Fleas and Ticks -- Protect Your Pup!

Posted: 9/10/2012

Even though the mornings are cooler and fall weather is on its way, your dog is not yet out of the woods when it comes to fleas and ticks. Fleas and ticks can give your four-legged friend a lot of discomfort and give you a lot of stress and annoyance. It's important to keep your pup current on flea and tick prevention medication.

How Does Your Dog Acquire Fleas and/or Ticks?

Your dog can get fleas by encountering another flea-infested animal. This could be the dog next door, a stray dog or cat, or even a racoon walking through your neighborhood! These other animals that are carrying fleas have female fleas that are laying eggs. The eggs then "shake" off of them into your yard, park, etc and they mature into adult fleas. These fleas then "jump" onto your pet. 

Ticks are acquired by walking through their environment, so avoid tall grass or forested areas. The ticks essentially climb up the grass blades or the shrubs and they hang out, waiting for us and our pets to pass by so they can latch onto us. Ticks cause a severe threat as they can live up to a year without feeding.

How Do Fleas and Ticks Harm My Dog?

When fleas latch onto your dog, they inject their saliva into their skin. The protein in fleas' saliva is allergenic, causing your dog to have an allergic reaction. The most common kind of allergic reaction is flea allergy dermatitis. This causes dogs to itch and bite their skin and it can result in hair loss. Since fleas are blood-sucking insects, they can be especially harmful to puppies and small dogs, as they can become anemic. Fleas also have the potential to spread tapeworms.

There are more than 15 diseases that your pet can acquire from ticks. Two of the most common diseases are Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. These are very serious diseases that can even result in fatality.

How Do You Keep Your Dog Safe From Fleas and Ticks?

You can decrease the risk of harboring fleas and ticks by keeping your yard trimmed and tamed. Keep your grass cut short and regularly prune your shrubs. Rake leaves that fall or collect under your shrubs and don't allow a buildup of leaves. A trimmed lawn can create an unpleasant living environment for fleas and ticks.

Make sure your dog is on a preventative medicine for fleas and ticks. There are a variety of different preventatives, so make sure you consult with your vetrinarian to find the kind that is best for your pet. It is important to administer this medication regularly to provide consistent coverage for your pet.

 

Keep your dog happy and healthy by helping them ward off fleas and ticks. If you suspect your pet may have a flea or tick problem, be sure to consult with a professional right away to discuss treatment options.

Contact us if you have any questions regarding fleas, ticks or preventatives. We want to keep your pet healthy!