Just like you & I have to protect ourselves during the summer months from mosquitos & bug bites, we need to do the same for our furry friends when it comes to fleas & ticks.
Although pet owners should be mindful of flea & tick prevention year-round, it is especially important to pay close attention during the summer months. Why? Well, families are more likely to take their pets on fun summertime adventures and trips. Dogs are typically outdoors more in the summer months and exposed to rural farms, fields, lakes, rivers, etc.
If your pet loves to spend time outdoors, definitely check out the tips below to help keep them happy & healthy all summer long.
FLEA & TICK PREVENTION 101
- While there are so many different flea & tick medications on the market these days, most contain strange or harmful chemicals. If you are looking for a more natural approach, there are plenty DIY remedies you can try at home. While it might be more time consuming, creating a DIY flea & tick solution or remedy saves you money and you remain in control of what ingredients to use for your pet. Check out these 6 DIY remedies by clicking here.
- During your favorite summer outings, be sure to keep your pets nearby and on a leash.
- Limit your pet's exposure to other dogs and animals. If it is a stray dog or unfamiliar animal, you have no idea if that animal is carrying ticks or fleas.
- Keep your pet away from high grass, brush, weeds, etc.
- Make your pet some homemade flea prevention treats! Find the recipe here.
- Check your canine (and feline!) friends every time they come inside after being outdoors. Run your fingers over their entire body, making sure to pay special attention to the following areas: Under their armpits, between their toes/paw pads, inside and behind their ears, around their face and chin, and of course near their neck area. If you happen to feel any strange bumps, it could be a tick. See below for the proper way to remove ticks (it can be tricky and a little scary the first time!)
- You found a tick...now what? First of all- DON'T PANIC! It's perfectly normal for your pet to get at least one tick in their lifetime.
- Gather the following: Gloves, tweezers, antiseptic, isopropyl alcohol.
- While wearing gloves, use tweezers to grab the tick as close as you can to your pet's skin. Make sure to not leave any piece of the tick behind. Their heads can get tricky; you could always use a lighter VERY CAREFULLY to get the tick to crawl out; however, this isn't always the most useful approach. Squash the tick to ensure it doesn't reproduce and/or place the tick in a labeled jar full of isopropyl alcohol. This way if your pet happens to show signs of any tick-related disease, your vet can test the tick if needed down the line. Clean the tick-bitten area and disinfect with the antiseptic.
- Keep a close eye on your pet in the days following the bite discovery. It can take up to 21 days for a pet to show any signs of a tick or flea related illness or disease. If your pet shows any questionable or unusual symptoms or the wound looks infected, take your pet to the vet immediately.