Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Is your dog armed to fight fleas and ticks this spring? Part 2

Now that you know the threat that fleas and ticks pose, what do you do to keep your dog safe from these pesky parasites?  Do you wait until Fido has a patch of fur missing on his rump?  Well, if you want to shell out a hundred bucks or so for blood work, a cortisone shot, and some antibiotics to take home from the vet, then sure.  But if you’re a responsible pet owner, as I’m sure all of you are, then you know prevention is key!  

Ways to protect your home and your dog from fleas and ticks
Outside- Bugs do not know the difference of a zip code.  Whether you live in the populous downtown Riverside area or back in the hills where your closest neighbor is a five minute drive away, fleas and ticks can find you.  They can live in bushes, tall grass, and crawl spaces (to name a few) and they can get there without your dog ever leaving your property.  You can protect your yard by:
·         Having regular bug control service, such as Terminix or Orkin, spray the perimeter of your house and areas of the yard. 
·         Buying a bottle of flea and tick yard spray that you can attach to your hose and spray the areas in your yard that your dog likes to be.   This yard spray can be purchased at most pet retail stores, feed stores, some veterinarian offices, and online.
o   (Check out Vet’s Best Flea & Tick Yard & Kennel Spray) 

Inside- All it takes is one flea or tick to make it in the house and lay eggs for you to have a problem.  And this doesn’t only happen in dirty houses, it can happen in the cleanest houses as well.  If you leave the problem unattended then it becomes a bigger problem and before you know it, you are ankle deep in a swarm of fleas. You can protect the inside of your home by:
·         Using a flea and tick spray (on carpet or upholstery) that will kill all pests and their eggs.
·         Using a home fogger that will kill all pests and their eggs for several months.
o   (Check out Hartz Home Spray and 4 in 1 Home Fogger)
·         Vacuuming regularly will pick up all pests and their eggs but be sure to either use a flea powder on the carpet first or throw away the vacuum bag right away; otherwise it is just an incubator for the eggs, causing a larger problem.

Your dog- Making sure your dog is protected is your safest bet when fighting fleas and ticks.  You can protect your dog by:
·         Grooming him/her regularly (ie. Bath, brush, ear cleaning). You can even use flea shampoo or a flea comb to be more thorough.
·         Getting a flea dip
·         Using a heartworm preventative
·         Using a flea/tick preventative (flea/tick medicine or a flea collar)
·         Dietary changes (for this and other natural bug repellent ideas, check out Paw-rescue.org

Keep your dog safe and happy this spring and all year long by incorporating these preventative measures in your home.

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