Preventing Flea and Tick Problems

black and brown dog biting at an itch on his hip

It’s important to remember that fleas and ticks are a threat to our pets year-round. But during the hot and humid months of summer, we hear a lot about these pesky parasites as they become even more active. If you don’t already have a flea and tick prevention routine in place for your pets, now is the time to start.

Fleas are tiny, wingless creatures who live on the blood of their host animal. Some dogs suffer from allergic reactions to flea bites, which are very itchy for both dogs and humans. Fleas often carry diseases and can transmit tapeworms and anemia, besides being a nuisance that is hard to get rid of. Ticks often live on tall grass and brush and will latch on to animals as they pass by in order to feed on their blood. They can carry multiple debilitating diseases, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. These conditions can be dangerous and difficult to treat, so prevention is widely accepted as the best medicine.

When it comes to flea and tick prevention, there are several considerations to keep in mind:

Consistent Dosing – After working with your vet to determine the best preventative medicine based on breed, age and other factors, be sure to give your dog’s dose at the same time every month. Consistency is key for providing the best protection.

Continuous Care – Many people think fleas and ticks go away when it gets cold outside, but they are still a threat, even in winter. Keep up your flea and tick prevention all year to make sure you don’t end up with uninvited guests in your home.

Keepin’ it Clean – A clean environment both inside and out will help get rid of hidden pests and their hiding places. Vacuum the house, wash your pet’s bedding, and keep brush and debris cleared from your yard to eliminate potential hiding places and breeding grounds.

Check Frequently – Check your dog for fleas and ticks regularly, paying close attention to the areas around the ears, paws, armpits and tummies. This is especially important as soon as you return from outdoor activities. If you find anything suspicious, consult with your vet for treatment options.

With spring in full swing and summer right around the corner, it’s a great time to get a plan in place for flea and tick prevention. Call us today at (720) 790-4935 or visit Dugan’s Veterinary Hospital to schedule a consultation and together, we can avoid problems with fleas and ticks before they start.