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Spring Is Flea and Tick Season – Are you Ready

As the warmer months approach, pet owners need to take action against fleas and ticks. These pests are not only annoying, but they also spread disease and can cause other health problems such as anemia. In addition, they bite people as well as dogs, so fleas and ticks can put your family in danger. Fortunately, there are means of preventing these parasites in your home and on your dog. These include regular cleaning and the use of preventative products. You also need to educate yourself about fleas and ticks and the diseases they carry so that you can recognize symptoms if they occur. By taking the time to combat fleas and ticks now, you can save yourself time, frustration and money later.

Protecting Your Home

Many pet owners understand the importance of using flea and tick preventatives, such as K9 Advantix II for dogs or Frontline Plus, on their pets but do not realize the importance of protecting their homes. While flea preventatives are very effective at keeping your dog from becoming infested with fleas, they will not stop your pet from being bitten by any fleas that are in the house or the yard. For this reason, you should be sure to keep your home flea and tick free by keeping unprotected pets out of the house and vacuuming regularly to remove any flea eggs that may be in the carpets. Also, make sure that if your dog does develop fleas, you clean upholstery, bedding and carpets thoroughly in addition to treating the dog. This will remove eggs from the environment.

If you have a particular problem with fleas and ticks in your yard, consider using a pesticide for added protection. Choose a product containing pyriproxyfen for good control of flea eggs and larvae outdoors. For tick control, products containing permethrin are very effective. If you have cats, however, avoid using permethrin products, since they are very toxic to felines even in relatively small amounts.

Protecting Your Family

Protecting your home from fleas and ticks will also help to protect your family from bites and from the diseases that fleas and ticks carry. You should, however, still be alert. Check yourself and your children for ticks every time you come in from outside. If you find a tick, make sure to take the time to safely remove it. If you cannot do so, see a doctor. In addition, be conscious of the signs of tick borne diseases. The most common of these include:

– Rash.
– Headache.
– Muscle aches.
– Fever.
– Chills.

If you exhibit these symptoms, see a doctor right away. Make sure to mention that you have a history of a tick bite or that you have ticks around your home. This information will help your doctor to make a more accurate diagnosis so that you can receive the treatment you need in a timely manner.

Protecting Your Dog

All dogs should receive some sort of monthly flea preventative. Dogs living in high tick areas should also receive a tick preventative. These preventative products are especially important in the spring, summer and early fall when fleas and ticks are most common. Fortunately, there are many effective topical and oral products for flea and tick control. Popular topical products to prevent fleas include Advantage and Revolution. Topical products that control both fleas and ticks include K9 Advantix II for dogs and Frontline Plus. Oral flea control products, such as Trifexis and Comfortis, are also available. Consult your veterinarian for help in choosing the best product to protect your dog.


Image: mikumistock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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