Dogs are pretty resilient and strong. As long as your dog’s immune system is strong and healthy, it can fight off the most common pests that come its way. However, fleas and ticks can be difficult to repel if you live in an area with a high population of ticks or have an otherwise weak dog.
According to PestWorld, the American Dog tick is the most common species, as its favorite host is a domestic dog. There are around 2000 species and sub-species of fleas. One particular species, known as the cat flea, causes the majority of infestations in America. Fleas can jump up to 8 feet, i.e., 150 times their height.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to avoid flea infestations in dogs.
1. Keep Your Dog’s Coat and Skin Healthy
You can keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy by making regular grooming a routine. Grooming will help keep the fur clean, dry, and free from fleas and ticks. If you don’t have time to do this yourself, ask a friend or family member who has more time on their hands than you do.
When grooming your pet, use a flea comb twice a week to catch any stray fleas before they have time to lay eggs in your dog’s fur. Also, remove any ticks found on your dog as soon as possible, within 24 hours, so that it doesn’t have time to transmit Lyme disease.
2. Use a Preventative Flea and Tick Medication
Even after the regular grooming session, some fleas and ticks may remain intact, and the best remedy for such stubborn pests is preventative flea and tick medication. A preventative flea and tick medication is the most effective way to protect your dog from fleas and ticks. Several products on the market protect against these pests, including oral tablets, topical medications, or collars that protect against mosquitoes.
While considering one such medication, you should consider which one will suit your dog the most. Most veterinarian suggests tablets like Credelio chewable tablet for dogs to prevent flea and tick infestations. They are given just once a month, and dogs are very fond of them because of their taste and can easily ingest them.
Credelio is a chewable tablet for dogs that provides tick and flea prevention. The product can be given to dogs older than eight weeks and weighing 4.4 pounds or higher. It has been found to control ticks within 48 hours effectively, and its effect persists for a month.
You should discuss the dosage and duration of your treatment with your veterinarian according to your dog’s age and weight.
3. Keep Your Dog Away from Areas with High Populations of Ticks
Ticks are most commonly found in wooded areas but can also be found in your yard or garden. If you live in a wooded area, keep your dog on a leash and off the ground when walking through the woods. If you have a lawn, mow it regularly to prevent ticks from laying eggs there.
If a tick is found on any part of your dog’s body, including its bedding, remove it immediately with tweezers and dispose of it safely away from children and other animals. After removing the tick, cleanse the site with antiseptic wipes or wash thoroughly with soap and water. Make sure that none of its salivae remains attached to your dog’s skin.
Dogs are prone to ticks and tick-borne diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if a tick bites a dog, it may take 7-21 days for the signs of a tick bite to appear. Therefore, it is always advised to keep them checking regularly.
4. Clean Your Yard Often to Prevent an Infestation
It’s important to clean up your yard often and thoroughly if you want to avoid flea and tick infestations. Ticks can survive in the environment for up to a year, so they’re likely to be found just about anywhere that there is dirt or vegetation. In addition, dog toys, blankets, and bedding can harbor ticks.
If you have a pet-friendly lawn, make sure that you keep it trimmed so that your dog doesn’t have access to tall grasses where ticks would hide out. And don’t forget, if you’re going out for an afternoon hike with your furry friend, don’t forget to check his fur after he’s been playing outside. You may find yourself with an unwelcome visitor crawling along his back.
5. Bathe Your Dog After Going Outdoors
Use a shampoo that kills fleas and ticks, such as an insecticidal shampoo or shampoo with permethrin. When applied correctly, these products kill fleas and ticks on contact.
Wash your dog’s bedding regularly. For example, wash blankets in hot water and dry them on high heat to kill any remaining eggs or larvae that may have hatched in the fabric since you last washed them. If possible, replace the blanket with cotton or canvas fabric. These materials are less likely than others to retain harmful pesticides over time.
6. Use a Dog Flea and Tick Prevention Collar
A collar is an excellent option if you’re looking for a way to keep fleas and ticks away from your dog. Collars are especially good for dogs who don’t get groomed regularly, as their fur will help protect their skin from flea bites.
However, they should be replaced every three months because old ones can become less effective. They also need to be washed and dried in between.
As such, if you have a small dog that spends most of its time indoors or one with very short hair, you might want to consider another form of prevention instead. Regardless of what kind of collar you choose, make sure that it’s used in conjunction with other methods like monthly baths and frequent vacuuming.
7. Wash Your Dog’s Bedding Regularly
Wash your dog’s bedding weekly. Fleas and ticks can easily hide in your dog’s bedding, so it’s important to wash any blankets or beds regularly with hot water and detergent. If you have a top loader washing machine, adding a small dish soap will help kill fleas and ticks on the fabric.
Air-dry the material in the dryer for five minutes before removing it from the appliance to prevent overheating from killing off fleas and ticks that may remain in the fibers.
If you don’t have much time for grooming your dog, you can allot animal care and service worker for your dog. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, animal caretakers are employed in zoos, kennels, stables, veterinary clinics, etc. The average pay they can demand is $13.81 per hour. Therefore, you can employ them hourly to take care of your dog.
As you can see, different types of fleas and ticks can be found on your dog. While some can cause serious health problems, others just make your pup uncomfortable. Therefore, knowing what kinds of pests you’re dealing with is important to eliminate them safely and effectively.
With these tips, you should be able to keep your dogs flea-free. It’s important, however, to keep in mind that the best way to prevent fleas is by regularly brushing them out of their coats.