A survey conducted in 2018 revealed that one in seven pet owners are not actively protecting their animals from dangerous pests. This is an unsettling fact considering the risks involved with ignoring pests. These pests are not only harmful to animals, as they can also transmit diseases to humans.
Fleas and ticks are a menace to dogs, especially in warm, humid weather. They cling onto the dog’s fur and furiously bite the skin to suck out blood. This causes untold discomfort and itchiness in dogs. What more, fleas and ticks can also cause infections such as Lyme disease. These blood-sucking nuisances pose a serious threat to dogs and their human friends, which is why they must be stopped.
Here are five tips on how to prevent the infestation of fleas and ticks in dogs.
1) Avoid visiting flea and tick-infested areas
The first step in preventing infestation of pests is to avoid possible contact altogether. Keep away from well-known flea and tick habitats when walking your dog outside. Stick to the trials and avoid overgrow shrubs and grassy thickets where the clingy pests might be lurking. It only takes a moment for the fleas and ticks to leap onto a dog and make it their new home.
2) Check the dogs coat regularly for pests
Make a habit of inspecting your dog regularly for pests, especially after a playdate outside. To check for ticks, run your fingers along the dog's coat while pressing deep beneath its fur, a fine combing brush would also work. Investigate any small lumps for ticks. While examining for fleas, focus on areas such as the belly, inside the ears, and under the tail, where the fur is thinnest.
Ticks are eight-legged and have an elliptical body about the size of an apple seed. Depending on the species, ticks can be brown, red, grey or yellow. Fleas are much smaller; on the dog's skin, they appear as tiny black spots crisscrossing between the hairs. If you have more than one pet, finding ticks or fleas in one means the others probably have them as well.
3) Use pest repellent shampoo during bath time
Bath time is a great opportunity it rid your dog of ticks and fleas, and at the same time offer some immunity against the same. There are tonnes of dog shampoos and bath products infused with pesticides. During a wash, any pests including ticks and fleas fall right off the skin and go down the drain.
Most of these shampoos also contain a long lasting pest repellent that remains active for a few weeks. Use these types of shampoo every once in a while to wade off the annoying pests.
4) Try typical insecticides
There is always the effective option of using conventional off-the-shelve pest repellents and insecticide. These products come in a variety of forms including powders, sprays and medications.
An easy solution is to apply the insecticide onto the dog’s skin for long-term protection that can last for up to three months. You can also do this when on a hiking or camping trip. Medications are swallowed or injected into the bloodstream, making the dog's blood lethal or unattractive to biting insects. Always consult a vet before trying any medicine or pesticide on your dog.
5) Craft natural remedies
Pesticides contain chemical toxins that are not necessarily harmful to dogs but may cause allergic reactions or irritation to their skin. Luckily there are a few natural home-made remedies that work just as well as pesticides.
For instance, lemon water that has been soaked overnight is an excellent insect repellent. Just put some in a spray bottle and spray it all over your dog. You can also make your own pest-repelling shampoo by adding several drops of Palo Santo oil into any organic lavender shampoo. Cover the dog thoroughly with the lather and let it sit for twenty minutes before rinsing. This kills the blood-thirsty pests and helps keep them away.
Don’t let your dog fall victim to pests. Regularly check the dog’s skin and take immediate action if you suspect an infestation. Always consult an expert when unsure of what to do.