4 easy tips to keep dogs free of ticks and fleas
A pet’s fur can be the perfect breeding ground for fleas and ticks. These pests can annoy your pet throughout the day. Such parasites can also cause several health problems like Lyme disease and skin infections in dogs and humans. Fortunately, pet care experts have developed several ways to rid these critters of your furry friend. Here are four handy tips that help with managing flea and tick infestations in dogs:
Initiate a treatment plan
If your pet develops a pest infestation, the first and foremost thing to do is get them on a treatment plan. Here are a few prescriptions that can be helpful:
- Bravecto® (Fluralaner)
This prescription for dogs comes in two types: a chewable option or a topical solution. Bravecto is approved by the FDA and works on dogs and puppies at least six months of age who weigh at least 4.4 pounds. If you pick the chewable option for your pet, it must be given with their food once a month. Alternately, the topical solution must be applied once every 12 weeks. You can also check out special offers on Bravecto’s website for attractive discounts on their products.
Another recommended treatment for fleas and ticks is the FDA-approved chewable from Simparica. This prescription kills Deer ticks and helps prevent infections that may cause Lyme disease. Such an option must be given to your pet once a month and has lasting effects for up to 35 days. It is suitable for dogs six months or older and weighing at least 2.8 pounds. Other than the Deer tick, Simparica helps kill the lone star, Gulf Coast, American dog, and brown dog ticks.
- Bayer K9 Advantix II
Bayer’s K9 Advantix II is a topical solution for dogs made from a combination of imidacloprid, pyriproxyfen, and permethrin. The formula is effective in exterminating and preventing fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and lice. This treatment option is available in four sizes: small, medium, large and extra-large. A monthly solution is created for adult dogs and puppies seven weeks of age and older. Effects of the K9 Advantix II will take place within 12 hours after the liquid is applied.
- Heartgard® Plus
Sometimes, fleas and ticks are not the only culprits behind your pet’s poor health. The Dirofilaria worm can also impact their overall health by causing heart failure, lung disease, and other organ damage. Heartgard Plus is a chewable treatment that solves this problem. The prescription combines ivermectin and pyrantel to kill heartworm larvae in their tissue stage. This option is given once a month, and the effects last up to 30 days.
Try natural repellents
Check out these two popular natural repellents that help curb the infestation of pests in your home and on your pets:
- Neem oil
Diluted neem oil acts as a natural repellent for fleas and ticks. Apply 10 drops of neem oil to the palm of your hand and rub them on the exposed skin. The parasites dislike the properties in the oil and will steer clear of your pet. If you want to remove a tick from your dog, dilute the oil with a light carrier and then apply two drops directly to the tick. Doing so will quicken the removal process.
- Eucalyptus oil spray
To create the repellent, add 20 drops of eucalyptus oil and four ounces of purified or distilled water to a small spray bottle. Shake the spray to even out the concentration before you use it. Once you follow these steps, spray it on the skin, pant cuffs, and shoes. The essence of eucalyptus oil discourages tiny critters from entering your home. You can also spray the diluted solution on your dog to keep them safe.
Start a pest-inhibiting meal plan
Certain foods can help avoid invasions from fleas or ticks. However, you should consult a veterinarian before feeding your pet any foods different from their current meal plan.
- Raw honey
Add about half a teaspoon of raw honey to your pet’s food, per 15 pounds of their body weight per day. Such a combination works as an immune system booster, fights allergens, and builds resistance to parasites. Raw honey is also tasty, so your dog will love it.
- Fresh garlic
Fresh garlic is a natural antibiotic rich in anti-fungal, anti-parasitic properties. Feeding your dog minimal amounts of garlic every day can ensure reduced flea attacks. Avoid large quantities of garlic, though, as it contains thiosulphate, a compound that can damage your pet’s liver if excessively fed.
Focus on better hygiene
You might try all the tips mentioned above, but your dog may still deal with flea and tick problems at home. In such situations, keeping the house free of irritants is imperative.
- Timely lawn maintenance
Blood-sucking pests hide among the tall grass. To overcome this problem, mow the lawn to a proper height regularly to allow sunlight to reach most of the ground. The increased sunlight will discourage such parasites from nesting.
- Regular vacuuming
The creepy crawlies that live on your pet may also walk all over your home undetected and lay eggs in the process. Vacuuming the house on a regular basis can extract the tiny pests from your floor. Focus the cleaner on cushioned furniture, cracks in the walls, crevices in the floor, and carpets more thoroughly, as these areas are breeding grounds for ticks and fleas.
- Keeping their bed clean
Your pets and even bedding are equally susceptible to invasions by fleas and ticks. Therefore, ensure the bedding is washed with hot, soapy water every two to three weeks, if not sooner.