It’s soon to be that time again, fur moms and dads of the world! One that we likely dread as much as our precious pups do. Flea and tick season. Unless, of course, you are in one of the sunshine states that offer these pesky pests all year long, like California! Not only are these annoying little parasites irritating, but they can also cause more serious conditions for your four-legged family members.
The following guide will help you prepare your dog for flea and tick season (or pretty much every day in Los Angeles!).
When is Flea and Tick Season in L.A:
While many other states have a flea and tick season basically set (usually any time between April and late October), California is not one of them. Due to the infamous beautiful weather, all-year-round is pretty much flea season. And, since most Californians happen to be animal lovers, it is imperative that your pet receives year-round preventative treatment.
The good news is that there are several preventive measures to choose from. Preventative flea and tick drops, such as Bayer’s K9 Advantix, are easy to use. They are not overly messy and work against fleas, ticks, and mosquitos. This is fantastic considering that dogs can get deadly heartworms with one bite from an infected mosquito. This can be fatal without treatment (and even sometimes with it, unfortunately) and any life-saving medical attention is likely to be very, very expensive.
Keep in mind, some animals can have a bad reaction to the chemicals in popular flea and tick prevention or treatments. Thankfully, there are some effective chemical-free alternatives such Cedarwood oil. Additionally, adding fresh, crushed garlic to your dogs’ dietary plan can assist in your war on fleas, ticks, and mosquitos. Lavender oil is a great alternative for soothing flea bites on your pooch. Keep in mind that any natural oils must be diluted prior to use.
The Importance of Prevention and Treatment for Home and Yard:
One of the biggest mistakes pet owners make with regards to flea and tick prevention is overlooking treating the yard and around the home. While treating your pet is terrific, it is almost pointless without treating the environment. Hiring a pest control company is the most effective way to treat large areas, especially those that are outdoors.
To Bite or Not to Bite – How Fleas Decide Who to Bite:
If you were hoping that you, or your pet, just happen to have magical flea and tick repelling blood, I hate to be the one to break it to you, there is really no such thing. In both fleas and ticks, almost any warm body will do. Blood is blood and they’re not overly picky, although fleas do seem to prefer animal to human blood. There are also several species of host-specific ticks, however, your pet is more likely to meet the more common kind, those who will snack on whoever comes along.
Treating a Flea Bite:
Flea bites, while annoyingly irritating, are typically fairly harmless, especially with regards to humans. They usually cause red, itchy bumps, sometimes in clusters. These can be treated using over the counter medicines. There are a few illnesses that can be passed on from a flea bite, including plague and flea tapeworms.
Dogs that get bit are exposed to flea tapeworms and possible infection from biting and itching. They can also become extremely and dangerously anemic due to blood loss. Treatment could require blood transfusions, which are not cheap. Save yourself the time and money and your pet the pain in misery with prevention. Nip it in the bud before the bite!
Sunshine and the great outdoors is in the daily itinerary for pet owners this time of year. Now is the optimal time to go ahead and amp up our pets’ flea and tick prevention. Visit your local pet store, grooming store or vet to discuss the best option for your pet!