October 14, 2014
Fleas. Even saying the word makes us itch. These tiny creatures can make your pet miserable, and in turn make you miserable. Plus, once they latch on to your pet and make a home in your house, they are very hard to get rid of. Bottom line, fleas are a pain. Here are some tips to help you avoid this pain and avoid flea infestations in the future.
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May 13, 2011
It’s that time of year again, folks; the time of year that dog owners the world over dread. That’s right, it’s flea and tick season. To help you out, here’s our primer on how to protect your pets from the most dangerous of those two bloodsucking baddies: the tick. To learn more about the tick’s menacing counterpart, the flea, check out September’s blog post, found here.
There are four types of tick that are prevalent in North America: the Deer tick, the Brown Dog tick, the Western Black-Legged tick, and the American Dog tick (also known as the Wood tick), with the two Dog ticks being the most common. All of these ticks have been known to spread potentially fatal diseases in dogs and cats, such as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Canine Ehrlichiosis, and Canine Anaplasmosis, but tend to be less dangerous to humans (with the exception of the Deer tick, which can spread Lyme disease).
So how do you recognize these mini-menaces? Members of the arachnid family, like spiders or scorpions, ticks have four pairs of legs, can have a hard or soft shell, and are usually a shade of reddish-brown. They can be especially hard to notice or discover due to their incredibly small size; most ticks are roughly one-eighth of an inch long prior to feeding! After feeding, ticks can balloon up to half an inch long. Click here for a snapshot of common ticks and the diseases they can carry.
While found most frequently in wooded areas, ticks can lurk in the grass, shrubs, or other foliage in your lawn as well, so it’s best to employ as many preventive measures as possible to keep your pets safe. First and foremost would be utilizing a topical flea-and-tick medication like Frontline® Plus, Revolution®, or K9Advantix®, which can be purchased at your vet or at most local pet stores. One important thing to note when using a topical treatment: do NOT bathe your pet for at least two days, at the risk of washing the medication off. Lyme disease vaccines are also available for dogs, and can be administered by your vet.
Another good preventive measure is to trim any tall grass, bushes, and shrubs that could provide a shelter for ticks. Foliage and vegetation should be as close to the ground as possible. There are also some EPA-approved insecticides available that can be applied under shrubs and bushes and in other crevices where ticks are likely to hide. Don’t worry about spraying your grass; ticks prefer shaded, protected habitats, so those should be your focus. Read post »
September 17, 2010
Fleas. Even saying the word makes us itch. These tiny creatures can make your pet miserable, and in turn make you miserable. Plus, once they latched on to your pet and made a home in your house, they are very hard to get rid of. Bottom line, fleas are a pain.
DogWatch Hidden Fences want to help you avoid this pain by providing the following tips to avoid or get rid of fleas on your pet and in your home. Early fall is the peak of flea season, so we encourage you to follow our three easy steps right away!
Getting rid of fleas on your pet and in your house can be a long, challenging and expensive process – so why not avoid them all together? There are several widely-available flea prevention products that you can use monthly to protect your pet from fleas.
The most popular prevention product, Frontline, is available for cats and dogs, and can be found at your vet or your local pet superstore. It is a gel that is applied in between the pet’s shoulder blades, so that the pet won’t lick it off. The product then seeps into the pet’s oil glands under his skin, and is distributed throughout his hair. This creates an inhospitable environment for fleas, and causes them to literally “flee” the pet and stay away for a full month. Frontline also works on ticks – so you get twice the power!
K9 Advantix (for dogs only) and Advantage (for dogs and cats) are two other, similar flea prevention products that perform largely the same function using a different chemicals. (A side-by-side-by-side comparison can be found here.) As always, talk to your vet about what is best for your animals.
A couple of things to note about these products: 1) they are approved for cats and dogs as young as 8 weeks, and 2) it is recommended that you do not bathe the pet within two days before or two days after the product is applied, to ensure that the chemical is properly distributed.