Five Easy Tips to Prevent Summer Fleas and Ticks
The anxious wag of the tail, the excited march towards the front door, the longing gaze out the window; are all familiar signs that your dog is just as ready as you are to get out and enjoy the relaxing and refreshing outdoor activities of summer. Unfortunately, all of that outdoor activity leads to heightened exposure to fleas and ticks.
Now is the time to take action to prevent your dog from becoming a host to these pesky disease-carrying parasites. One good preventative measure is to add a once-a-month flea control pill to your dog's routine. While these medications will not kill fleas immediately on contact, they are highly effective at breaking the life-cycle of flea reproduction and will keep your dog from becoming a long-term host. If you have a tough time getting your dog to take pills, try hiding it in a pill pocket that will mask the flavor and remind your dog of a favorite treat.
Readily available flea control shampoos are another option for keeping those unwanted pests under control. Since this method involves considerable more work than a monthly pill, think about combining this with regularly scheduled baths to minimize the hassle. This affordable medication will kill fleas on contact but the effects are limited to about 10-14 days after treatment.
Active dogs may need more frequent protection such as a topical flea treatment. These quick and easy treatments are one of the most effective ways to protect your dog. Depending on the size and breed, this can offer protection for up to a month from the first date of application.
Ticks are another well-known hazard of summer harboring dangerous problems such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Ticks are very common during summer months and can be found almost anywhere where there are leaves and vegetation. Because they can be easily transported to humans and established indoors, it is important to give your dog a thorough check after every trip outdoors.
Anti tick products such as sprays, powders, collars, and topical can be a good way to prevent ticks from inflicting painful bites and spreading disease. A topically applied spray or treatment containing Fipronil, Amitraz, or Pyrethroids usually offers the best protection. Some owners may want to consider the collar option however; these can be associated with allergies and sometimes lead to persistent itching.
Repellents are a choice for hikes and extended outdoor activity as they often discourage the initial contact or bite. It is important to remember that these products do not actually kills ticks and are not a substitute for a manual inspection after a day of exploring the outdoors.
While it may sound as if trouble is lurking under every leaf and around every corner, fleas and ticks are fairly easy to keep under control with the proper precautions. Take the time to develop a plan to keep your pet free of fleas and ticks this summer, a proactive approach will allow you and your dog to enjoy your favorite outdoor activities without wasting time worrying about pests.