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Spring has sprung! And after being cooped up during the winter months, pets and their owners alike are welcoming the new season. However, as nature comes back to life so do two major pet care concerns: fleas and ticks.
These parasites are more than a nuisance. They carry diseases that can make your pets (and you) extremely ill at worst, and extremely uncomfortable at best.
Here are some tips to make sure your dog is prepared for flea and tick season.
Don’t take these pests lightly
When the flea bites, it injects its saliva into your pet. Your pet’s body counters this by secreting histamine. The result is an allergic reaction to the flea saliva that can cause irritation, inflamed skin, scratching, and hair loss.
Ticks can often go unnoticed because of their size. However, once they attach themselves to your dog, they are capable of causing many diseases.
The most common of diseases are:
How can I prevent fleas and ticks?
The most effective way to prevent fleas and ticks is to administer a monthly preventative recommended by your veterinarian. There are several types on the market now, including topical treatments, oral chews, and collars.
Most preventative flea medications are also effective in preventing ticks. Flea and tick medications are also often combined with heartworm medication, making a preventative regimen easier to maintain and cost-effective.
Parasite-proof your environment
Fleas love warm, shady, moist areas. They will live outdoors in dark patches of mulch and lawn, wood piles, leaf piles, crawl spaces, and other protected spaces.
They wait there until they find a host – such as you or your dog – on which to hitch a ride indoors.
Once inside your home, fleas may lay their eggs in carpeting, bedding, and furniture. Once a flea infestation has made its way into the house, your pet will need year-round flea preventative.
Steps you can take to prevent indoor infestation
Whether you are trying to prevent an outbreak or you’ve already experienced one, the following steps will make your home less appealing to fleas and ticks.
Make your property less welcoming to parasites
Aside from arming your pet against fleas and ticks, your yard is your first line of defense.
To make your landscape less appealing to fleas and ticks consider the following:
Use all flea and tick products as directed
Fleas and ticks tend to be worse during warm weather months. However, flea and tick season depends on where you live. In some climates, it is essential to treat your dog year-round.
If you are unsure when to begin preventative treatment, ask your vet.
Since all preventative medication contains some form of chemical, the following is crucial for your pet’s safety and health:
Observe your pet for changes and report any adverse reactions immediately, particularly if your dog is:
It is virtually impossible to prevent your pets from encountering fleas and ticks. The best protection remains a monthly preventative flea and tick treatment that is given routinely.
After all, we want you and your furry best friend to get out and enjoy all the pawsome activities the outdoors has to offer!
If your pet should suffer from a flea or tick-related illness, you can make sure that he or she is covered with PetFirst Pet Insurance. We have Dog Insurance Policies and Routine Care Coverage to fit every budget.
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