As a pet owner, you want to do everything you can to care for your animals. Yet with a plethora of flea and tick prevention available on the market, it can be difficult to find the right type of products for your pets.
Keeping your pets, home, and loved ones flea- and tick-free is best attained through preventative measures and the utmost consistency. By being proactive from the get-go and consulting your vet about the right treatment methods, you can keep pests at bay from your pets.
But infestations can happen. If your dog or cat does get fleas or ticks, it is best to work swiftly at the first sign of trouble to avoid a larger problem. If any of your pets have ticks or fleas, there could be more lurking in your house.
With the great number of flea and tick prevention products out there, it can be tough to decide on the best course of action. Thankfully, all you need is a little information on the topic in order to educate yourself on flea and tick prevention in pets.
Flea and Tick Control
The most common and effective means of ridding your furry friends of fleas and ticks include oral medication, sprays, and spot-on treatments. While some prevent an infestation from happening, others treat current flea or tick infestations, while others work double-duty, preventing and treating a flea or tick issue. Here is a run-down of the most common types of treatments. Just bear in mind that most of these products are not recommended for use on dogs and cats under six weeks of age.
Oral Flea and Tick Medication
These types of medications are useful because they provide protection for your pet’s entire body, whereas sprays, spot-on treatments, and rinses may still leave a few spots vulnerable. There are oral meds that protect your pets solely from ticks and others that guard against only fleas.
As with all pet medications, ensure that you read and follow the directions carefully, as dosages differ from one type of medication to the next, as with the weight and size of your dog or cat.
Sprays for Fleas and Ticks
Sprays are another efficient product to rid your pets of fleas and ticks. These products kill pests on contact. While alcohol-based sprays are super effective, they may include bad side effects in certain animals, as well as to the folks who apply them.
Particular types of sprays can be utilized alongside topical treatment options, or applied between flea baths, while others function over a long period of time, working to keep eggs from hatching. As with oral medication, be sure to read and follow the instructions carefully.
Spot-On Flea and Tick Treatments
Some popular spot-on treatments include K9 Advantix and Frontline Plus. These products are sold in monthly dosages and applied via a tube to your dog or cat’s back once per month. While they can be on the more expensive side, these products are proven to work, preventing fleas and ticks from hosting on your pet and killing them when they try. There are many different options available on the market, so consult your veterinarian about which one may be the right fit for you.
Checking Your Pet for Fleas and Ticks
You should thoroughly check your animals for fleas and ticks on a daily basis. This is especially true during the warmer months. While they can live anywhere on an animal’s body, they prefer to attach themselves to the head, behind the ears, neck, and paws. You may feel a tiny bump on your pet before you actually see the tick.
Evidence of fleas includes the debris fleas leave behind on your pet’s coat and skin. Known as flea dirt, these little black specks look like pepper or tiny bits of dirt, but are actually the fecal matter of fleas. Run a metal comb through your animal’s fur and hold a white paper towel under the comb to evaluate if any flea dirt comes off.
What to Do if an Infestation Happens
Firstly, don’t panic! Infestations can happen, even if you are using the aforementioned treatments. If you find out that your pet has been infested with fleas or ticks, make sure that you treat it with proper medication or topical treatments. Capstar is a great pill that works within 24 hours and kills most pests within four hours.
Vacuum all of your carpets and wash all linens in hot water after setting off a flea and tick bomb in your home. Be sure to have the animals outside of the home for up to several hours after the bombs go off.
Fleas and ticks can be pesky, but there are many ways to rid yourself, your home, and your pets of the problem.