While many people look forward to summer, if you are a pet owner you know that with warm heat, we also get fleas and ticks. The challenge really has become a year-round concern and one that can cause significant problems for you and your dog or cat. No matter the season or time of year, fleas can cause severe itching and skin damage, and they can lay thousands of eggs around your home if you are not on top of the issues when they occur. Worse, ticks can hide anywhere and everywhere, can be even more difficult to get rid of, and carry debilitating conditions such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease.
Here are four tips to help you battle fleas and ticks around your home this summer:
Prevention is the best
Prevention is far better and more accessible than treatment, as with any health challenge. While many over-the-counter options are available everywhere, the flea and tick treatment will come from your veterinarian. These interventions are more expensive than options available online or through your local pet shop, but they are often far more effective and generally will last longer. Speak with your vet about the best options for your pet and even low-cost solutions to help keep your home flea and tick-free.
Check your pets often
Scratching may indicate that there fleas and ticks on dogs, but not an absolute. However, if you see your dog scratching a lot, it may already be a big problem. Never wait until you see signs of a problem, but rather check your pet’s coat and skin often for signs of fleas and ticks, and other parasites. Regularly brushing and combing your pet’s coat will help find parasite problems and help maintain a beautiful coat. A flea comb too may help not only see fleas within the fur but also help to remove them. Consider a flea bath at home or schedule one with your groomer to eradicate the issue immediately at the first sign of fleas.
Groomers often use commercial-grade products, which can be stronger and more effective than store-bought products. Check with your groomer or reach out to us if you have questions about flea treatments. Also, if you suspect a tick-born illness, contact your veterinarian asap.
Check and Protect Your Home
Just as necessary as inspecting your pet, owners should often check their homes. Our homes are often a breeding ground for fleas and other parasites, as they are warm and protected from outdoor environments. A best practice is to wash dog bedding and vacuum pet areas regularly to keep problems down in your environment. Ticks and other parasites like to linger around in the tall grasses and low shrubs; make sure to mow the yard and trim plants to keep them under control. You may also consider a lawn treatment service if you live in a rural area with more concern for parasite infection in the yard.
Be Proactive All Year Long
Historically, fleas are active throughout the summer and can run into December. Ticks can be seen as early as February and will remain a problem through the summer and fall months. However, there is no best time to start checking your dog and home because there is no precise time when these challenges start and stop throughout the year.
Frequent grooming, baths, and haircuts are a great way to ensure your pet’s coat and skin are healthy and parasite free. Dogs and cats are inspected for infestation when entering the facility and immediately treated if needed. If you suspect a problem, call us or book an appointment online, and we can help rid your dog of fleas and ticks.