Safely Prevent Fleas, Ticks, Other Parasites 

Winter months can be harsh on you and your pet’s systems. Limited sunlight hours, rain, snow, and wind can lead to sleepy days and shorter walks. Even the mildest of winter can still be biting for pets. When the weather doesn’t get cold enough to kill off parasites, fleas and ticks can be as much of a problem as they are in Spring and Summer. Even more, when the temperature does to get cold enough outside, many of these pests can survive in your home in carpeting and  on furniture.   

As much as we may look forward to the warmer weather, it too can bring with it an onslaught of parasites, leaving our furry friends itching and scratching. Spring rains can lead to parasite breeding grounds galore. Hot summer days are when ticks thrive in high grass and wooded areas. It can seem as if, no matter where you live, you’re in an uphill battle with these little creepy crawlers. More than a nuisance though, fleas and ticks can also be carriers of harmful diseases for people and pets.

There’s good news though! They’re totally preventable.

There are several safe ways to prevent fleas and ticks, along with other parasites. The best way though? Keeping up on year-round applications of your pet’s treatments. Based on the flea life-cycle and how quickly a single female flea could lead to an infestation, it is often easier to prevent a problem by using a parasite preventative. If your pets are protected year-round, there’s less chance of menacing infestations. Your vet probably even has a helpful way to help remind you. Visit their online store or ask if there’s a program in place to send single treatments to your home, on time, every month, so you don’t skip or miss one.

Even the best of us forgets from time to time. So here are some other great methods to prevent the little buggers from taking over:

  • Keep up on your garden and lawn. Trimming back trees and bushes can help reduce the flea and tick populations.
  • Vacuum. As much as you can stand. Cleaning the carpets and keeping them egg-free, greatly reduces your chance of a population increasing.
  • Keep your pups indoors during peak summer tick seasons in your area. Daily walks are great. Daily romps through the woods are not. Keeping your pet on a leash, in low-grass areas can greatly reduce the risk of a tick latching on.
  • Check your pets and yourself during peak seasons. The quicker you remove a tick or kill a flea population, the faster you cut down the risk of disease and serious illness. On your pets, look between the toes, inside the ears, between the legs (in the "armpits"), and around the neck, deep in the fur.

Again, the best method of defence is being proactive. Talk to your vet about which method of flea, tick, and parasite control is right for your animals. There are three types of prevention treatments: topical, oral, and collar.

  • Topical protection comes in once monthly applications that you apply directly to your pet’s skin, typically on the back of the neck. Examples of topical treatments include, Paradyne® Feline, FRONTLINE® Plus Canine, and Revolution® Puppy/Kitten.
  • The second type, oral, is a tablet given to your pets once a month. They often come flavored to entice your pet to eat them, you can conceal them as a meal or use them as a treat. ComboGuard® chewable, Sentinel® Flavor Tabs®, and NexGard® Chewables are a examples of oral preventatives.
  • The third, collars, can protect up to three to eight months. Scalibor® Protector Band, Preventic® Collar, and Seresto® Collar Cat are well known examples of this method.

As with any product, it’s always best to consult your veterinarian. They will have the best solution for your pet, being that they know and treat them regularly. Reasons people choose between the three methods vary, but your veterinarian always knows what treatment will work for your pet.

Regardless of which preventative method you and your vet chose, protecting your pets year-round with treatments is the best way to deter fleas, ticks, and other parasites. By staying on top of applications, keeping your yard and home as clear as possible, and avoiding wooded areas during peak seasons you’ll keep you and your pets protected from risk of infestations and disease.
 

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References:

Jennifer Kvamme, D. (2015, July 22). The 10 Best Ways to Get Rid of & Prevent Ticks on Dogs. Retrieved March 15, 2017, from PetMD: http://www.petmd.com/dog/parasites/evr_dg_10_ways_to_stop_ticks_from_biting_your_dog?page=2

Fleas, Ticks & Your Pet. 10 Feb 2017. <http://www.petsandparasites.org/resources/fleas-ticks-your-pet>.

Middleton, Joshua. DVM Technical Services Veterinarian with Vetoquinol U.S. Arianna Ambrutis. Feb 2017.

 


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