The Problem of Fleas and Ticks
Is there anything more unnerving than finding fleas and ticks on your dog? Just seeing these little creeping creatures in your furry friend’s coat is enough to make your skin crawl! It’s hard to see your pet suffer from itchy bites, but even worse is the health risk of ticks and fleas in dogs. From skin infections to Lyme disease, these bugs are bad news for your dog. What’s more, if your dog has fleas, those nasty little creatures can easily infest your entire house, and they are not easy to eradicate once they’ve got a foothold. Fortunately, when it comes to fleas in dogs, treatment options are available. Pet Doctor of Chandler has some tips for getting rid of these pests and keeping them off of your dog and out of your home.
Understanding Ticks and Fleas in Dogs
Every time your dogs leave the house, they are exposed to ticks and fleas. Anyone entering your home from outside could unwittingly carry fleas or ticks into the house, inadvertently exposing your dogs not only to itchy bites but also to illnesses like Lyme disease. These pests are adept at hiding in the deepest crevices or thickest fur, so you must be vigilant about protecting your pets. Any time you take a hike, go for a walk in the woods, take a trip to the lake, or otherwise commune with nature, thoroughly examine your dog for ticks afterward. Look closely at the fur of the abdomen, armpits, and neck for ticks, creatures that look like small spiders. Even if your dog is on tick preventive, you must still check. Why? Because a tick can still bite your dog, even if he or she is protected by tick-killing medication. It is unlikely that the tick would be able to infect your pet with bacteria or disease before dying, but it’s not impossible. The best thing to do is remove ticks from your pet promptly before they can do any significant damage. Fleas are more insidious than ticks. They are very tiny, blackish-brown, wingless insects, and they can jump very high, very quickly. Because of their small size and rapid movements, they are often very difficult to spot, but you will notice some signs. Symptoms of fleas in dogs include itching and scratching, red spots on the skin, and “flea dirt,” which is flea waste and looks like black-brown powder or dirt. Fleas have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult, and in the right environment, this cycle can pass very quickly. Once fleas have a blood meal, the adults will mate and lay eggs in a pet’s fur, but also in the surrounding area. This means that if your pet has fleas, you are likely to have flea eggs in your carpet and the upholstery of your furniture. These eggs can hatch in as little as one day, depending on environmental conditions, and the larval stage lasts only five to 20 days, during which time the larvae move around, feeding on blood and flea dirt. They then spin cocoons and enter the pupa stage, where they are protected from environmental conditions, as well as insecticides and repellents, for up to several weeks. Once conditions are right and there is a host nearby, adult fleas will emerge from their cocoons and begin to feed within a few hours.
Preventive Measures for Flea and Tick Control
It is extremely important to be proactive about flea and tick prevention. Once fleas are in your home, they are extremely difficult to eradicate, and fleas, like ticks, can spread diseases to both animals and humans. Keeping your dogs groomed, combing them regularly, and bathing them with tick and flea-control shampoos can be helpful. If you see any fleas in your home, treat your dog and call in a professional pest control company for treatment and advice. Keep your dog’s living environment clean and hygienic, and make sure your pets have proper nutrition and plenty of water so that if they do encounter a pest their immune system will be able to fight off any infection. Most of all, though, keep your dogs on flea and tick preventive medications all year, especially if you live in an area prone to these pests. Talk to your vet about flea and tick prevention, and ask for recommendations. There are several different types of products on the market to prevent flea and tick infestations, including collars, chewable flea and tick medication, and topical treatments. Some people also swear by hemp seed oil, which is reputed to control external parasites while hydrating, cleaning, and nourishing a dog’s skin and coat. Your vet will be able to advise you on the best course of action for your dog.
Pet Doctor of Chandler Can Help Protect Your Pets
Flea and tick prevention is a vital part of keeping your dog comfortable and healthy, so you must remain vigilant and take proactive measures to protect your furry friend from these parasites. Whenever you need help keeping your pet healthy, Pet Doctor of Chandler is here for you. At Pet Doctor of Chandler, we believe in providing quality veterinary care, with all-inclusive pet care services at affordable prices. We know you have many different options for veterinary care, so we provide comprehensive services, with a focus on compassionate care. Our friendly team is well-versed in all sorts of pet care, and we want to help your furry family members live their best lives. For veterinary services in Chandler, AZ, including spay and neuter services and dental care. To request an appointment or learn more about how we can help your pets lead healthy, happy lives, call (480) 681-6866 or contact us through our website.