Protecting Your Pets From Fleas and Ticks
It’s painful to watch your pet scratch at itchy flea bites. But even worse, the diseases your pet can get from fleas and ticks can cause some serious damage to the four-legged members of your family. Just hoping your pet won’t come in contact with ticks and fleas isn’t enough. You need to take preventive measures to keep your pet free of fleas and ticks.
The Danger of Ticks and Fleas
Ticks can cause lyme disease, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and tick paralysis. Furthermore, because ticks aren’t easy to spot, pet owners often don’t always recognize a tick problem until their pet is exhibiting severe symptoms.
Fleas can cause a severe allergic reaction called flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). If it goes untreated, it can lead to skin damage from scratching and chewing. which can even lead to secondary skin infections. Fleas also can transmit tapeworms. And don’t forget that fleas can also jump from animal to human. So, it’s important to do everything possible to prevent fleas and ticks in the first place:
If you can wrestle your dog or cat into a bath, a medicated shampoo treatment will kill ticks and fleas on contact. While an effective tick and flea treatment, you’ll have to repeat the process every two weeks or so.
Over-the-counter medications can prevent ticks and fleas for up to a month. Read the labels carefully to make sure you’re choosing the right product for your particular pet. Even better, talk to your vet to make sure you’re choosing the best treatment for your specific pet.
If you have kids at home, oral medication is a good choice for tick and flea treatment. You don’t have to worry about your child coming in contact after application like you do with spot treatments. Effective against ticks, oral medications also disrupt the life cycle of fleas. Oral medications last for a month and are typically easy to administer.
Tick and Flea Collars
Tick and flea collars are a good extra measure, but they shouldn’t be relied on by themselves, as they really only protect the animal’s head and neck from ticks and fleas. If you use one, make sure it isn’t too tight around your pet’s neck, and watch for signs of irritation.
Tick dips are effective against ticks on dogs and cats. Once diluted in water, this concentrated chemical is either poured over the animal’s back or applied with a sponge. The solution is not rinsed off after application. Be aware that the chemicals are strong, and should not be used on animals younger than 4 months or on pregnant or nursing animals.
Do Regular Checks
Regularly and thoroughly inspect your pet for signs of ticks, and take your pet to the vet once a year. Wash your pet’s bedding regularly, and keep your home vacuumed and clean.
In addition, prevent fleas and ticks from entering your home by making your property unfriendly to the bugs. Keep your grass cut, weed regularly, and don’t keep debris in your yard.
Talk With a Pest Control Company
Have a pest control company come to your home to talk about a professional flea and tick treatment. This is the best way to keep fleas and ticks out of your yard, thereby minimizing the risk of your pet ever coming in contact with these blood-sucking creatures in the first place.
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