Natural Flea and Tick Prevention for Dogs
Imagine having a tiny creature on your skin. No matter how fast you turn your head, you can never seem to catch sight of it, and no matter how hard you scratch, its itchy legs never stop crawling. Oh, and don’t forget that little mouth that’s always biting — and the dozens of friends it brings along for the party.
If this sounds like a menace to you, imagine how your dog feels as the host of a flea and tick invasion.
When it comes to pests like these, your pooch is counting on you to choose the best flea treatment and tick prevention options. Don’t worry — that doesn’t mean you’ll have to stock up on hazardous chemicals and pesticides. Instead, we’ll look at natural flea and tick prevention for dogs, and what you can do to keep your pet safe, happy and healthy.
Let’s get started!
Does Your Dog Have Fleas, Ticks or Both?
Before you decide exactly how to approach a pest problem, you need to know which uninvited guests have taken up residence on your dog.
The first thing to note is that fleas and ticks may have a lot in common, but they’re totally different beasts:
- A flea is a tiny, blood-sucking parasite that lives on your dog’s skin. It has a brown, oval-shaped body and six creepy little legs, and it can carry diseases like plague and typhus, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
- A tick looks more like a spider, with eight legs and a reddish-brown body. Unlike fleas, it buries its head inside your dog’s skin to get to its meal of blood, and its body swells up as it feeds. As the CDC explains, ticks carry diseases including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
While a flea and a tick may be entirely separate pests, they have many of the same warning signs. Whether your dog has fleas, ticks or both, you may notice:
- Hair loss.
- Tiny red spots on the skin.
- Pale gums.
What to Know About the Flea and Tick World
Now that you know the difference between a flea and a tick as well as how to spot them on your dog, it’s time to take an even closer look at these tiny pests. To choose the best flea treatment and tick prevention, keep your dog safe outdoors and even protect your own health, it’s important to know what you’re up against.
Here’s what to know about the flea and tick world:
1. Even an Indoor Dog Can Get Fleas and Ticks
If you’re hoping your pooch is safe because they stay indoors most of the time, think again. A flea or flea eggs can hitch a ride on your clothes, hide in your backyard or even switch hosts during a puppy playdate. Ticks play the same tricks, looking for their next meal in doggy daycare, vet offices, dog parks and even on your skin.
Dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors, however, face different challenges. These pups have a higher chance of being exposed to feral animals, untreated neighborhood pets and the wooded areas ticks are known to frequent.
2. There’s No Off-season for Flea and Tick Treatment
It’s commonly believed that fleas and ticks take a break during colder months, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. There’s no off-season for these little pests, which means flea and tick control should always be on your natural pet care radar.
3. Ticks Live Everywhere
Although ticks love overgrown areas deep in the woods, you and your dog can’t avoid these parasites just by staying on trails. In fact, ticks can live just about anywhere and in any climate, so don’t assume your neighborhood is totally tick-free.
Natural Flea and Tick Removal
So, your dog has a flea infestation or tick problem — what now?
The good news is that there are plenty of natural flea and tick control options available, which means you don’t have to guess whether essential oils are safe for your pet (they often aren’t) or if human shampoo will do the trick (it won’t — and it’s not safe for dogs, either). Here’s a look at some of our favorite natural flea and tick removal options:
Flea and Tick Shampoo
If you’re hoping to kill, remove and repel fleas and ticks, that could be as easy as giving your dog a bath. Flea and tick shampoo puts flea control, tick treatment and a puppy spa day in one convenient package.
Tick removal tools
Ticks can be a pain to remove. With a tick removal tool, you won’t have to worry about finding tweezers or researching natural solutions that could actually be dangerous to your pet.
Flea and Tick Prevention
Once you’ve handled flea control, tick treatment and all the associated tools, it’s time to make sure these pests stay gone. Here are a few top tips:
- Clean pet items: Toys, beds and other dog supplies should get a good cleaning after flea and tick treatment and removal.
- Treat your yard: If your dog is bringing pests inside, you may end up with another infestation. Use flea and tick spray for your yard to keep these creepy crawlies off your property.
- Check your skin: Don’t assume fleas and ticks have only been dining on your pet. Check for red spots and irritation on your own skin, too.
- Watch for health problems: If a flea or tick bite makes your dog sick, you’ll want to head to the vet right away. Keep an eye out for signs like muscle weakness, loss of appetite or other health issues.
Win Your Flea and Tick Battle With Expert Help
Whether you’re battling a flea and tick infestation or are hoping to prevent one, it’s likely you’ll need a little help along the way. At Pet Supermarket, we speak pet — which means we know how to recommend products and solutions that will keep your pup happy, healthy and comfortable throughout the flea and tick removal and prevention processes.
Visit your nearest Pet Supermarket to learn more about fleas, ticks and how to get rid of them for good.