Fleas, Ticks and Pests that Feed on Your Pets

Hand made illustration of dog Scratching
Hand made illustration of dog Scratching

She’s the most loving creature you currently have in your life. In addition to warming you during those cold nights, she’ll push you to exercise while you take her out for a walk, protect you from strangers, and entertain you with an array of antics. Unfortunately, your affection may waver if you spot a black flea or other type of pest while patting her shiny coat. Before you panic and kick her out of the house (an act any professional dog behaviorist would condemn!), educate yourself with the following lines.

Common Critters on Your Critter

First, you need to identify what dangerous pest your pet has developed. With summer so near, you should consider being on the lookout for the following.

Fleas – It’s almost impossible for you to avoid fleas, especially since they’re everywhere and multiply like crazy. Thing is, you need to take action since the American Animal Hospital Association believes that one flea can multiply to 1,000 at your home in 21 days. Besides, your dog will be scratching like crazy, losing hair and developing scabs. If you continue neglecting your pet, they may suffer from anemia, plague and tapeworms among other diseases.

Ticks – Your dog may end up with ticks after a long woodsy walk or simply a breath of fresh air. What makes these pests dangerous is that they can transmit Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and babesiosis among other issues.

Mosquitos – You’re not the only warm-blooded creature these blood suckers will feast on. Your indoor pets can be bitten if a mosquito finds its way through. The least your pet may suffer from is an itchy bump, but there’s always a chance that this issue would evolve into serious, life-threatening diseases such as heartworm or the brain-damaging Saint Louis Encephalitis (SLE).

Botfly – Also known as the cuterbra, this fly hides in the grass and latches on to four-footed creatures whenever they pass through. If your dog ends up with this pest, he’ll experience lumps in the skin, blindness and aggression.

Sarcoptes Scabiei Mite – Responsible for scabies or mange, this mite will cause your dog to suffer from open wounds, increasing his risk of infection. Even if you catch it in time, your pooch will suffer since he’ll be quarantined and suffering through aggressive treatments and thorough baths.

Dog owners are lucky since there are different treatments for each of the aforementioned pests. However, protection is always better and more effective than cures. So use the following tips to keep these pests far, far away from your dog.

Inspect your dog thoroughly after playtime or walks. To remove any pests, consider brushing her coat. This is especially important after walking through a wooded area.

Bathe your pooch regularly with an anti-flea or anti-pest shampoo.

Check for skin irritations, especially if your dog has been scratching herself more than ever.

Groom your pup during summer if he has long hair. This will prevent insects from latching onto his skin and allow you to spot any issues early.

Talk to your vet or dog behaviorist about preventative medicine which you can administer to your pet.

Find out about the symptoms of common pest infections and keep on the lookout for them. That way, you can take action before your dog’s condition grows worse.

To ensure hygiene and fewer pests, wash his bedding, crate, toys, and food bowls regularly. This is especially true during his treatment as it can prevent re-infection.

Keep your own living spaces clean and clutter-free to prevent pests from infesting your home. Consider scheduling regular vacuuming and washing linens.

Keep your grass short and well-maintained to prevent pests from breeding or hiding while they await their next victims.

Learn how to remove ticks properly, i.e. by extracting the head and mouth. You should also consult with your vet on how to bathe your dog to remove his fleas.

To prevent mosquitos from pestering your pet, eliminate their nesting and breeding sites by eliminating standing water and other sources of moisture such as water dishes and baby pools.

Properly screen your windows and doors and make sure to repair even the smallest hole.

Limit your outdoor activities between dusk and dawn as that’s when mosquitos are most active.

Clean any clogged gutters on your property and check them regularly to ensure that water is flowing freely through them.

Remember these tips, especially with summer around the corner, to protect your pet from pests. After all, the only critter you should have is the furry, four-legged one probably slobbering all over your valuable possessions right now.