Family pets, or companion animals, can sometimes bring unwanted pests, such as fleas and ticks, into your home. These bugs can be more than just an annoyance. Flea saliva can cause allergic reactions in both people and animals, and some ticks can transmit diseases. For example, blacklegged ticks can transmit the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
When using flea and tick control products on pets, it’s important to use them carefully for the safety of dogs, cats and family members alike.
What you should do
Keep your loved ones (both two- and four-legged) safe by following these tips:
- Before choosing a product for your pet, ask a veterinarian about the most appropriate treatment option. Talk with your veterinarian about flea and tick-prevention products for pets and Lyme disease vaccines for dogs.
- If you apply flea or tick products to your pet, be sure to keep children and other family members from touching the pet until the product has completely dried.
- Carefully read and follow the label directions.
- Use flea and tick control products only on the animal specified on the product label – dog products for dogs and cat products for cats.
- Use only the amount of product specified in the instructions, based on the size and weight of your pet. Do not apply products to animals younger than the minimum age stated on the label.
- For products that are applied directly to your pet’s skin, learn how to safely apply these by watching this short video.
- Watch your pet for signs of a bad reaction and see a veterinarian if you are concerned.
- Signs of a bad reaction in your pet can include trembling, vomiting, and gastro-intestinal disturbances.
- Learn about protecting yourself and your family from Lyme disease by checking your pets for ticks after enjoying the outdoors.
Report health or safety concerns
Adverse events related to the use of a pest control product should be reported to the manufacturer, who is required by law to report it to Health Canada. You may also report an incident directly to Health Canada by completing an incident report form. For adverse reactions in pets, you can fill out a domestic animal incident form.
Health Canada continues to work closely with manufacturers and veterinary professionals to ensure that flea and tick treatments are safe for pets and pet owners.
Source: Media Release / Health Canada