The weather is starting to warm up, and that means one thing for pet owners: flea and tick season is here. These pesky critters can cause a lot of problems for your pet, including skin irritation, hair loss, and even paralysis. Thankfully, there are some simple things you can do to protect your pet from these pests. Keep reading for our top tips on how to keep your furry friend safe from fleas and ticks during the summer months.
What are fleas and ticks, and what do they do to your pet's health?
Fleas are small, parasitic insects that feed on the blood of mammals, birds. They can jump up to 5 feet and are fast breeders laying 20 to 50 eggs at a time leading to hundreds of offspring developing simultaneously, hence their rapid infestation capabilities. Fleas can cause serious health problems in pets including allergic reactions, anemia, paralysis, and sometimes can be fatal.
Ticks are arachnids that attach themselves to the skin of animals to feed on their blood. Ticks also carry serious diseases for humans, if bit, such as Lyme, Rickettsia, and Conorholycosis which is commonly found in the California species of blacklegged ticks.
Since these tiny critters reside within the pet’s coat and feed on their skin and blood, it is imperative to check for fleas and ticks regularly and start preventive measures as soon as the weather begins to warm up.
Prevention is key when it comes to flea and tick control -
Fleas and ticks can be a major nuisance for both pets and their owners - here are some preventative tips:
- Start by keeping your pet's environment clean - regularly vacuum and sweep floors and the sleeping areas of your pet and dispose of any waste immediately.
- Use flea and tick prevention products either natural remedies or conventional treatments.
- Inspect your pet regularly for any signs of fleas or ticks; excessive scratching, licking, and biting of the skin, along with redness or inflammation. Try Health Extension’s Skin and Coat to help keep your dog’s coat healthy.
- Keep your pet groomed and brushed regularly to help remove any parasites or pests.
Natural treatments for fleas and ticks:
These are natural alternative remedy options for addressing the flea and tick problem in your pets. Often a combination of conventional and natural solutions pair well together.
- Essential oils are becoming increasingly popular as a natural alternative to chemical pesticides. In addition to being non-toxic, essential oils can be remarkably effective at repelling fleas and ticks. Lavender oil, peppermint oil, and eucalyptus oil are all known to be effective at deterring these pests. To use essential oils as a flea and tick repellent, simply add a few drops to your pet's collar or rub the oil onto their fur. You can also add a few drops to your vacuum cleaner bag or diffuser to help keep your home pest-free. When using essential oils, it is important to follow the instructions carefully and avoid using too much, as this can be harmful to your pet. With proper use, essential oils can be a safe and effective way to protect your pet from fleas and ticks.
- Lemon spray can also be used as a natural repellent - simply mix together equal parts water and lemon juice in a spray bottle and spritz your pet's fur. If your pets skin is broken or highly irritated, other remedies may be a better choice.
- Diatomaceous earth can be used as a flea and tick powder - simply sprinkle it on your pet's fur and brush it through to the skin.
- Apple cider vinegar has many uses - one of them being as a flea and tick repellent. Simply add some to your pet's food or water dish or you can make a flea and tick spray by mixing equal parts apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Be sure to avoid your pet's eyes and ears when applying this spray. This also provides relief of an existing problem.
- Food that contains garlic and brewers’ yeast can also be helpful in preventing these critters from attacking your fur baby. Health Extension has a great variety of foods for your pets.
These natural treatments are safe for both pets and their owners and are a terrific way to prevent flea and tick infestations.
Conventional treatments for fleas and ticks
Conventional treatments for flea and tick remedies include oral medications, topical treatments, collars, and shampoos.
- Oral medications are typically given once a month and work to kill fleas and ticks that come into contact with your pet. Check out Frontline Plus at Health Extension.
- Topical treatments applied directly to your pet's skin, work to repel fleas and ticks.
- Collars can help to repel fleas and ticks, but they must be used properly for them to be effective.
- Shampoos are a temporary solution that can help get rid of fleas and ticks on your pet's fur.
- If you are unsure of what treatment to use, talk to your veterinarian for guidance.
Remember, the best way to protect your pet from fleas and ticks is to take preventative measures along with a Health Extension holistic nutritional diet!
Flea and tick season is upon us, pet owners! Make sure to take the necessary precautions to protect your furry friends from these pesky critters. There are a number of natural and conventional remedies available to help keep your pets safe and healthy. Have you tried any of these methods? Let us know in the comments below.