Regularly grooming your dog or cat not only helps you build a better bond, it also gives you a chance to examine their skin and coat for evidence of fleas or ticks. Follow these handy tips to banish fleas and ticks from your home and yard:
Not only are fleas annoying, they can cause itching, redness, hair loss, blood loss and even the transmission of tapeworms.
Signs that your pet may have fleas include: scratching, patches of missing hair, white specks (flea eggs) or flea “dirt” (black/reddish specks).
It’s easiest to spot fleas on your pet’s underside, where there is far less fur.
Ticks can be found anywhere on your pet, but are most likely to be found on the ears, face, legs or belly.
You can easily examine your pet for fleas by gently combing through their fur with a flea comb, especially near their head, ears, belly and tail.
The best defense is a good offense. Consistent, year-round prevention works best to banish fleas and ticks from your home and yard.
Always consult with your veterinarian and be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions before using any flea control product on your pet.
Never use a product intended for a dog on a cat or vice-versa. Always follow directions carefully and purchase products based on your pet’s age and weight.
Help prevent fleas by regularly wash pet bedding, vacuum carpets and treating your home with foggers, sprays or powders.
Adult fleas can lay up to 50 eggs per day on your pet, which can end up in carpets, beds and furniture.
If you only treat your pet for fleas and ticks, but neglect to treat your home, you could miss more than 90% of the developing flea population.
When treating your home for fleas, treat pet areas, which is where most flea eggs and larvae are concentrated.
Anemia, tapeworms, Lyme disease and Flea Allergy Dermatitis all can stem from flea infestations.
Excessive scratching is a common indicator for Flea Allergy Dermatitis in dogs or cats, which can lead to a more serious secondary infection.
When treating outdoor areas for fleas and ticks, focus on areas where your pet hangs out, such as doghouses, decks, along fences and next to foundations.
Drop a flea collar in your vacuum bag or canister to kill fleas that are picked up when vacuuming.
There are several flea control options available for dogs and cats, including topical treatments, oral prescriptions, shampoos, collars, foggers, powders and sprays.
Always observe your pet after a flea treatment for possible reactions, which can include swelling or vomiting.
Dogs and cats can develop tapeworms by licking their fur and ingesting fleas that carry the tapeworm larva.