Flea and tick season is upon us, but undoubtedly you will want to do everything in your power to ensure that your pet remains as safe as possible from these debilitating and unpleasant parasites. The good news is that there are a number of different things that you can do which should reduce the risk of your furry friend being affected.
Here are the top 5 ways to ensure that your pets remain free from fleas and ticks both this season and all year round!
Check your pet regularly for signs of fleas and ticks
We know that fleas are hard to spot, but they do leave some tell-tale signs - primarily their droppings. Flea feces look like regular garden dirt buried within your pet's fur when you brush her. However, if you were to put them on a paper towel and spray them with water, you would find them turning red because they are made primarily from digested blood. Skin irritations can also be a sign that your pet may have fleas.
Ticks are much easier to spot since they are a little bigger, and their bodies swell in size as they eat! Since it can take up to 72 hours of feeding for a tick to transmit any diseases that it is carrying, daily checking when it is tick season and removing any ticks quickly can prevent your pet from becoming sick from a tick-borne illness.
Get the right preventative for your pet
Not all parasite preventatives are created equal and it is essential that you select one that your pet can both tolerate and is the right dosage for her based on her breed, age and weight. If the dosage of preventative is too small, it could render the treatment ineffective whereas a dose that is too large could be harmful. Make sure that you follow the instructions provided with it to ensure that it is administered properly and that you make yourself reminders to issue further doses at the appropriate times.
Choose from oral medications, spot-on treatments, and topical solutions. If you aren't sure which is best for your pet, consult with your vet who will be happy to advise you. Remember that preventatives should be given all year round to be certain of keeping your pet safe.
Take good care of your home
It goes without saying that you like to keep your home clean and tidy. However, fleas, in particular, are notoriously good at taking up residence in people's homes and not relinquishing their position without a fight. Fleas, eggs and flea larvae like to lurk in carpets, between cracks in floorboards and under skirting boards - anywhere dark, warm and safe. Keeping your home clean and vacuuming at least every other day can significantly reduce the likelihood that you will have these unwanted visitors any time soon!
When it comes to outside, where fleas and ticks can also feel just as at home, keep your lawns, bushes, and trees trimmed back, and keep garbage bins closed and the area clean to reduce the places that ticks and fleas can hide and dissuade other wild visitors - who may be carrying fleas - from visiting your yard.
Invest in flea and tick repellents for your home and yard
In addition to staying on top of the general cleanliness of your home and yard, it is also prudent to invest in some of the flea and tick repellents that you can buy from grocery and pet stores. These can be used around your home and yard to deter parasites from coming too close.
Don't get complacent!
After a while of keeping your pet free from parasites, it can be easy to get a little complacent about the things that you are doing. You might start to wonder if you really need to vacuum as often as you are, or if it matters if you are a day late giving your pet her oral flea and tick preventative. You could fail to check that she has eaten the full tablet and so hasn't received the full dose of her preventative, or you might decide to skip a dose altogether if the weather seems cooler. All of these can be costly mistakes. Experts agree that owners need to be vigilant for and protect against fleas and ticks in all states all year round.
If you would like more advice on the best ways to keep your pet tick and flea-free, please contact Juno Beach Animal Hospital in Juno Beach, FL at (561) 331-6200 in Juno Beach, FL.