Flea and tick season has arrived, and in some areas, it has become a year-round issue. No matter what time of year it is, these pests can be a menace and cause a lot of trouble for your dog. They can cause severe itching and skin damage, and in serious cases tick fever, which can be detrimental for your dog’s health.
Here are a few ways to prevent your dog from getting ticks and fleas, and how to keep them clean, should you spot ticks.
How to identify if your dog has ticks or fleas?
Calling ticks or fleas a mere nuisance would be an understatement. When a flea bites, it injects saliva into the pet’s skin, which could trigger a severe allergic reaction. Excessive scratching may lead to skin infections and fever.
Symptoms of a flea or tick infestation:
~Constant scratching around the ears and spine.
~Red, irritated skin on the dog’s neck, belly, or hindquarters.
~Biting paws and tail constantly, excessive licking and scratching.
~Dark or white specks in the fur, signaling a presence of flea droppings and flea eggs respectively.
~Spotting them crawling in your house. Remember, for every flea on your pet’s fur, there could be a hundred more in your house.
~After scratching your dog’s ear, if they start scratching their stomach with their leg reflexively.
What to do if your dog gets ticks:
~Use a natural tick and flea repellant oil, such as Tick and Flea Dog Massage Oil. It is infused with ingredients like lavender, neem, camphor and coconut oil to keep those pesky fleas at bay. Massage and leave it on the skin for 30-45 minutes before washing off your dog with a mild tick and flea shampoo.
~Vacuum all carpets, doormats, and your dog’s bed every 2-3 days to prevent any risk as ticks & flea multiply quickly.
~Using neem oil on window panes or your front door to prevent fleas from entering from gardens or the outside atmosphere. Similarly, boil some neem leaves in some water and use them to mop your house.
~If it is just a flea infection, it could be managed with a warm bath and Tick and flea massage oil, depending upon the severity. Bathe your dog with a mild tick & flea shampoo, use neem leaf water for the last rinse.
~You might be tempted to remove a tick the minute you see one. However, use gloves and tweezers and pull the ticks straight up without twisting. Use a bowl with water and add a few drops of neem or lavender oil. Drop the ticks into the bowl and then flush it off. This will ensure none of the ticks are exposed to any areas of your house.
~Avoid killing the ticks by hand, as the blood carries way more infections than the tick itself, and it could start infecting humans too.
~Avoid direct contact with the ticks. Wash your dog’s bite areas and your hands thoroughly with mild soap.
~Use diatomaceous edible earth powder to sprinkle in your garden or house plants, as it helps control tick and flea infestations through soil and plants, and it is totally safe if licked by your dog.
~Diatomaceous edible earth powder Can also be sprinkled on your dog’s spine as an added protection. It may leave the coat a bit rough. Use a conditioning spray to restore the moisture.
Ways to prevent your dog from getting ticks and fleas
~Use a Tick and Flea Massage Oil before baths. Massage your dog with the oil and focus on areas like underarms, hind legs, paws and ears and leave it on for 30-45 minutes. Use natural neem leaf water for the last rinse after bath for extra protection. Neem is antibacterial and a great way to get rid of any kind of pests.
~Use a Pre-walk tick and flea spray, which can be sprayed all over the dog’s body before all walks to prevent new ticks & flea from latching onto the skin. Recommended for use before all walks, while visiting dog parks, vet clinics etc where they might be in contact with other dogs.
~Ticks and fleas are prevalent mostly during summer, monsoons and hot months. Add a 1-2 cloves of garlic to their meals as garlic has medicinal properties. Start with one clove and increase the doses as your dog gets immune to it. Small dogs require half to one clove per day, while larger dogs may require up to two cloves per day. To add garlic, chop the cloves into tiny pieces and leave it aside for 10 minutes before adding to the meals.
~Get an apple cider vinegar spray (50% water & 50% Apple Cider Vinegar. Since it’ll be a body spray, its mild acidic properties will work very well for our pesky friends. You can also add a cap of Apple Cider Vinegar to the water bowl.
~You might be tempted to buy tons of anti-tick products available in the market, but the trick here is, the less the better. For instance, dog tick collars are medicated collars to treat tick infections, and should be avoided in homes where multiple dogs reside, as they can be licked or swallowed unknowingly by the dog. Skin irritation, neurological problems, gastrointestinal disorders, and even organ failure have been reported as a result of pet poisonings caused by conventional flea and tick products, which are registered as pesticides and regulated by the EPA.
The discomfort caused by ticks and fleas is immense. The best we can do as pet parents is to care for their grooming and hygiene, take them on regular check-ups, and clean them often. By following these tips and tricks, we can ensure the health and happiness of our pets.