Finding fleas and ticks on your beloved dog is not only gross but also quite harmful to their health.
These tiny pests can cause several (some very serious) diseases in both you and your pet, aside from
just being annoying. So, if you want to get rid of them for good, here are some easy and effective ways.
Over-the-counter spot-on flea and tick treatments can be a very effective way to battle these parasites.
They can keep your pup safe for up to a month! However, make sure to read the label carefully,
since not all products are the same. Some spot-on flea treatments only target flea eggs while others kill adults, too.
If you’re not sure, it’s best to consult with your dog’s vet or pet shop worker.
Tick and flea dips
Tick and flea dips are concentrated chemicals diluted in water and applied to the dog’s fur.
They work quite well, but aren’t very easy to apply and can be very strong. Make sure to read the label
very carefully before use. Tick and flea dips are usually not suitable for puppies and pregnant and nursing dogs.
Another option you can try to keep your puppie flea- and tick-free is to bathe them with a shampoo
that contains ingredients that kill pests on contact. This is one very cheap but labour-intensive (and sometimes messy)
way to protect your dog. However, the process of bathing will have to be repeated every two weeks,
since the shampoo ingredients don’t last as long as spot-on treatments.
Tick and flea collars
There are also collars that repel fleas and ticks, but they should be used as prevention.
Plus, they usually only protect the neck and head from the pests. In order for it to work,
the collar needs to touch the skin to transfer the chemicals onto the skin and fur. If the collar
is too loose or your dog’s fur is too thick, the collar will be less effective.
Another solution is pills that are taken orally. They are also very easy to give to your pet,
and you don’t have to keep your kids and cats away from your dog after the application
(unlike with spot-on treatment). There are also chewable options, like Comfortis for dogs
that are much more pleasant-tasting than regular meds. These tasty treats are a monthly flea treatment
and dogs usually love them. However, feel free to consult with your vet before giving your dog any oral flea
and tick medication.
And lastly, there are powders that are rubbed into your dog’s skin.
They can kill and repel both fleas and ticks (depending on the brand), but need to be reapplied quite often,
at least once a week during peak flea and tick season.
However, these powders can be quite irritating to your dog’s eyes, mouth or lungs,
so be careful during application, and make sure to check the label. Some powders are fine to use on puppies,
while some are made for older dogs.
Treat your home
Treating your home’s interior and exterior can also help keep your pets flea- and tick-free.
Keep your lawn, bushes and trees neatly trimmed to destroy the pests’ habitats.
If trimming isn’t enough, there are different sprays you can get at a pet store, vet’s office or garden centre.
However, be very careful how you use them since they can be hazardous to other animals and even humans.
An experienced exterminator will know how to properly handle these chemicals and where exactly to spray them
for the best effect. You can also plant different plants that repel ticks and fleas.
Lemon balm, sage, catnip and mint all contain natural oils that repel fleas and keep them away from your yard.
The best way to protect your interior is to remove all carpets.
If you can’t do that, you can opt for Berber carpets whose weave is unfriendly to pests.
Also, make sure to vacuum regularly and machine-wash your dog’s bed and linen often.
Keep dogs indoors
Dogs need to get plenty of exercise and fresh air, but it’s not a great idea to keep them
outside a lot during the peak flea and tick season. A very effective way to fight ticks is to prevent your dog
from coming in contact with them. Ticks love high grass, shrubs and wooded areas, so try to avoid them.
Also, inspect your dog every time you come back from a walk. If you find a tick, make sure to remove it as soon as possible
and disinfect the wound. If you notice that your dog has a fever and loss of appetite and is weak and shivering, make sure to visit your vet.
Carefully check out these flea and tick protection methods and choose one that best fits your pup and their needs.
If you do everything right, even if there are some ticks and fleas in your environment,
your dog will be safe and happy. For further information, don’t hesitate to ask your vet for some additional reading literature
that concerns parasites and general pet care.