There are various products that can help in the struggle. Some protect against fleas, or ticks only. Others offer protection against both. Some, along with fleas and ticks, add protection against other parasites, such as lice or mosquitoes. There are those that concentrate on immediately killing parasites already on your pet, but provide no long-term protection. Deciding which one works best for your pet comes down to your pet’s needs and your specific environment.
Your veterinarian will make a recommendation based on a number of factors: where you live, your dog’s health, and other pets and children in the household. This might seem complicated, but comes down to two activities: killing fleas and ticks in your pet at this time and keeping ticks and fleas from attacking in the future.
Killing Fleas Right Now
If your pet has fleas right now, you can treat with medicated shampoos and sprays, or a fast kill pill is effective within a few hours. Then proceed with preventatives.
Killing Ticks Right Now
If your pet has opossum control, eliminate the ones that are attached. If you see one, check for other ticks that are crawling around or are attached somewhere else on your pet. Check your pet’s head and neck region very closely, as this seems to be a frequent spot for ticks to bite.
The next part of the struggle against fleas and ticks is keeping them from coming back. These medications are known as preventatives. 1 popular preventative strategy is a topical medication that you put directly in your pet’s skin once per month. Read the label. Not all topical medicines are created the same. 1 product sold in shops for example works for puppies but is detrimental for cats. You must know the difference to know which products you need for your pet and how to apply the product. One spreads protection by putting oils on the pet’s fur. To apply, pull the fur back and then apply the product directly to the skin, beginning with a spot on the neck and then one or two other spots down the back. Use the liquid in spots where your pet is unlikely to lick it off. In a few days the medication will spread and your pet will be protected throughout his/her body.
The best time to apply the topical medication is at night, right before your pet goes to sleep and the kids are in bed. There are a couple hours at the time for the liquid to begin working until your pet rolls around or the children start playing with them. Additionally, it is a good idea not to clean your pet for a couple of days before or after applying the medication so the oils stay in the fur.
Other topicals are applied on the skin but are absorbed directly into your pet’s blood. If you opt for this method you need only apply the liquid in 1 spot, at the peak of the shoulders or the back of the neck. After applying any topicals, wash your hands and do not touch the wet area.
Protective Collars are just another way to keep ticks and fleas off your pet. You need to change protective collars about every three months.
Sprays may be another alternative. Read the directions on the bottle or can.
Speak to Your Veterinarian
Your vet will customize a flea and tick prevention program that works best for your pet and your family where you live. Enjoy the season with parasite free, healthy pets!