Francis V. Schwenk is a veterinary professional who runs his own practice near Tulsa, Oklahoma. Every day, he helps pet owners learn how to provide the best care possible for their four-legged friends. Now, Dr. Schwenk is offering insight for pet parents on how they can keep their animals safe during flea and tick season. Warmer weather means plenty of time outside and longer days, but it can also prove problematic for animals as pests like ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, and other disease-ridden bugs become more prevalent. A proactive approach on the part of a pet owner is necessary to keep animals safe during the summer.
Dr. Rod Van Horn, a small animal veterinarian, explains, “Fleas alone can bite you or your pet up to hundreds of times a day. It’s vital to get control of these pests before they have a chance to bite, hurt, and potentially spread disease.”
Unfortunately, even the most responsible pet owner is not going to have the ability to keep their animal away from infested areas at all times. However, they can stop the pests from actually latching onto the dog or cat’s fur. To do so, a pet parent should treat their pet monthly using a topical flea and tick treatment. This is one of the most effective and longest lasting ways to prevent an infestation. There are a number of over-the-counter products that are safe and use the active ingredients necessary to keep fleas and ticks from jumping on-board a dog or cat’s fur. They are a necessary purchase for any pet owner.
Francis V. Schwenk states, “It is no longer expensive and time-consuming to keep pets safe from fleas and ticks. A quick application of a topical treatment is an important step when it comes to protecting pets from aggravating bites, as well as serious health conditions such as Lyme disease.”
Experts estimate that more than 70 percent of fleas bite a dog within the first hour of latching on to its fur, so it is essential that a pet owner kill the pests within this time frame. In this situation, fast-acting treatments are the most effective approach to the problem. These products kill fleas in ticks within just five minutes of application, thus reducing the number of bites an animal will sustain.
For those who suspect that they may be dealing with a flea infestation in their home or yard, it is best to begin by thoroughly inspecting the property and the residence. In order to do this most effectively, the pet owner should don a long pair of white socks and move about their home and yard. This makes pests easy to spot, and therefore get rid of. Once the search is complete, the individual must store the infested socks in a plastic bag and get rid of them immediately. When it is clear that pests have, in fact, invaded the home or yard, the homeowner should also immediately contact a specialist to eradicate the bugs.
In order to prevent flea and ticks from invading a home, an individual must focus on keeping their house clean Regular vacuuming is one of the best ways to do this, since the pests can lay eggs that must get taken care of. An individual who suspects a problem should vacuum and then dump the canister, since the fleas can survive inside. It is also important to vacuum furniture that the pet uses regularly. In addition to this, the owner should also wash the animal’s bedding weekly during flea and tick season.
There are a number of natural treatments for keeping fleas and ticks out of homes too. Spreading salt lightly over the carpet, brushing it, and letting it sit for a day can help to deter pests. In a yard, a pet owner can take cedar chips and place them along the edges of the property to keep bugs away. A mixture of bleach and water sprayed on grass roughly every 10 days is also an effective measure when it comes to pest prevention.
Upon returning home from time outdoors, whether in the woods or the dog park, it is essential that a pet owner conduct a thorough inspection of their pet’s fur. They should also keep an eye out for excessive itching or blood stains. When checking the animal for fleas and ticks, the owner should move hair aside in order to get a closer look at any pests that may have latched on deep down by the root of the hair. However, even a thorough exam is sometimes not enough to spot microscopic creatures, hence why preventative measures are so important.
Francis V. Schwenk explains, “Regular checks can help a pet owner to stop fleas and tics from seriously harming or sickening an animal. If the individual suspects that their dog or cat is dealing with fleas or ticks, it is important to get medical attention right away. Even if the pet owner cannot actually see the bugs, they may still be lurking, thus making a trip to a vet a necessity. These regular checks combined with preventative treatments are truly a pet owner’s best defense against fleas and ticks.”
An individual should apply treatments year-round to their four-legged friends in order to keep pests away. Even if the pet owner has not yet spotted any ticks or fleas, they are still a concern, thus making a proactive approach necessary. Those who are unsure how to deal with the situation should speak with a veterinarian for guidance. Francis V. Schwenk states that flea and tick infestations can cause harm to both animals and humans, thus making it important to deal with the problem and work to make sure it does not occur in the first place.
Francis V. Schwenk is a veterinary professional who owns and operates his own practice in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Dr. Schwenk takes care of everything from routine checkups to emergency surgeries. Over the course of his career, he has published several books, covering topics like pet health and proper training techniques. Dr. Schwenk regularly donates a portion of his practice’s profits to the ASPCA. This group is committed to preventing the mistreatment of animals around the country. They do this by lending support to animal shelters around the country and rescuing animals from abuse and neglect. Dr. Schwenk has a broad knowledge base, and is able to speak about the treatment of disease and controversial surgeries.