With the arrival of spring comes green grass, blooming flowers, and warmer weather to walk the dogs. Unfortunately, Spring also means the return of flea and tick season is upon us. And if you own a cat or a dog, this can spell disaster. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to make the warmer season less taxing and more safe for your pets when it comes to fleas and ticks. Let’s take a look at the best steps you can take to get ready for flea and tick season.
Preparing for Flea and Tick Season
Many pet owners walk their dogs along paths that have trees, weeds, and tall grass nearby. These are prime breeding grounds for fleas and ticks. Be sure to walk your dog in areas where trees, grass and shrubs are well trimmed. It is also essential for your dog or cat to live in the proper environment. To achieve the kind of surroundings for your pets that are clean, hygienic, and well-maintained, follow these tips:
• Because they are parasite breeding grounds, outdoor kennels, and dog houses must be cleaned on a regular basis. Indoors, however, to help control larvae, eggs, and kill fleas, it’s crucial that you ask your veterinarian what type of insecticide to use.
• For use out of doors, there is any number of sprays and preventative solutions against ticks and fleas. Prevent fleas in garden areas by spraying a (beneficial) nematodes solution. It is highly effective against fleas but is safe and non-toxic where your pets are concerned.
• Keep bushes, trees, and lawns well-manicured. Garden areas (another breeding ground for insects) can be fenced off to limit the access your pet may have to them.
• Fleas and ticks are attracted to bird feeders and birdbaths. Place them well away from any areas that your pet frequents. Whenever possible, prevent the sharing of your pet’s water and food with outdoor wildlife and insects.
• Make sure that garbage and refuse areas are as clean as possible and tightly shut/sealed. Fewer ticks and fleas will result because wild animals are discouraged from feeding in or inhabiting these areas.
Additionally, many vets give the following advice: before tick and flea season arrives, use pills, powders, drops, and shampoos that assist in the prevention of parasitic infestation.
Safety Precautions and Guidelines For Tick and Flea Season
• If the product is manufactured for one species or another (cats or dogs), do not mix and match them as they can be harmful to pets for which they are not intended.
• Read all of the instructions and follow them to the letter (i.e., the weight of the animal versus the quantity used, the frequency of applications, proper application locations, etc.)
• If your pet is diseased, old, lactating, pregnant, or sick, discuss any specifics of the treatment with your vet.
• When using products for the first time, watch your pet closely. Be hyper vigilant for any side effects (i.e., anxiousness, lethargy, vomiting, etc.). If any of these occur, wash the product off and call your vet immediately.
• For households with more than one pet, when applicable, use flea and tick products on every animal. While the product dries, try to keep pets separated until product dries. Separation negates the opportunity for them to groom each other while the product is setting.
Both you and your pets can enjoy the beautiful weather this spring and summer with just a little bit of planning and prevention.