Fleas and ticks are constant concerns to pet owners, especially during the spring and summer seasons because you want to go outside and enjoy the sun and your pets would love to do that, too. However, these seasons also mean that fleas and ticks thrive well and can infest your pets. How do you make sure your furry friends don’t suffer from these pests?
Here are some tips on how to keep your pets safe from fleas and ticks while playing outdoors.
- Prevention is better than cure
As cliché as it is, the first step to keep your pets safe is to take preventive measures. Flea bites and ticks can cause serious health issues to your pets. Consider medications especially if your dogs or cats spend time outdoors where ticks and fleas could be plenty. Consult your veterinarian for the recommended medicines.
Here are other preventive measures that can help:
- Ask your vet for waterproof topical antipest medications in case spending time outdoors involves swimming.
- Mosquitoes are particularly active during dusk and dawn, so avoid walking dogs at these times to reduce the chances of them being bitten.
- If you’re considering a service like pet sitting while on holidays, don’t forget to tell the sitter about medications or orient them about what kind of care you do for your pet.
- When using repellents for your pets, make sure that you use what is recommended. For example, don’t use repellents formulated for canines to felines and vice versa.
- Avoid tall grass, shrubs, bush, wooded places, and moist areas because these are the places ticks thrive.
- Use a flea and tick collar, which works by transferring active ingredients to your pet’s fur and skin, preventing pest infestation.
- Regularly shampooing your pets can significantly help in avoiding pests while you are playing outdoors. Although it can be a challenge to bathe your pets, it’s worth the effort.
- Rid your yard of pests
Although your pets might stay indoors more often, they still need to go outside every day, even for just a short while. It’s crucial that your lawn is free from fleas and ticks because this is the direct outside space that your pets have contact with. Studies have shown that pet spending increases, but the increase doesn’t have to be caused by vet and medication bills when they get sick.
Here’s how to rid your yard of pests:
- Regularly trim grass because tall grass traps heat and moisture that fleas and ticks are attracted to.
- Remove dead plants and inspect wooded areas as bugs and parasites tend to nest in these conditions.
- You can opt for nematodes if you want to skip chemicals.
- If you opt for chemical sprays to treat your yard, ensure that they don’t contain substances that are harmful to your pets.
- Inspect your yard for the presence of fleas, and focus on the areas where you see them instead of treating the entire space.
- Check for ticks and fleas
If you went on a hike with your dog or spent a lot of time outside, don’t forget to inspect your pet for ticks and fleas. Even if you take preventive measures, it’s better to be safe than sorry after long exposure to possibly pest-infested areas. Spend time to observe for ticks and fleas regularly.
Here are some suggestions when checking for these pests:
- Carefully check your dog’s fur and skin when you get home, using a flea comb or brush or manual inspection for ticks. Use a light-colored cloth when combing over them to quickly spot fleas or tick dirt.
- Inspect the armpits, area behind the ears, neck, spaces between their toes, area under the tail, and other hard-to-get-to places. These are the places that ticks and fleas usually hide.
- Pest-proof your home
Even though you’ve employed measures to reduce the chances of pest infestation while your pets are outside, it’s critical that you take steps to make your home safe. Any opening of a screen door, pet doors, or windows is an opportunity for fleas or ticks to come into your home. It’s possible that your dog could harbor fleas from the park and bring them to your home without you noticing.
A few home pest-proofing ideas are:
- Clean your house thoroughly and vacuum often, especially carpets and couches where your pets want to lie.
- Soak your pets’ blankets, sheets, and soft toys in hot water. Flea eggs can last up to four weeks, so make sure that your pets’ belongings are screened in case the eggs will hatch later.
- You can also use commercial powders and sprays that are not harmful to your pets.
It can be a hassle to be continuously vigilant and diligent for the sake of your pets. However, the methods listed above will all be worth it to help ensure that your pet is safe from potential serious illnesses caused by ticks and fleas.