By American Kennel Club
The thought of little critters making their home on your pet is bad enough, but imagine how your dog feels when fleas and ticks attack! They’re not just annoying to Fido; they can cause serious problems for him. Fleas can cause severe itching and skin damage, and ticks can lead to Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever both debilitating conditions.
Since prevention is key, American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Partners offers tips to help keep your dog flea and tick free. Among them:
Use preventive treatments. There are many oral and topical flea and tick prevention treatments available for your dog. Talk with your veterinarian to find the best option for your four-legged friend.
Check your dog regularly. While fleas and itching seem to go hand-in-hand, you shouldn’t wait until you see your dog scratching to check him for fleas. Regularly run a flea comb through his fur if it yields fleas, or specks of black, then you know you have a problem to treat. If your dog is outside in woodsy areas, make sure to check him regularly for ticks and remove any you find right away. See your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog may have a tick-borne illness.
Treat the environment, too. Don’t just check and care for your dog’s fleas, treat his environment as well. Wash your pet’s bedding and vacuum on a regular basis to reduce the number of fleas in your home. Ticks lurk in grass or low-hanging bushes. Keep the grass and bushes in your yard mowed and trimmed to help keep ticks at bay.
Consider prevention methods year round. Waiting too long to use preventive treatments before flea and tick season comes around can be bad news for your dog. Since flea season can run into November or even December, and ticks can become active again as early as February, there is no clear time to start treating your dog. Consider prevention methods year round so your dog doesn’t have to suffer at all.
For more information on responsible dog ownership and having fun with your dog, visit the AKC Canine Partners website at www.moredogfun.com