The Best Ways to Keep Your Pet Safe from Fleas and Ticks
Pet ownership does come with its share of responsibilities. One of these being keeping your pet free from potentially disease-carrying pests. Unfortunately, some insects like fleas and ticks can harbor harmful bacteria and pathogens, posing a danger to your pets and to any humans they may come into contact with. This risk can be higher for those animals spending much of their time outdoors, increasing their exposure to flea and tick habitats and other infected animals.
What can you do to keep your dog or cat healthy and reduce the possibility of having them harmed by common outdoor pests? With a multi-pronged approach, there are a number of methods used to help you keep your pet pest-free. Understand more about common techniques to avoid and treat fleas and ticks today.
Fleas on Your Pet
Fleas may be found outside on bushes and long grass in a shady area or be spread between animals. It may not only be necessary to treat your animal for fleas but to also address areas where fleas may inhabit. Attempt to keep your dog or cat away from shady, cool, and humid areas in the neighborhood.
Protect your pet and reduce exposure on your property by keeping shrubs trimmed, grass mowed, and applying flea control treatment. Fleas are an all too common pest and can take effort to eliminate once there’s an infestation.
Remember, your pet is not naturally immune to fleas. Most owners notice a problem when their pet incessantly scratches or bites at a spot on their body. Go through your pet’s coat with a flea comb before allowing them into your home. Fleas are often found:
Along the back of legs
At the base of the tail
At the neck
Around the shoulder blades
Fleas can pose more than a simple annoyance to your pet, as some can carry an internal parasite like tapeworms. Fleas on your pet may also lead to flea allergy dermatitis or anemia in young dogs and cats.
Flea prevention products can come in the form of a pill, a collar, a liquid, or a gel. It is important to use these products as directed by your veterinarian and the manufacturer to provide your pet with the protection they need.
Let’s continue with addressing fleas on your pet and in your home. Flea treatment may require more than one session as fleas reproduce quickly and it can be hard to detect immature fleas. Don’t let your guard down when leaves start falling. Fleas can pose an issue not only in the warmer months but through cooler weather as well.
Pets require regular treatment to address and prevent fleas. Treating the environment is part of the process. Strict sanitation, along with indoor and outdoor house treatments can keep fleas at bay. Cleaning and vacuuming often during the period when your pet is being treated for fleas can help eliminate any current issue and reduce the likelihood of a reoccurrence.
Flea larvae are hard to treat with insecticide, so vacuuming can help remove the larvae form and make it easier to treat any adult fleas with insecticide. Cleaning and vacuuming should be done before the application of insecticides. Non-chemical methods and insecticides can be used to treat fleas in the environment and on a pet. Your veterinarian is a great source of information and can guide you on the proper usage of any product.
What to Do About Ticks
Ticks are found throughout the United States. Some ticks have been known to transmit Lyme disease and other diseases that can affect your pet and do not have a vaccine. These tiny freeloaders easily attach to the skin of a host and can cause infection via the bloodstream.
When pets spend time outside, in particular when they have been in heavily wooded spots or near lakes, ponds, or rivers, they need to be checked for ticks daily. Such habitats often have a high likelihood of harboring ticks and may need to be reduced when part of your property.
Where may a tick latch on to your pet? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), you may find ticks in areas including:
Around the tail
Between back legs
Under front legs
Under a collar
In and around ears
If a tick has been found, it needs to be removed as quickly as possible. It is easier to remove a tick when it has yet to embed itself into your pet. Speak to your veterinarian to learn more about tick prevention and safe tick removal.
The good news is that topical treatments, sprays, and collars with Acaricides can help kill ticks if they are already on a pet. There are steps you can take to avoid this contact, such as to not walk your pet in areas infested with ticks and treating wooded areas and those near the water on your property with chemicals to help control for ticks. Other methods of prevention include using a tick preventative product on your pet. Please be aware that cats are sensitive to many chemicals and you will want to speak to your veterinarian before application of a tick prevention product.
Protect Your Pet and Your Family
Pests like fleas and ticks can lead to health complications and allergies in your pet and family members. It is possible to give your pet a measure of protection and to proactively treat fleas and ticks should they come into contact with your pet or your home.
By treating your pet and their environment for these pests, you can support their general health and ward off potential diseases and parasites.