Five Tips for Flea and Tick Prevention
One female flea can produce around 2,000 eggs in her lifetime. If that’s not bad enough, there are nearly 900 species of ticks. Both fleas and ticks are able to outlast cold winter months (under the right circumstances). They can feast off your pets without you even noticing since they are so small and lurk between the fur. That is why prescribed prevention is so important! Flea and tick treatment is a key part of having a happy, healthy dog. To learn our top five tips for flea and tick prevention, keep scrolling!
1. Use an annual prevention treatment
There are many different flea and tick prevention methods on the market. You can apply a gel topically through your dog’s coat or administer the medication orally. Those are the two traditional ways; although there are others such as shampoos, powders, and collars. There are even brands that offer flea, tick, and heartworm treatment in one, so you don’t have to keep track of three different products at a time. Talk with your vet to figure out which application method, brand, and prevention plan will work best for you and your dog.
Whatever you choose, just remember to stay consistent! According to professionals at Port Royal Vet Hospital, “when it comes to administering flea and tick prevention, it is important to follow all of our instructions on how and when to administer the product, ensuring they remain effective year round.” Following those instructions will also keep your dosing on track. This means that you should be finishing your dog’s treatment according to schedule. Speaking of schedules…
2. Do not use expired products
Be mindful of the expiration date on your pet’s flea and trick products. Expired treatments are usually ineffective. Using an old medication will put your dog’s health at risk, and a resulting trip to the vet will be more costly than ordering new products. Furthermore, hanging on to old treatments can cause unnecessary confusion. Avoid accidentally giving your dog what is essentially a placebo by throwing away all expired medicines.
3. Clean your home and yard
In addition to administering a year-round prevention product, you should also make a point to keep your home flea-free. Port Royal Vet Hospital warns that flea eggs “can stay alive in your home during cold months, and once eggs are laid around the house, they can multiply at a rate of 100 per day.” Therefore, regularly cleaning your dog’s bedding as well as your furniture, carpeting (empty vacuum containers outside), and curtains is a significant part of prevention.
You should do the same for your backyard as well. Mow the lawn routinely to keep your grass short. Rake leaves and clear away any loose brush or clippings. The American Kennel Club suggests getting a raised outdoor dog bed, which will allow your pet to relax safely outside.
4. Check your dog regularly
You might forget once or twice to give your dog their dose of flea and tick treatment (we are human, after all!), so incorporate checking your dog’s coat into your typical procedures. If you do see any ticks, you can use gloves and a pair of fine tweezers to remove them. Do not twist the tick. Grab it close to the skin and pull straight up. If the tick’s head is still attached to the skin, do not leave it behind! The process can be tricky, so call your veterinarian if you are struggling to remove the tick.
5. Take your dog to the vet regularly
Lastly, don’t skip your dog’s regular wellness visits to the vet. Routine examinations give your veterinarian the opportunity to evaluate the efficacy of your current treatment plan. Your vet can also help you find a new flea and tick product that is most suitable for your dog’s needs. With so many application methods nowadays, flea and tick prevention options are wide.
No one likes a parasite… not even puppies. So, don’t let your dog suffer from flea and tick bites! Consult your veterinarian and compare annual treatment plans. Always check your products for expiration dates and throw away old items. Clean your home and yard consistently so fleas/ticks are unable to lay eggs. Also, remember to check their fur for pests often and bring your dog to the vet for occasional check-ups. Following these five steps should keep fleas and ticks at bay, leaving your pup to enjoy life comfortably.
Thank you to the following sources: