Your pup is your cutest, furriest friend that you love romping around with or playing fetch with in the yard, but these innocent little pups face a few threats that can be very dangerous and even life-threatening so it is important that you protect them!
One of the biggest threats is actually the tiny little fleas and ticks or “bloodsuckers” that make their living based on your poor dogs suffering.
While they aren’t terribly hard to prevent or get rid of, it is important as a pet owner that you are well informed and show no mercy in getting rid of these nasty buggers!
How does your dog get these nasty parasites?
When you take that walk through the park to get some exercise, or romp through the yard together, these tiny bloodsuckers attach themselves to poor fido! Even playing or being near other dogs and cats poses a threat, but the biggest threat to your favorite canine companion is outdoor spaces with very long grass.
How can I tell if my dog has fleas or ticks?
Unfortunately, some dogs are rarely bothered by the bites of these tiny hitchhikers; but others become very irritated due to the allergic reaction affecting their skin. The images you envision of your dog losing it and scratching all over is rarely the case, but you should watch for signs of constant scratching. You should also look for visual signs such as flea dirt; otherwise known as flea poop, it looks like ground pepper and is evidence that at least a few of these parasites are taking up residence on your dog. Ticks burrow their heads into your dog’s skin to drink their blood, and the more blood they drink, the larger and more engorged they become, until they grow to the size of raisins or even small grapes. They fall off once they’ve finished feasting themselves on your dog’s blood, but then you’ll have a fat, bloated tick somewhere on your floor or in your house, maybe even your bed. Gross!
How can I get rid of these nasty bugs?
Removing fleas and ticks are two different processes, here’s the easiest way to get rid of these gross parasites:
Ticks: Removing ticks is a very delicate procedure because if you pull or squeeze a little too hard the tick head could break off in your dog’s skin or cause the release of disease spreading fluids. So here’s what you do: head to your local pet store and pick up one of the fancy tools for removing ticks quickly and easily, or if you are feeling a little luckier grab your handy tweezers – but make sure you grab the entire tick and pull strong and steadily to remove the whole body. Be sure to ignore the old wives’ tales of using nail polish or a match to remove a tick, as these don’t work and could end up harming your dog.
Fleas: You thought pulling a parasite off your pups body with tweezers was not fun? Fleas are even more difficult to get rid of, because they live an entire life cycle in three weeks – meaning their numbers can rapidly grow. An adult female can lay hundreds of eggs during her life, meaning your pet’s flea population could reach the hundreds or even thousands in the matter of a few months. To effectively remove the fleas means killing the adults and all eggs, larvae and pupae on your pet and in your home to stop their life cycle completely. So be prepared for lots of cleaning and vacuuming to ensure that you have vigilantly eliminated the entire flea family.
In a best case situation, your poor pup never has to encounter this unpleasant experience, so if you are reading this before your pooch has fleas or ticks. Call us today to discuss the best course of prevention for your canine companion!