As a pet owner, you need to be proactive about flea and tick control for your dog. An infestation can affect not only your pet’s health, but also yours.
Most dog owners have to deal with fleas at some point in their pet’s life. If left unchecked, fleas can infest your home and start biting everything in their vicinity, including the humans!
Ticks can be a serious problem to your pet’s health, and are also responsible for transmitting illnesses like Queensland tick typhus to humans. So it’s crucial they are dealt with quickly and effectively.
How do dogs get fleas and ticks?
There are a number of ways that dogs can pick up fleas and ticks, even if you live in the city.
They can come into contact with these pesky parasites at the park, when playing with other dogs and even just walking down the street.
How do you know your dog has fleas or a tick?
There are a few tell-tale signs that your dog might be harbouring unwanted guests. These include scratching, biting or licking more often than usual. Brown specks on your dog’s skin or fur can also be an indication of fleas. If you part your pet’s hair and look closely enough, you may even spot them crawling around.
Ticks can be more difficult to detect as they often bury themselves underneath your pet’s hair. Ticks can be found anywhere on your dog but they particularly like to latch on to the head, groin, ears and other warm areas. Dogs with ticks can be feverish and lose their appetite. You may also notice your pet nipping or scratching at the same area over and over again.
In addition to preventative treatment, it's a good idea to regularly check your dog over for ticks, especially if you have been for a bushwalk or to a leafy park.
There are various spot treatments you can use to remove the tick. Be careful of pulling them out manually, as you may not remove all of the tick and the remaining bits can cause infection and other problems.
Effective flea and tick control for your dog
Year-round flea and tick control is the only way to keep unwanted guests at bay, along with regular washing of your pet’s bedding and vacuuming your carpets and curtains.
There are a few different types of treatments available for fleas and ticks, including:
- Oral treatments: Fast acting oral flea treatments can kill fleas on an animal within 24 hours. Oral flea treatment usually comes in the form of chewable pills that can be added to your pet’s food. Generally speaking, oral treatments are considered more effective against flea and ticks, as long as your dog is willing to take them.
- Topical treatments: Sprays and other topical treatments can work well on some dogs, particularly if they refuse oral treatment. The main issue with topical treatments is that they can potentially be rubbed or licked off so it’s important to follow instructions carefully. Topical medications have the advantage of repelling fleas and ticks as well as killing them.
Fleas and ticks can be a huge annoyance for your pet and your household. But with the right treatment and regular checks, you can keep these pests at a distance and your pet healthier and happier all year round.