Spring brings longer days, warmer temperatures, and the return of many common pests, including fleas and ticks. These common insects can be at best annoying, and at worst harmful to your pet’s health. Luckily, there are many ways you can protect them. Here is our guide for Spring 2017.
Fight Fleas Forcefully
Fleas can be found almost everywhere, but they prefer warm, humid conditions. They are most often a problem in the summer, but can live year-round indoors.
Fleas are not harmless – they can cause both itchy bites and more serious conditions like flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) in dogs and cats. Itching and inflammation from fleas can cause skin damage that can in turn lead to bacterial or fungal infections.
Your pet (and you) can also catch parasites like worm and bacterial infections like bartonellosis from fleas.
If you want to protect your pets (and yourself) from fleas this summer, consider one of the many safe and effective flea control products. The most common options are:
- Topical, or Spot on Products: These flea treatments start with applying a liquid medication directly on your dog or cat’s skin, typically between their shoulders at the back of their neck.
- Chewable Tablets For Dogs: Recently, many new chewable products for dogs have been developed. These oral medications fight both fleas and heartworm.
- Environmental Control: After you have giving your pet the appropriate medication, you need to make sure that the fleas are removed from your home. Treat any pets who may be affected, and clean all rugs, furniture, and pet bedding as well.
Tactics to Take Out Ticks
Many of the chewable and topical or spot-on treatment options will protect your pet from ticks as well as fleas.
In addition to administering this medication, keep your pet out of common tick habitats like tall grass or wooded areas: If you are enjoying a hike with your dog, be sure to stay on the trail.
It’s also a good idea to do a daily tick check on your dog, particularly if they spend a lot of time outdoors.
If you do find a tick on your dog, use tweezers or other tick removal tools, not your bare hands.
If you have problems with tick removal, ask your veterinarian for help.
Tips for Safe Flea and Tick Prevention
Although many of these new treatments are easy to use, they are still powerful medications that need to be administered correctly in order to ensure that your pet stays safe.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Consult with your veterinarian before using a new pest prevention treatment. Certain animals, such as senior pets, kittens and puppies, and very small dogs may be at a greater risk for side effects or other issues.
- Make sure that you read and carefully follow all instructions listed on the product you choose. Keep the package and product container in case of any issues. You may want the instructions and manufacturer contact information handy.
- Only use dog products for dogs, and cat products for cats – no switching!
Fleas, ticks, and other pests can make your pet uncomfortable and even ill. Talk to you veterinarian today, and create a flea and tick prevention plan that will keep your dog or cat safe all summer long.