These second edition guidelines, updated from the 2007 version (Marchiondo et al., 2007), are intended to assist the planning and conduct of laboratory and clinical studies to assess the efficacy of ectoparasiticides applied to dogs or cats for the purpose of treating, preventing and controlling flea and tick infestations. Major revisions to this second edition include guidelines on the assessment of systemic flea and tick products, an update of the geographical distribution of the common fleas and ticks species on dogs and cats, determination of flea and tick efficacy based on geometric versus arithmetic means with respect to geographic regulatory agencies, modification of tick categorization in the assessment of efficacy, expanded guidelines on repellency and anti-feeding effects, enhanced practical field study guidance, and considerations on the ranges of flea and ticks for infestations in laboratory studies. The term ectoparasiticide includes insecticidal and acaricidal compounds, as well as insect growth regulators. The range of biological activities from animal treatment that are considered include: repellency and anti-feeding effects, knockdown, speed of kill, immediate and persistent lethal effects, and interference with egg fertility and subsequent development of off-host life cycle stages. Information is provided on the selection of animals, dose determination, dose confirmation and field studies, record keeping, interpretation of results and animal welfare. These guidelines are also intended to assist regulatory authorities involved in the approval and registration of new topical or systemic ectoparasiticides, and to facilitate the worldwide adoption of harmonized procedures.