Along with the highly desirable warmer weather of the summer months comes something we dread: an abundance of biting pests that irritate our pets and adversely affect their health. The overwhelming desire to find the best pet flea and tick prevention possible can send us running to the shelves of our nearest pet store, where we are confronted by numerous products that all promise the best results. However, pet owners have long since learned that not all flea and tick treatments work perfectly for all pets, and it can be difficult to decide which option is best. Fortunately, we are going to break it down for you.
Flea and Tick Treatment
It is safe to assume that all pets, even pets that are kept strictly indoors, are susceptible to some degree of flea and tick problems. This is why it is important to thoroughly check their entire body, especially including their head, neck, ears, and paws, and take immediate action when fleas and ticks are found. Ticks are often found by fingers moving over them, rather than eyes spotting them, and fleas are often found when black specks of flea dirt are discovered on an animal’s skin and coat.
Not surprisingly, the absolute best way to treat fleas and ticks on your pets is to prevent them from entering your home or getting onto your pets at all. That said, if prevention methods are unsuccessful in keeping these pests away from your home and your pets, aggressive and rapid treatment is the next best option. Of course, it is important to bear in mind that where pets have flea and tick problems, so too does the home, which means a treatment of both your pets and your home will need to occur in order to ensure desired results. Following are some of the best ways to eliminate fleas and ticks and keep your pet safe:
⦁ Spot-on treatments. These treatments come in monthly doses of liquid that are applied to a specific point on the pet’s back, from where they spread across the entire body. Some of the more popular spot-on treatments include Frontline Plus, Revolution, and K9 Advantix, and they are fairly popular among pet owners because they are usually inexpensive, without side effects, easily applied, and effective.
⦁ Spray treatments. These treatments normally contain alcohol and are designed to kill fleas and ticks immediately upon contact. However, while they are considered to be highly effective they are not appropriate for all pets, as they can have undesirable side effects.
⦁ Oral treatments. These treatments can be highly effective in ensuring that absolutely no part of a pet’s body is left untreated. However, it is important to remember that these treatments are medications and may not be appropriate for all pets–especially since it is sometimes necessary to take separate medications to handle fleas and to handle ticks.
Flea and tick eggs, larvae, and pupa often hide out in the cracks and crevices of walls, in upholstered furniture, in bedding and even in carpeting. This means that even if one successfully treats their pet for fleas and ticks, there is a large chance they will become reinfested if the home is not also treated. The best treatment for the home is regular and thorough vacuuming, including in and along all possible hiding places, and regular bedding, rug, and fabric cleaning in very hot water. There are also some approved sprays that can be applied to help kill off fleas and ticks at any stage of their growth process.
Obviously, pet safety is absolutely key when it comes to administering any sort of flea and tick prevention. When in doubt about what type of flea and tick prevention is best for your pet’s needs and health, especially in the case of animals who are under six weeks of age, it is always best to check with their veterinarian.