How Do I Protect my Dog from Fleas and Ticks?
While summertime might open the door for a lot of fun outdoor activities with your pup, the warmer weather also opens the door for fleas and ticks. Picking ticks off your dog and dealing with fleas during the summertime can be a grueling process. Once a tick latches onto your pet, they can be really difficult to remove, and if they aren’t removed effectively, they can cause diseases and infections.
When it comes to protecting your dog from fleas and ticks, prevention is always much more simple than finding a cure. There are a lot of different method for preventing fleas and ticks. During your pet’s wellness exam, we will be happy to prescribe a treatment, while ruling out that they are already dealing with parasites. However, even if your dog is already on a prophylactic parasite treatments, there are other measures you can take to help protect your pet from fleas and ticks.
Keep Your House Clean to Remove Fleas
Flea eggs can stay alive in your home during cold months, and once eggs are laid around the house, they can multiply at a rate of 100 per day. Keeping your home clean by routinely cleaning your pet’s bedding, and other areas of your home, like couches, curtains, and carpets, can ensure that you remove flea eggs, before they hatch and become a huge problem. Also make sure to dispose of vacuum bags efficiently, since flea eggs can continue to hatch and multiply, even after they have been vacuumed.
Keep Your Backyard Clean
Along with keeping your house clean and tidy, you should also try and keep your yard clean. Mowing your lawn regularly, raking leaves, and removing brush clippings from your yard will help alleviate areas for fleas to hangout and breed. For ticks, you should try and alleviate high grasses, where they tend to thrive. If you live in a deeply wooded and humid area, you also might consider treating the lawn with flea and tick prevention chemicals. However, it is important to read warning instruction to ensure the products won’t harm your dog or family.
Check Your Pet Regularly for Ticks
If you’ve taken your pet into an area that is densely populated with ticks, make sure to inspect your pet’s skin, ears, and under their legs for ticks. Ticks thrive in environments with heavy brush, tall grasses, and areas with decomposed leaves, and they are more likely to bite in warm, damp environments. Once a tick attaches to your pet, it only takes 24 hours for it to transmit diseases, like Lyme disease, making it is important to find and remove any ticks as soon as possible. With that said, you should inspect your pet after going on long hikes in densely wooded areas, or after she has spent time playing outside. If you notice your dog has been bitten by a tick, you should monitor her for any changes in behavior, like loss of appetite, limping, or tiredness.
Use a Yearly Flea and Tick Prevention Treatment
As we mentioned earlier, fleas and ticks thrive in the summertime, becoming more prevalent in temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees fahrenheit. Nonetheless, your dog should be on a yearly flea and tick product, since they can sometimes endure during the winter months. There are many flea and tick products to prevent parasites and protect your pets, and we can help you find the right one for your pet’s needs. When it comes to administering flea and tick prevention, it is important to follow all of our instructions on how and when to administer the product, ensuring they remain effective year round.
Don’t Use Old Flea and Tick Products
If you’re a longtime pet owner, you might have old flea collars or tick products buried in a drawer somewhere. It might be tempting to use older products when flea season kicks into high gear. However, when it comes to protecting your pet, it’s better to trade in old products for something new. Old products, especially ones that have hit their expiration date, are usually ineffective. You should always check with our vet for newer brands that work better than older, more traditional methods.
Take Your Dog to Regular Checkups
As we mentioned earlier, routine wellness checkups are the best way to find a parasite prevention program that works, as well as monitor the efficacy of your pet’s current prevention program, if they are already on medication. If your pet is showing symptoms of parasites, like itching from fleas, or if you’re routinely finding ticks on your pet, we recommend scheduling an appointment with our veterinarian right away. We can also help you, if you have any questions about their current flea and tick medication. Want to learn more on how to protect your dog from fleas and ticks? Call our office today 843-379-7397.