the area is clear, wash the bite with warm soapy water.
    1. DO NOT burn the tick with a match or cover it with lotions or petroleum jelly.
    2. DO NOT use bare hands to remove the tick. We know there is a high chance of a tick carrying disease, you won’t want to get their blood-filled insides on our skin. If you do not have tweezers, use a tissue or any form of barrier to grasp the tick.
    3. DO NOT twist or jerk the tick when removing.

A tick on the edge of a leaf with its two front legs raised

Ticks can be safely disposed of by placing them in a container of soapy water or alcohol, sealing the lid and disposing of the container.

Be sure to keep a watchful eye on the bite while it heals. If you have any concerns while it is healing or notice changes in behavior in your dog, you should call your Veterinary clinic.

Regardless, after the removal, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Shake off that creepy crawly feeling and reward yourself and your dog for keeping calm while handling the situation!

Fight Fleas and Ticks with Tevra Brands

As the official flea and tick sponsor of Leader Dogs for the Blind, Tevra Brands reminds you that warm weather is back bringing summer pests, fleas, ticks and mosquitoes with it! Vetality® Avantect®II for Dogs is a veterinary quality flea and tick solution used by Leader Dog clients and pet parents throughout the United States.

Tevra Brands believes in offering innovative, high quality, affordable products that will keep your pet happy and healthy. As a member of the Leader Dog community, you’re entitled to a 25% discount at tevrapet.com! Just enter the code ‘leader25’ at checkout.