There are various products that can help in the fight. Some protect against fleas, or ticks only. Others provide protection against both. Some, in addition to fleas and ticks, add security against other parasites, such as lice or mosquitoes. There are those that focus on immediately killing parasites already on your pet, but provide no long-term protection. Deciding which one works best for your pet comes down to your pet’s requirements and your particular environment.
Your veterinarian will make a recommendation based on a variety of factors: where you live, your dog’s health, and other pets and children in the household. This might seem complicated, but comes down to two activities: killing fleas and ticks in your pet right now and preventing fleas and ticks from attacking in the future.
Killing Fleas Right Now
If your pet has fleas at this time, you can treat with medicated shampoos and sprays, or a quick kill pill that works within a few hours. Then proceed with preventatives.
Killing Ticks Right Now
If your pet has ticks, remove those that are attached. Check your pet’s head and neck region very carefully, as this appears to be a common spot for ticks to snack.
Keep Them From Coming Back – Preventatives
The next part of the fight against fleas and ticks is keeping them from coming back. These medications are known as preventatives. One popular preventative strategy is a topical medication that you put directly on your pet’s skin once a month. Read the label. Not all topical medicines are created the same. One product sold in stores for example works for dogs but is harmful for cats. You must know the difference to know which products you need for your pet and how to use the product. One spreads protection by placing oils on the pet’s fur. To use, pull the fur back and apply the product directly to your skin, starting with a spot on the neck and then one or two other spots down the back. Use the liquid in areas where your pet is unlikely to lick it off. In a few days the medication will spread and your pet will be protected all over his/her body.
The ideal time to apply the topical medication is at night, right before your pet goes to sleep and the kids are in bed. There are a few hours at that time for the liquid to begin working until your pet rolls around or the kids start playing together. Also, it is a good idea not to wash your pet for a couple of days before or after applying the medicine so the oils remain in the fur.
Additional topicals are applied on the skin but are absorbed directly into your pet’s bloodstream. If you opt for this method you need only apply the liquid in 1 spot, at the top of the shoulders or the back of the neck. After applying any topicals, wash your hands and do not touch the wet spot.
Protective Collars are another way to keep ticks and fleas off your pet. You should change protective collars about every three months.
Sprays may be another choice. Read the instructions on the bottle or can.
Talk to Your Veterinarian
Your veterinarian will customize a flea and tick prevention program that works best for your pet and your family where you live. Enjoy the season with parasite free, healthy pets!