Summer Is Tick and Flea Season, Here’s How to Protect Your Pets

Summer Is Tick and Flea Season, Here’s How to Protect Your Pets
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Given that we’re well and truly in the thick of summer, our pets are probably spending more time outside. While this is great for them, unfortunately it also makes them more susceptible to ticks and fleas. Nobody wants their pet becoming unwell from a tick, so it’s important to keep your fuzzy family members free of pests with this range of pet care products.

Fleas and ticks aren’t just a nuisance for cats and dogs. They can very quickly become a serious health problem, even for quite young and healthy animals.

Speaking entirely anecdotally one of the saddest things I’ve ever had to do was take a cat that appeared in my back yard which had been hit by multiple ticks into the vet. It didn’t survive, and it wasn’t, as it turned out a stray, but someone’s beloved family pet.

You should always keep your pets under control when outside – and this is especially true of cats, because as much as I adore their fwuzzy-iddle-noses, they’re quite vicious predators – but that control extends to keeping them safe as well.

In 2020, we’ve probably all had our pets indoors more than we’re used to, but as we switch towards the warmer months, we’re more likely to let our pets outside, or take them for a healthy walk. This substantially increases their likely exposure to pests such as ticks and fleas. So what should you do to protect your pets from fleas and ticks?

Prevention first to save problems later

pet care

The most simple thing you can do to protect your pets and limit the likelihood of your pet getting a pest on its fur is to regularly but safely dose your pet with a preventative designed to prevent infestation.

Many of the available treatments, like this 6-Pack of Advocate for Dogs, this 6-Pack of Nexgard for dogs or this 6 Pack of Revolution for Cats & Kittens or this $57.95 2 Pippette pack of Bravecto for Cats cover not only flea treatments but also tick prevention and other pet issues such as heartworm as well. While as individual doses they might seem pricey, they’re way cheaper than any vet visit – and a whole lot better than heartbreak.

Most of these products are applied to the back of the animal’s neck, which is a whole lot easier than trying to give a pet a tablet, but there’s also the option of investing in a simple flea collar for your pet. Not to put in your vacuum to kill indoor fleas – seriously, we looked into it – but to place on your pet to act as a preventative and/or killer of any fleas who try to take up residence. A flea collar, like this Seresto Dog Collar or this Seresto Cat Collar can assist with pest maintenance on your animals.

If you’d rather not go down the chemical preventative route, you could invest in a set of flea combs and brushes to remove fleas from your pets, such as this $19.35 Gnawrishing set. That’s a more intensive process, however, because you’ve got to ensure that your animal is 100% free of both pests and their eggs, and some animals don’t take kindly to repetitive brushing.

Keeping your home flea and tick free

Image: Getty Images

Want a really simple pet care hack to keep your home mostly flea and tick free? Have indoor animals where possible.

Yes, this isn’t a solution for every pet owning circumstance, but isolation of your pets can go a long, long way to reducing the instance of skin-borne pests and infestations, as well as any issues surrounding general pet safety like getting lost or being attacked by other territorial animals. There are plenty of ways to keep a cat entertained indoors and it’s much friendlier for local and native wildlife as well.

However, that’s a solution that doesn’t work for everyone.

Most of the treatments that work as preventatives can also work as fairly effective flea killers if you do end up with an infestation, although it’s important to note in the case of ticks that using substances such as meths to remove the tick is a very bad idea indeed, as it can lead to the tick releasing all its venom at once. You’re better off if a tick is observed to cut the tick off with a small pair of scissors and head to the vet pronto.

However, if you do spot fleas on your pet then sadly the odds are good that you’ve probably also got a flea infestation in your home, and this can rapidly become a circular fight with fleas hatching in carpet or between floorboards, infesting your pet anew and then repeating the whole cycle on a continual basis. You do need to be quite careful with most flea and insect killers for carpets to ensure you’re getting good coverage and that you’re applying it to surfaces, and not to your pets, however.

Regular vacuuming of hard and soft surfaces can help, but bear in mind that the flea life cycle can run to 12 months, so if you do get an infestation, it may take some time before you can be certain that your home is clear. For more serious infestations it may be necessary to call in a professional exterminator to determine a plan of eradication in order to protect your pets.

Editor’s note: Descriptions and features are as taken from manufacturer/seller claims and user reviews on Amazon.

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