The words “fleas and ticks” can make your skin crawl just as fast as the dreaded “lice” note from your kids elementary school. So what are fleas and ticks and how do you keep your dog safe from them? Let’s look at the top 5 most commonly asked questions regarding fleas and ticks.
- How can my dog get fleas and ticks? Dogs can get fleas from another dog or cat, or urban wildlife (opossums and raccoons). Ticks are normally contracted while in wooded areas. Ticks reside on shrubs and grass about 18 to 24 inches off the ground, if your dog brushes up against a tree or bush…they ticks then move to the dog.
- Can fleas and ticks make my dog sick? The most common reaction to fleas and ticks are allergies. The saliva from the flea or tick feeding on your dogs flesh can cause irritation and allergy like symptoms in your dog. Fleas can also transmit tapeworms and ticks are responsible for approximately 15 diseases, most of which can kill pets.
- What are the best ways to control fleas and ticks? Use a monthly flea and tick preventative such as Frontline. Ask your vet which product he would recommend for your pets and make sure you purchase the product that’s appropriate for your dogs size and weight. Keep the outdoor areas that your dog frequents to a minimum, and if you use pesticides or other chemicals in your yard be sure to read the instructions and keep your pets clear of that area.
- How do I know if my dog has fleas? Check their skin and undercoat under a light, fleas are a reddish-brown color. Fleas leave feces behind that when rubbed will turn reddish. Use a moistened white paper towel and rub it over the area you suspect fleas, if it turns red, you’ve most likely found the culprit!
- Do I have to treat my pet for fleas year round? Different climates have different “flea seasons” but here in Michigan is seems we can experience all four seasons within the same week. For this reason, it’s recommended to keep your pet on a flea preventative year round. It’s much easier to prevent fleas and ticks than it is to get rid of them after the fact.
We require all of our Campers to be in good health and flea and tick free, be sure to ask your veterinarian about a flea and tick preventative to keep your pet happy and healthy!