Finally, summer has arrived bringing a rise in temperature during the day and hopefully some cooler, summer rainy days too!
As any pet owner knows, ticks and fleas will always be a concern, and warmer weather draws them to our pets even more. Although the bite of these parasites doesn't hurt, they are a huge inconvenience to both our pets and to us.
We often wonder how our pets get ticks or fleas even though the environment is clean. Well, ticks and fleas are not fussy about the environment, they want and thrive in warm places and will wait for our pets to settle down during the day, so they can infest them. Although they prefer the worm soft coat of your dog or cat, they can jump over to us pet owners too!
That is why it is very important to thoroughly clean the house or the area where your fur baby lives after finding ticks or fleas on them. Vets believe that for every flea you see there are at least 100 more in the same living space.
WHAT ARE FLEAS?
Small and wingless, fleas are parasites that survive by ingesting the blood of warm-blooded hosts like cats, dogs, and humans. A flea's entire body is designed to maximize eater—the head is surrounded by sharp spikes, and mouths are adept at piercing through a host's skin and sucking out blood.
What to look for when checking if your dog or cat for fleas?
Dark specks on the skin or fur
WHAT ARE TICKS?
All ticks are external parasites that belong to a special group of mites. Ticks can be categorized into two main groups, the ‘hard ticks’ and the ‘soft ticks’. Hard ticks have a protective plate on their back that partially restricts the rate at which they can engorge. Hard ticks require many days of attachment to fully feed. In contrast, soft ticks are relatively leathery and lack the protective plate. Soft ticks can engorge much more rapidly, sometimes in a matter of minutes.
The tick, itself, cannot burrow into the skin. Instead, only their mouthparts enter the skin. Ticks require a blood meal to develop and to produce eggs.
As pet owners, we need to be very aware of ticks on our dogs as they tend to carry diseases and serious illnesses in dogs especially if left undetected for too long. It is important to remove ticks as soon as you find them but always follow the correct guidelines for removing ticks.
Removing ticks is tricky, they claw and attach themselves to your dog with all the strength in them. You can buy tick removal tools from pet shops to make the removal process easy and less stressful for your dog, remembering to do it with ease and patience. Once you have successfully removed the tick from your dog, clean the area well and wash your hands thoroughly.
There are different forms of tick and flea treatments available, including shampoo, skin treatments and in tablet form.
Bravecto is the original oral chewable protection against fleas! Protecting your dog for up to 12 weeks, and acting within 2 hours of use, Bravecto both kills and guards your dog against new infestations. It protects against fleas and 4 types of ticks.
Frontline Plus doesn’t just kill adult fleas and ticks but also slays the next generation of flea eggs and larvae. Plus, it works non-stop for 30 days on dogs.
K9 Advantix II is a monthly preventative for dogs that offer comprehensive protection against ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, biting flies, and chewing lice. K9 Advantix II is a top veterinarian-recommended brand because it repels and kills all life stages of fleas (eggs, pupae, larvae, and adult fleas) and ticks (Deer ticks, American dog ticks, Brown dog ticks, and Lone star ticks).
Advocate is the closest thing to a vaccine against Australia’s most common parasites. An easy-to-use spot-on, it is applied monthly. It is also safe to use on puppies from 7 weeks of age. However, it is not to be used in lactating and pregnant dogs.