The Pets & Friends Guide to Common Pet Parasites The Pets & Friends Guide to Common Pet Parasites

Posted by Emma Oldroyd, on

The Pets & Friends Guide to Common Pet Parasites

Wherever they roam, dogs and cats can be at risk of contracting various parasites, just like humans can be susceptible to a virus. Whilst the majority of this is out of our control as pet-parents, keeping up with regular treatments and taking prevention measures against fleas, ticks & worms will help your pet stay healthy and parasite- free!

At Pets & Friends we want to help you take the best care of your pet, so we’ve put together a handy guide on how to help prevent and treat common pet parasites. We always recommend speaking to a trained team member in-store before making your initial purchase, as products vary depending on the weight/age and type of your pet.

cat spot on


Fleas come out of everywhere and nowhere, and in this case, prevention is always better than the cure for your pet. Choosing the right products and using them regularly can help avoid infestations and keep your pet itch-free and happy.

As with most parasite treatments, flea treatments give the best results when used correctly based on the age, weight, and type of your pet. Some dog flea treatments can cause harm to cats, so if you have a mixed pet household- always read the labels. Some pets can also be allergic to fleas, so an infestation doesn’t just cause itching and general discomfort. If your pet shows signs of hair loss or sore skin- seek veterinary treatment as soon as possible.

How do pets contract fleas?

Very easily! Fleas live everywhere, especially around the home, so the best prevention measure is to treat your home first. Investing in a good quality household flea spray can help eradicate the cause by destroying flea eggs before they have a chance to hatch. Look for a spray which has an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) for best results. Regular vacuuming can also help prevent the spread- but it’s important NOT to vacuum for around a week post-treatment as this could lead to you cleaning up the treatment, rather than the fleas.

Which treatment should I use?

There are various types of flea treatments available on the market, from specialist collars to tablets. Below we have created a short guide to which treatment does what, and how they can work together for maximum effect. You can view our dog flea treatments, cat flea treatments and rabbit flea treatments online.

We also offer extensive guides on the best flea treatments for dogs and best flea treatments for cats



Always de-worm your pet after a flea infestation and treatment, as fleas can carry tapeworm.


At some point in their lifetime, your pet will contract worms. The affects of an un-treated worm infection can be awful for your pet, and in some cases, can also be passed on to humans, especially smaller children.

It’s important to look for the signs of a worm infection: vomiting, diarrhoea and appetite loss are just some effects of worms. Regular worming should be carried out to reduce the health risk to your pet. You can view our range of dog worming and cat worming treatments online- or speak to a team member in-store who can advise on the right course of treatment for your pet.

When should I treat my pet for worms?

Kittens and puppies should be de-wormed more regularly than adult pets as they are at a higher risk of infection.

  • 0-3 months = worming treatment every 2 weeks
  • 3-6 months = worming treatment every 4 weeks

Adult dogs and cats should be treated every 3 months/12 weeks throughout their lifetime.


The great outdoors is full of wonder for our pets, but it also comes with a downside: ticks! Ticks can be contracted from any area with foliage, including fields, long grass and even your garden. A lot of flea treatments combine both flea and tick repellent, so the easiest way to avoid ticks is to use a dual treatment.

tick check

It’s always a good idea to check over your pet for ticks after a walk/time in the garden, as a tick infestation can lead to Lyme disease. Lyme disease is an illness caused by bacteria that is spread when a tick attaches itself to your dog or cat. This bacteria attacks tissue in the body such as joints, and organs and can eventually cause organ failure in severe cases.  Symptoms include limping, stiffness, fever, and lethargy. The best way to prevent it is to keep up to date with your pet's tick treatment regime.

My pet has a tick, what do I do?

Always remove a tick as quickly as possible to avoid pet discomfort and disease transmission. The best way to remove a tick is using the right tools: tick removers are designed to remove ticks with minimal discomfort to your pet and are available to buy online and in-store. You can even get a tick pick keyring to take on walks!

If you suspect your pet has a tick infestation, or is suffering discomfort due to a tick, always seek veterinary care.

If you have any questions about common pet parasites and how to treat them, our trained team members are on-hand in store to help. You can also e-mail or give us a shout on our social channels with any queries regarding your pets health.