Pet parent tips to prevent fleas and ticks

Pet parent tips to prevent fleas and ticks

Warm, springtime weather is here, which means flea and tick season is upon us. Fleas and ticks pose a threat all year long, but spring calls for extra precaution and preventive measures.

Fleas and ticks are tough little creatures known to be the most active in warmer months and regions. They enjoy hiding in the grass and attaching themselves to our four-legged friends as a way to stay warm and alive. Depending on where you live, your risk for fleas and ticks can range from a few months to the entire year. Here is a map to show you when your pet is most at risk:

(Photo by the American Kennel Club)

 

In Tennessee, these pesky creatures can wreak havoc all year long, but peak season arrives as early as March. When they attach to your animal, they can transmit a number of diseases with them. This is why it’s important to protect your pet by warding off any fleas and ticks that might cross their path. We have a few tips to help you and your furry friend stay safe and healthy this year:

Preventive treatments

There are a number of different ways to help keep your pet bug-free and safe during their outdoor adventures – no matter the season. With the help of your veterinarian, you can choose from a number of topical treatments, chewables or oral medications, flea and tick collars, sprays or shampoos. The duration of protection provided by each option varies, so it’s important that you understand how often you should reapply or administer your chosen method to maintain year-round protection. But, each should offer you peace of mind! All pets are different, and specific health conditions or animal traits may make specific preventive treatment options a better fit than others. Consult your vet for their best recommendation on which prevention type would benefit your pet.

Protect your home

By attaching to your pet, your clothes or on your house guests, fleas and ticks can take up residence inside your home. You can protect your pet and family by regularly cleaning up any outside debris that makes its way inside, regularly washing your pet’s bedding, frequently vacuuming, and treating your carpet for fleas and ticks each season. These simple cleaning methods can shake loose any fleas and ticks that might have made their way into your home and help kick them to the curb.

Keep a tidy lawn

Fleas and ticks love to hide in debris and tall grass. You can help protect your pet by keeping your grass short and by avoiding any tall, grassy areas while you’re outside. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that pet owners clean their yards of stray leaf litter, brush and wood to fight against vector-borne illnesses. Fleas and ticks are known for hiding out in these unkempt areas, creating a nest of critters that could find their way onto your pet.

Check your pet regularly

To maintain your pet’s safety and health, it’s important to check their coat for fleas and their skin for ticks regularly. Canvas their fur with a comb to spot any rogue insects that might have made their way onto your pet. Fleas and ticks can commonly be found in the area around your pet’s collar, on their belly, armpits and inner hind limbs. The most common symptoms for fleas and ticks include excessive scratching, hair loss and fur licking. Be sure to keep an eye on your pet and seek treatment if you see them expressing any unusual behaviors.

Don’t fear the flea this season. Contact your veterinarian for tips on how you can prevent a flea and tick infestation from your pet and home. With the variety of treatments and methods available for pet owners today, your pet is sure to be happy and bug-free!

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