Pet Pest Prevention
Surviving Flea And Tick Season ... Don't Be Caught Off Guard This Year
It’s that time of year again. Spring means April showers and lovely May flowers – but it also means flea and tick season. During the warmer months, it’s common for their activity to peak. In fact, April through September marks the height of flea and tick season in North Carolina. Nothing is more of a nuisance to a dog than those pesky pests burrowing on their warm body – and for you pet owners, the idea of a flea or tick infestation in your home and on your furry friend is one of worry and dread. Now that spring has sprung, how can you avoid the problems caused by these pests, and the diseases they bring? Read on to learn how you can effectively manage and survive flea and tick season.
Start by utilizing a product to prevent flea and tick infestation. Fleas and ticks are common parasites that can cause a variety of health problems for your pet, including skin irritation, itching, and in some cases, serious illnesses. Prevention treatments to keep your pet from infestations occurring in the first place can keep it healthy and comfortable and save you a lot of time and energy getting rid of an infestation later.
There are a few options when it comes to flea and tick prevention. Topical prevention treatments, as well as oral preventative medications, are available over the counter or from your veterinarian. There are a variety of collars, sprays, and shampoos that can also help prevent infestations. Regular brushing and grooming of your pet and checking for fleas and ticks is recommended. Additionally, take steps in your outdoor environment to prevent flea and tick populations by following helpful hints such as these by the CDC: mow frequently, avoid over-watering, remove leaf litter and tall weeds, and discourage potentially pest-carrying wild and stray animals from entering your yard or hanging around your home.
If you find yourself facing a flea infestation, don’t panic. There are many products – both all-natural and chemical – available to help. You will need to treat your pet as well as their environment in order to prevent a reinfestation. A flea bath and flea comb can help to remove the fleas that are currently attached to your pet. Vacuum regularly and consider steam cleaning carpets. Linens and bedding should be thoroughly cleaned. Home flea treatments may also be necessary. Monitor your pet closely to ensure the fleas don’t return.
Find a tick on your dog? If so, it is important to remove it immediately. The best way to do this is to use a pair of tweezers and grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Gently pull it straight out, being careful not to twist or jerk it. Once the tick has been removed, submerge it in rubbing alcohol, place it in a sealed bag/container, and safely dispose of it. Clean the area where the tick was removed with an antiseptic or soap and water. If you are concerned about your dog’s health, contact your veterinarian for advice.
Flea and tick bites are not only painful and itchy, they can also lead to allergic reactions and tick bites can cause skin wounds that may lead to bacterial infections and can also cause anemia – not to mention they can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. It’s important to take the steps to prevent these infestations to avoid these issues in your pets.
Founder and CEO of Dirty Dogs Spa, with locations in Wake Forest (929 Heritage Lake Road, Suite 500) and Raleigh (Stonehenge Market, 7490 Creedmoor Road).