Spring may have been a little slow to arrive this year, but summer is just around the corner.
While long, sunny and humid days may be great news for the majority of us, they aren't necessarily so positive for your pet. This is because with them they bring the increased activity of two unpleasant parasites - fleas and ticks.
Most Cleveland pet owners have heard of fleas and ticks and know them to be common parasites that most animals will be affected by at some point during their lifetime. Fortunately, an infestation by either doesn't have to be a foregone conclusion. Here is what you need to know about protecting your beloved pet from fleas and ticks this season…and beyond!
Why You Should Protect Your Pet against Fleas and Ticks All Year Round
Although there are seasons, like spring and summer, where the warmer temperatures and increased humidity mean that your pet coming across fleas and ticks is more likely. Research has shown that these parasites pose a risk all year round. Fleas and ticks have evolved to become little creatures that can survive in much lower temperatures than previously anticipated. Fleas, in particular, can go into a type of hibernation mode which enables them to survive long periods of time without a host and in cooler environments. This means that your furbaby could potentially come across these parasites at times of the year where there was previously considered to be little or no risk.
Preparing for Flea and Tick Season
The good news is that there are some things that you can do to help prepare your pet and your home for tick and flea season. This will minimize the likelihood of them making life miserable for your furry friend and your family.
Treat Your Home and outside Area with Repellent
One of the main ways that parasites get into our homes is being carried in by our pets. Ticks and fleas live in tall grasses, bushes, and woodland, along fences and in other outdoor areas and either jump onto or attach to your pet as he walks by. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent this from happening, including:
- Utilizing products designed to protect your home and yard from parasites
- Keeping refuse and garbage areas as sealed and clean as possible
- Keeping lawns, trees, and bushes well-trimmed
- Ensuring that any outside accommodation such as a kennel is thoroughly cleaned regularly
- Use flea powders on carpets and flooring to kill any fleas, eggs, and larvae
- Vacuum daily and wash your pet's bedding at least once a week
Use the Right Preventatives on Your Pet
Keeping your home and yard free from fleas and ticks isn't enough. There are times when your pet might roam outside these areas and if he isn't protected, he could easily catch either parasite. There are lots of parasite preventatives that are designed specifically to keep your furbaby safe from one, the other, or both. These include oral medications, shampoos, or topical, spot-on solutions. It is important to find the variety that suits your pet's weight, age, and breed and to administer them exactly as directed to ensure your pet is protected at all times.
Check Your Pet Regularly
There are two important reasons why you should check your pet regularly this flea and tick season. Firstly, contrary to popular belief, ticks don't spread the diseases that they carry immediately after biting your pet. Instead, it can take up to 72 hours for them to be transmitted. This means that if you check your pet daily during the height of the season, there is a good chance that you can remove any ticks that have attached themselves before they have a chance to cause any real damage to your pet's health.
The other reason to check your pet regularly is that fleas reproduce at an alarming rate. A single flea can produce as many as 50 eggs each day, and it can take just 21 days for them to mature into adults. In many cases, what starts as a few fleas turn into a serious infestation before the owner realizes that their pet has been affected.
Still unsure what you can do to help your pet this flea and tick season? Want to arrange an appointment so that our experienced and knowledgeable vets can ensure that your furry family member is fully protected against these parasites? Contact Appalachian Animal Clinic in Cleveland, TN today by calling (423) 479-4760 to schedule your visit.