Spring means green grass and trees, bright sunshine, and warmer temperatures — but as the weather warms up, fleas and ticks will also start to come back in large numbers. This is a problem if you take your pets out to stretch their legs, or if your pets are outdoor pets in the first place. These parasites aren’t just a nuisance, they can also carry diseases that can be debilitating for your cat or your dog. This article will take a look at what you can do to be ready for these pests and to take better care of your pets.
Take the flea and tick problem seriously
We sometimes take it for granted that we have many products that can help us treat a flea or tick infestation, but that doesn’t mean to say that we should take these pests lightly.
Fleas can cause excessive itchiness and scratching. Dogs that are overly sensitive to flea saliva can also fall victim to flea allergy dermatitis. 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, such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis. Some of these are uncommon, but the risk is still definitely there.
Prevention is better than a cure
The best way to deal with these pests is to apply a monthly preventative — ask your veterinarian what specific brand or type is best for each of your pets. Monthly flea and tick prevention options come in the form of chewable tablets or topical treatments, which are very easy to give your pet monthly, or even the tried-and-tested flea collars.
If you are not currently giving your dog or cat flea/tick medicine, now is a good time to start. 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.
Your environment is also important
So your pet is now protected against pests, but that doesn’t mean the rest of your household is as well — to prevent a full-blown outbreak you need to prevent them from gaining a foothold in the first place. 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.
Since fleas and ticks often hitch a ride on wild animals or feral and roaming pets, discourage wild animals and other critters from wandering onto your property. Keep your garbage bins tightly shut so wild animals cannot easily access them and keep the area around your garbage containers clean.
Provide a buffer between your lawn and any wooded areas. Woodchips, gravel, or pet-safe mulch can be used to help decrease the number of ticks coming into your yard. You can minimize the risks of fleas and ticks in your yard by spraying an outdoor spray solution. Make sure you know what chemicals are in the product — ask your veterinarian for recommendations.
We at Pet Nanny are ready and waiting to help you for any pet-related concerns. Follow us on our social media accounts or give us a call at 734-981-6108. Alternatively, you can use our on-line contact form and we’ll get in touch with you!