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Flea and tick season is here, and in some areas, it’s now a year-round concern. These pests can cause serious problems for your dog, no matter what time of year. Fleas can cause severe itching and skin damage, and for every flea on your pet, there could be hundreds of eggs and larvae around your home. Ticks can hide almost anywhere, are difficult to eradicate, and can lead to Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever – both debilitating conditions. Here are four tips to help keep your dog flea- and tick-free.
Prevention Is Key
While prescription flea and tick preventives require a trip to your veterinarian, they often offer more convenience and peace of mind than over-the-counter options. There are many topical flea and tick prevention treatments available for your dog, as well as flea collars (these can be convenient since they typically last longer than topical treatment). Other options are oral flea and tick medications and yard treatments. Talk with your veterinarian to find the best option for your dog.
Actively Check Your Dog
Fleas and itching seem to go hand-in-hand, but you shouldn’t wait until you see your dog scratching to check for fleas. Regularly run a flea comb through their coat and if you find your dog already has a flea and tick infestation, your first step is to eliminate the parasites from your pet. Choose a flea and tick spray to keep adult fleas and ticks off your pet or bathe your dogs with a flea and tick shampoo made to kill these critters.
Protect Your Environment, Too
Don’t just check your dog for fleas and ticks—treat their environment, including your home, as well. In fact, homes are desirable flea habitats because the fleas are shielded from the outside elements.
Also, wash your dog’s bedding and vacuum on a regular basis to reduce the number of fleas in your home. Because ticks lurk in grass or low-hanging bushes, keep your yard mowed and trimmed to keep them at bay.
Flea and Tick Prevention: All Year Long
Flea season can run into November or even December, and ticks can become active again as early as February. There is no clear time to start treating your dog. This is why you should consider using year-round flea and tick prevention year-round to keep your dog safe.