How to Get Rid of Fleas and Ticks
June 22, 2012
Summer is here, people, and fleas and ticks are ready to get the party started by setting up shop in your pet’s fur. In addition to just being plain uncomfortable, fleas and ticks can cause some serious health problems for our furry friends. Fleas can consume 15 times their own body weight in blood and cause anemia, skin allergies and tapeworms. Ticks transmit diseases to pets that can lead to fever, lack of appetite, jaundice and severe anemia. Ticks on pets can also transmit Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever to humans.
These little parasites are tough to fight, but the ASPCA is here to help. Check out our advice for keeping your pets itch-free this summer.
- Know your enemy. Confirm your pet has fleas by identifying signs such as droppings or “flea dirt” in your pet’s coat, excessive scratching and scabs. Most ticks, on the other hand, are visible to the naked eye. Though they can be found anywhere on your pet’s body, they prefer to attach themselves close to the head, neck, ears and feet.
- Go fishing. Treat all of your pets for fleas, not just those who show outward signs of infestation. During warmer months, it’s also a good idea to check your pet regularly for ticks. If you do spot a tick, take care when removing it to avoid spreading disease.
- Ask a doc. Talk to your vet about choosing the right, species-specific flea and tick treatment for your pet such as a topical, liquid insecticide applied to the back of the neck. Never use products for dogs on cats, and vice versa.
- Trim nature’s gifts. Fleas and ticks love long grass and shady outdoor spots, remember to maintain your yard. Ensure a pest-free lawn by mowing it regularly, removing tall weeds and making it inhospitable to other common tick hosts, including rodents, by keeping garbage covered and inaccessible.
For more information about getting rid of parasites, and other summer pet tips, please visit our hot weather guide.