Wild Animals That Can Give Your Dog Fleas and Ticks


PetMD Editorial

Updated Aug. 25, 2022

While you may be diligent about preventing fleas and ticks in your home, your dog could pick up parasites from wild or feral animals living nearby. Here are a few creatures that can give your dog fleas and ticks.


Deer ticks get their name because they like to feed on deer as adults. So if there are deer in the neighborhood, deer ticks may be close by.  Ticks can’t jump or fly, but they wait for a deer, or your dog, to pass and then attach and crawl upwards. Deer ticks are generally found in wooded areas and are active year round.

Raccoons and Opossums

Not only do raccoons and opossums make a meal out of your garbage, they too can bring fleas into your yard and home. And because they are most active at night, you may not even see these critters.  Keep raccoons and opossums out of your dog’s space by securing all outdoor garbage and trash bins.

Feral Cats

Feral cats left to roam around neighborhoods also carry fleas and ticks. Fleas cannot fly, but they have quite a jumping distance and can jump on your pet from outdoor shaded areas where flea-infested pets or wildlife have been.

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