By Priya Poduval – Co-Founder, Petz House – Pet Boarding and Pet Old Age Home

Responsible dog owners know that their canine companion’s warm and soft fur is like a personal paradise for ticks and fleas. But once they move in, and begin feeding on your pet’s blood, they can cause a wide range of health problems ranging from skin infections to Tick Fever. So, it becomes all the more necessary to adopt some preventive measures to keep your pets safe from flea and tick infestation. Here are 10 suggestions to keep these ectoparasites as far away from your pampered pooch as possible:

1. Prevention is best done with one of the many vet-approved flea (and tick) preparations available in the market . Speak to your veterinarian to find the best, most appropriate product for your dog. There are many spot-ons, sprays, collars, and shampoos available in the market, each formulated to tackle specific needs. The best ones that we have tried and tested are Protector Spot-on for dogs, Freedom Spray and Frontline spot-on. In addition, the pet can be given regular ridd baths as a preventive measure to keep ticks and fleas at bay. You can also prepare a natural flea and tick spray from a blend of peppermint oil, cedar oil, and other natural oils.

2. Read the label. NEVER EVER apply flea medication meant for cats to dogs and vice versa until and unless the label clearly mentions that it is suitable for both cats and dogs.

3.Regularly inspect your dogs and yourself for ticks after walks through the shrubs or grassy settings. Pay special attention to the feet (and between toes), lips, the area around the eyes, ears (both inside and out), and under the tail while examining your canine for ticks and fleas.

4. The quicker you remove a tick, the less likely your dog will contract a secondary illness related to tick bites. Learn the proper method of tick removal. Invest in a pair of fine tweezers required for this purpose. If you are unable to do so, consult with your pet’s veterinarian.

5. Keep grass mowed as short as possible.
Refrain from walking your pet in grassy patches in endemic tick areas as far as possible.

6. Look for fleas in areas where your dog’s coat is sparse or thin. It is relatively easy to spot fleas in regions like the belly, inner sides of the hind limbs, and armpits. The best remedy to clean fleas from your pet’s coat is to apply natural ingredients like coconut oil and then wash your canine with anti tick and flea shampoo. Also, there are flea repellant sprays available in the market which are quite helpful.

7. If you own multiple dogs, treat them all at the SAME time. This will help prevent cross infestation.

8. While the dogs are being treated, the surrounding environment must be treated simultaneously. Wash or get rid of all bedding and thoroughly vacuum the sofas and carpets. When you are done, make sure to empty the vacuum containers. When you have more than one pet at home, try to avail regular pest control services so that your house, furniture and surrounding areas are free from tick infestation.

9. If flea infestation is extensive in your home, pest control services can be used. The entire house must be evacuated of all dogs and humans for 12 to 24 hours while the place is sprayed and cleaned.

10. Never ever burst the mother tick as it contains tick eggs and doing this can further spread the infection. After removal of the tick with a tweezer, flush it without smashing or killing it. That’s how you can prevent tick infestations in your pet and the surrounding areas.

By adopting these simple measures, you will be able to keep your four-legged friends free from ticks and fleas. Happy Petting!!