Protecting Your Dog From Fleas And Ticks

by Nancy Boland

Protect your dog from fleas and tick
Fleas and Ticks

Safeguarding your dog/puppy and your home against fleas and ticks will help to protect against disease and prevent large vet’s bills.

As we now live in an age where central heating is commonplace and our homes are insulated by doubleglazing, fleas can happily thrive all year. As well as causing your puppy to scratch, possibly triggering an allergic skin reaction, fleas are integral to the lifecycle of tapeworms, so flea treatment should form part of your regular worming plan.

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Fleas can hop between dogs and cats but they can’t live on humans, although they do bite, which some people are allergic to. Check your puppy for fleas and ticks:

To check your dog for fleas; stand him on a clean white towel, or in the bath tub as this will help you to see any evidence of fleas that drop out on to the towel as you comb him. If you have a very light coloured dog you may notice the fleas easily, but with darker haired dogs it can be more difficult, so a close-pronged flea comb is very useful.

Begin at the head and comb carefully towards the back, paying special attention to the ears, collar area, and base of the tail.

Ticks look like grey rice grains when they first attach, they use their mouths to attach on to the dog’s skin, where they feast happily on the blood and inflate to the size of a pea before dropping off. Ticks can survive for sometime before needing their next feed.

They can be difficult  to remove completely and any parts that get left behind in the skin can become infected.

You can buy special tick removal pliers or use a pair of tweezers as close to the skin as possible. It is advisable to wear gloves when doing this, and once you have removed the tick, dispose of it carefully, then clean the area with antiseptic lotion.

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Fortunately there are some excellent flea and tick treatments available and some can be used as a preventative method too. The most effective preparations are usually available from your vet who will also be able to advise on suitability for puppies, although you may be able to purchase them at pharmacies.

Many complementary therapies claim to help repel fleas but they cannot kill them. Prescribed flea treatments are usually available in the form of shampoos, tablets, sprays or spot-on treatments.

These are very effective, but often contain chemicals, so  it is important to try other preventative methods first and always follow instructions carefully.

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