Should Pregnant Women Be Around Dogs' Flea & Tick Treatment?

Written by kathryn roberts
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Should Pregnant Women Be Around Dogs' Flea & Tick Treatment?
Pregnant women should consult their doctors before giving pets flea and tick medication. (Chien et Chat image by Martin MACCHINI from

The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) cautions against exposure to flea and tick treatments during pregnancy. Topical treatments are considered a greater risk by the NRDC than oral applications. Pregnant women should avoid these products during the first trimester especially, as this is when the fetus's nervous system develops.

Ticks and Fleas Carry Disease

Untreated animals may bring fleas and ticks into the house and expose pregnant women to the pests. Ticks are known carriers of Lyme disease, which can lead to stillbirth. Fleas can carry murine typhus and plague if they have fed on rodents and can cause allergic reactions in some pets.

Bottom Line

The general consensus among health experts points to the use of pesticides as dangerous during pregnancy. If pesticides must be used, the American Pregnancy Association suggests having someone else apply the medication and avoiding direct contact with the pesticide. The NRDC recommends using oral rather than topical flea treatments to reduce the risk to pregnant women.

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