Spring is here early and so are fleas and ticks. Fleas and ticks love the warm weather just as much as we do and they are itching to jump on your dog and cat. Ensuring your pet is on veterinarian-recommended flea and tick preventive is vital to protecting him or her from disease and helps to control the spread of fleas and ticks in your home and yard. And yet despite your best efforts, you may find yourself dealing with an infestation. How did this happen?
Fleas and ticks are tricky insects and they have many ways of finding their way into your home. Wild animals such as squirrels, rodents, and raccoons along with feral cats can bring fleas and ticks into your backyard. Other humans, or even yourself, could be unknowing carriers of fleas and ticks, which could have come from a hike in the woods or being in contact with an unfamiliar pet. Taking your dog for a walk, a trip to the dog park, a play date with his or her best furry-friend, or having a cat that roams outside the home could potentially expose your pets to fleas and ticks as well.
If you notice fleas or ticks on your pet, there are a few tips we always recommend to make sure you do not have to deal with an infestation. Begin by vacuuming all carpets, flooring, and areas of the house where you and your pet spend a lot of time together, including furniture and beds. All pet bedding and plush toys should be washed in hot, soapy water every week for a month, or destroyed. If you believe your yard is the source, then it is best to contact a pest control specialist to advise you on recommended treatments.
Grooming Tip of the Week
If your dog or cat is suffering from fleas, you may be tempted to buy an over-the-counter flea dip shampoo in order to rid your pet of fleas. What you might not realize is that flea dip shampoos are extremely toxic to cats and should not be used on puppies. The active ingredient in many of these shampoos is an FDA-approved insecticide called pyrethrin (also known as permethrin). Despite it being deemed safe for dogs, it is still a chemical that can cause side-effects and should be used with caution as some dogs can be hypersensitive to pyrethrin. It is recommended to first consult with your veterinarian before purchasing a flea dip shampoo.