The Importance of Protecting Your Dog From Ticks & Fleas
Dealing with ticks and fleas can feel like a constant nuisance. And as the weather warms up, these pests become even more active.
Ticks are parasites that can attach themselves to both you and your pet. They feed on your blood and are responsible for transmitting a large number of dangerous diseases, such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Tick wounds can also irritate the skin, causing bacterial infections and skin wounds. Many dogs have an allergic reaction to ticks, which causes them to scratch until their fur begins falling out and their skin starts to bleed. Fleas are very similar to ticks—fleas can actually jump from host to host, infesting your pet’s fur, your carpets, and even your furniture!
Now, more than ever, it’s important to prevent your dog from experiencing a tick and flea infestation because it’s officially the season. Here are 5 of our tips and tricks for protecting your pet from these awful pests!
Trim Your Grass
If your pooch loves to frolic in your green backyard, be sure to keep the grass mowed as short as possible. Remove leaf litter, tall grass, and brush from your yard, as these dark places can be a breeding ground for ticks, who live in grassy, wooded, and humid environments.
Clean Your Environment
When your dog returns from a fun walk, he might actually be carrying fleas into your home. Fleas love to hang out indoors, so it’s important to clean your home frequently. This includes washing and drying your dog’s bedding, vacuuming your floors and carpets, and wiping down your furniture regularly.
Check Your Dog Regularly
Don’t wait to see your dog scratching to check for fleas and ticks. In fact, you should be using a flea comb regularly. Flea combs are not the same as a normal brush for fur; these devices have extremely fine teeth, which are designed to collect and remove fleas, flea eggs, and flea dirt. If you live in an area with lots of pests, then you may need to comb your dog every day. It’s also a good idea to use a flea brush after your dog visits an area with lots of other dogs, such as a dog park or a doggy daycare.
Treat All Your Dogs Together
If you own multiple dogs, then you should be taking the same precautions with all of them. Fleas can easily jump from one dog to another, so the best way to prevent cross-infestation is to treat all your dogs at the same time. You might also consider keeping your dogs away from each other during flea season, which could also reduce the possibility of cross-infestation.
Focus on Prevention
It’s a lot easier (and cheaper) to prevent ticks and fleas from attacking your dog, rather than dealing with the problem once it happens. At your next vet appointment, speak with a professional about prescription tick and flea preventatives. Your vet might prescribe a topical treatment that can be applied to your pet’s back, or they might recommend a special flea collar designed to kill and repel fleas.
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Trying to find the right vet for your companion? You can read more about choosing a vet that gets your pet here.