Spring is in the air (with these record temperatures it almost feels like summer)! You know what damp, balmy temperatures bring – that’s right, BUGS! It looks like nature is getting an early start on flea and tick season this year, but that’s no reason to keep Fido indoors. With Wisconsin Pet Care’s helpful hints, you can protect your pup and enjoy the weather together!
Flea and tick control can be summed up in four simple steps:
CHECK your pet’s skin, daily, while they are being groomed.
REMOVE any ticks that have been found.
TREAT existing pests.
PROTECT your dog or cat from future bug invasions.
Because fleas and ticks can find their way into your pet’s fur very easily, the first step in protecting your cat or dog is to do daily skin checks (this can be done while grooming, which is also very helpful in keeping these pests at bay). There is no reason for your animal to suffer needlessly. Early detection of a flea or tick infiltration (and the prompt removal of the pest) will reduce symptoms of flea allergy dermatitis, tape worm, cat scratch fever and, of course, Lyme disease. Next, you will want to continue feeding your pet high-quality food. This will keep their immune system strong and capable of battling pesky hosts. Also tidying up indoors (and outdoors) will reduce the chance of any bugs sticking around. If there is no place to hide, they won’t be as inclined to stay. And while your kitty won’t be too fond of it, regular bathing has also been proven effective.
Removing a tick can by tricky. However, according to the FDA, removing the tick within 24 hours can greatly reduce the contraction of Lyme disease. Using a fine-tip tweezers, grip the tick as closely to the skin as possible (be careful not to crush the bug’s body with the tweezers) and pull gently. Once the tick has been removed, disinfect the bite site thoroughly. It is also recommended that you save the tick in a container for your veterinarian to look at. Remember, if you are having trouble removing the tick, you will want to visit your veterinarian (or emergency pet hospital), immediately, to have it professionally extracted.
What if my veterinarian has suggested a prescription medication to control fleas and ticks? It is important to protect your pet against fleas, ticks and other pests, but you don’t have to necessarily resort to chemicals and/or medications. There are many natural approaches that don’t subject your favorite furry pal to a lot of toxins. For example, Dr. Mercola’s “Natural Flea and Tick Defense” claims to act as an ‘invisibility cloak’ for your dog or cat. Simply spray it on the fur for protection from harmful bug bites (including those annoying mosquitoes). Another wonderful product is the “Shoo Tag” which works with an electromagnetic shield and doesn’t involve sprays. You simply hang it on your dog’s collar for four months of protection. We used this last year and we had great success with our four dogs.
Now that you are prepared for spring’s inevitable pests, shake off the cabin fever and get outside to enjoy the season!
Don’t forget that if you’re planning a vacation, Wisconsin Pet Care offers TLC for your pet while you are away. Dates fill up fast, so don’t delay. We’d be happy to schedule our signature ‘meet and greet’ service, with one of our elite pet sitters, for you and your pet today!