Preventing Fleas and Ticks on Your Pets

Detecting Fleas and Ticks
If your dog or cat stays outside all the time or just visits the outdoors occasionally, you’ll have to be very wary that fleas and ticks don’t take up residence on your favorite feline or canine companion. If you notice your pet biting and scratching at themselves frequently, and you also begin to notice small, dark specks here and there that look like dirt, you’ve got a flea problem. Unfortunately, when it comes to ticks, they are sometimes harder to spot. To know if your dog or cat has ticks, you’ll need to take your hand or a comb and run it over your pet’s entire body. While larger tick species may be easy to spot, especially once they are engorged from feeding on your pet’s blood, smaller ticks such as Deer ticks can much more difficult to detect.

Basic Prevention Methods
Along with purchasing products to prevent fleas and ticks, there are several things you can do to decrease the chances of having these unwelcome guests on your pet. For starters, it’s a good idea to vacuum any rugs your pets may frequent on a regular basis, since fleas will lay their eggs there. Along with this, be sure to vacuum any pet bedding, or even dispose of old bedding that may be hard to clean, since fleas love these environments. And finally, put rugs, slipcovers, or other items into the laundry and wash them, since this is a guaranteed way to rid the items of fleas and their eggs and larvae.

Flea and Tick Products for Cats
Fortunately for pets and their owners, science has come a long way over the years in helping to develop very effective flea and tick products for dogs and cats. When it comes to your kitty, don’t worry about having to use flea spray or powder. For most cat owners, topical treatments are the preferred prevention method. Available in small tubes with dosages ranging from those suited for kittens up to cats weighing more than 10 pounds, these products are very easy to use. By simply opening the tube and squeezing the contents onto the cat’s neck, you’ll have flea control for up to one month. Popular topical treatments include Advantage II and Frontline Plus, both of which get excellent reviews from customers. Not only do these products kill fleas at all life stages, but Frontline Plus also kills most types of ticks.

Flea and Tick Prevention for Dogs
Like cat owners, dog folks also tend to prefer topical treatments such as Advantage II and Frontline Plus. Easy to use and effective up to one month per tube, they are well worth the money. In most cases for both dogs and cats, a package of 12 tubes, which will last one year, costs between $100-$200. While some people may consider that expensive, it’s actually a very smart investment. After all, you can’t put a price on your pet’s life, and letting fleas and ticks get out of control can lead to high vet bills or even the death of your pet.

Additional Products and Methods
While topical treatments are the choice of most people, there are other methods and products available. These include flea and tick collars such as Seresto, which are available for dogs and cats and are effective for up to eight months. For other owners, pills such as Capstar may be more convenient, since they are supposed to start working within 30 minutes. However, these products often require a prescription from a veterinarian, while topical treatments do not.

Be Proactive
Since fleas and ticks can be found throughout the United States, it’s imperative to be proactive in fighting them. Whether it’s hot and humid or cooler, once fleas and ticks get established on your pet, you’ve got a real fight on your hands. Whether you choose to use topical treatments, collars, pills, or other methods and products to wage the war against fleas and ticks, doing so can keep your pet healthy and happy for many years to come.

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