Dog Enemies: Ticks, fleas & worms. Top 10 prevention & treatment tips 🐜
We know that you do your best to make sure your furry friends are happy and healthy and keeping them tick, worm and flea free is no doubt high on your list. If the unfortunate happens, removing these blood-suckers from your little buddy can be tricky. There are also some severe disease risks if ticks and fleas are not removed properly. We've compiled some of the most effective methods for getting rid of fleas and ticks, so your fur-buds keep their happy grins!
What are you looking for?
Ticks and Fleas can be tricky to spot. Sometimes you may even notice the bite or aggravated areas on your dog's skin before the bug itself.
Fleas measure around 0.6 to 1.5 centimetre’s long. Once they find a home (your dog) they stay there and start laying eggs. They prefer heat to cold and can bring with them other issues, like tapeworm.
Ticks look like little spiders and are a little easier to spot as they are bigger than the flea (up to 2cms long). Unlike fleas, they move from dog to dog and can sometimes live for as long as three years. They can also lay thousands of eggs at once and prefer cold temperatures.
Heartworm Vs. Ringworm
Before we get to the flea and tick tips, let's talk about the worms. Ringworm, weirdly enough, isn't actually a worm, it's a fungal infection that is harmless but highly contagious to humans! To treat, there is a range of creams and ointments that can be applied to the affected areas of your dog’s skin. If it spreads quickly, you can also use an antifungal shampoo.
Heartworm, on the other hand, is an actual worm, and you won't be able to see it. Heartworm disease is easily preventable with heartworm medication and is strongly recommended for all dogs. Dogs who unfortunately have heartworm disease can be treated depending on the severity of their case but preventing this from happening is far easier.
Heartworm medications and ringworm creams, as well as all of the things we are about to mention in our top 10 list of flea treatments for dogs, are readily available at online pet outlets such as My Pet Warehouse and Jumbo Pets so stock up on the things you need to ensure your best friend lives a long, healthy and happy life.
Top 10 Tips
It seems like the most obvious one but bathing your dog with a medicated shampoo is an extremely effective method of killing ticks and fleas straight away. This cost-effective flea treatment also works as an excellent preventative measure against more little bugs housing themselves on your pal. It is recommended that you wash your fur baby roughly every two weeks to ensure they are always covered. Fido’s Flea Shampoo from Jumbo Pets comes in a range of sizes depending on how big your dog is and is always available.
2. Proofing your home
Ticks and fleas love wood, and significant green areas and garden maintenance will reduce the chances of them setting up shop in your yard. To help combat infestation, you can purchase a range of house and yard sprays but it important to note that these solutions can be harmful to animals. If you find you have a large infestation somewhere in your home, call the exterminator!
Another effective form of flea treatments for dogs comes in pill form that can be taken monthly. You may want to consider this avenue if you come across the issue mentioned in the point above about skin allergies. These medications will often disrupt the life cycle of ticks and fleas and are a straightforward solution. These can be easily administered as a chewable treat, like Bravecto tablets available from Jumbo Pets, which your dog will actually enjoy munching on!
4. Natural Remedies
It doesn't have to be all medications and chemicals; there are plenty of natural remedies to get rid of these pests as well. Natural chamomile, for example, can be infused with warm water and applied to your dog's skin, particularly the affected area. Another popular home remedy is apple cider vinegar. Ticks and fleas absolutely hate this stuff making it the perfect repellent. Much like the chamomile you simply mix with water and apply to your dog's skin with a cloth.
A flea treatment that is great for a quick kill, but only a little bit of protection after the fact. You may want to use a spray as a preventative if you are heading outside with your dog, kind of like sunscreen, but ensure you don't apply near the facial region of your pet.
6. Tick Dips
Dips are potent chemicals that you can apply with water and a sponge. Refrain from rinsing them off allowing the compound to dry onto the skin. Also, keep in mind, these are powerful solutions that are not recommended for puppies under four months, or for pregnant/nursing dogs.
Powders are a little lower on the list as while they are very effective; they are also messy. You will also want to ensure that the product you buy is suitable for your dog's specific age. Use small amounts of powder and carefully rub it into the skin, once again keeping it away from the facial areas. Powders need to be applied weekly and can also be used on areas like bedding or wherever your buddy likes to hang out the most. The main benefit of the powder option is how suitable it is for prevention of both ticks and fleas, it’s like an all round cover.
8. Tick Collars
Tick collars are an easy way to repel ticks however it is essential to keep in mind that they mainly protect the neck and head areas. They also need to be in contact with your pet’s skin to be effective. As with most collars, you won't want much more than two fingers of room between the collar and the neck. These collars are often customisable, so you will want to cut off any excess length, so it doesn't become a chew toy. Always read the label before purchase as some pets may have an allergic reaction to the collar which you will notice if they scratch at it too much. My Pet Warehouse readily stocks the Seresto Tick Collar, available in a range of sizes.
9. Pet check
Regular surveying of your fur-friends, especially after outdoor play, is necessary. These issues are much easier to deal with in their early stages. The main areas to check are:
- Between the toes
- Inside of the ears
- Between the legs
- Neck areas
- The skin under the fur
If you find a tick, remove it straight away and be thorough ensuring not to leave any part of it behind.
10. Inside pets
The main areas of risk are outdoors, and while you definitely want to be taking your buddy outside to play, try to refrain from long periods outside. Taking your dog for an off-leash walk in the bush will be enjoyable for both of you, just do the check mentioned above afterward to make sure you haven't picked up any unwanted extras!
Thanks for reading our Top 10 Prevention & Treatment Tips for dogs. We hope you learned a thing or two! We recommend taking a look a Jumbo Pets and My Pet Warehouse for a full range of products at great prices.
This article is to be used as general information and a guide only. The Tailz website makes no claims that the website is 100% accurate and suitable for your particular pet. We recommend you seek medical advice from your local vet professional.