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Six Tips for a Tick and Flea-Free Dog & Home
If you live in a warm, humid region of the country, your dog is more inclined to experience flea and tick infestations than if you live in a cooler, drier climate. Once you see one flea on your dog, be prepared to see hundreds within a week. In some severe infestations, you may also see the products of their reproductive cycles in the form of eggs, which can hatch before your very eyes in a warm spot, such as where your dog sleeps. Ticks, on the other hand, may attach themselves to your dog and go unnoticed until they embed in his skin and potentially cause some significant damage.
Battling these external parasites has become much easier in recent years with the development of new and effective flea and tick-fighting products. Nevertheless, the best way to ensure that your dog and you don't become overrun by fleas and ticks is to never let your guard down. Be sure to check your dog's coat after every romp in the outdoors during flea and tick season and keep him armed against these annoying critters.
The most common areas of an animal in which you will notice fleas are around the neck, behind the ears, and at the base of the tail. Flecks of flea feces and eggs that look like salt and pepper drop off an infested dog and are left wherever he sits or sleeps. Ticks, on the other hand, can land anywhere on your dog, so be sure to brush out his coat after a walk. If you do get a flea infestation, you must eradicate them from your dog and your home. Adult fleas as well as the eggs and larvae must be destroyed.
Here are a few more tips:
1. The old football adage that states "The best offense is a good defense" is also true when it comes to flea-fighting products. Ask your veterinarian for information on the flea buster in pill or liquid form, or the topicals - Frontline, Revolution, or Advantage - for the most effective way to stop fleas from attacking your dog.
2. If you are using flea shampoo to rid your dog of fleas, lather a ring of suds around his neck when starting to bathe him to keep fleas from running up to his head.
3. Flea combs trap fleas in the metal teeth for removal and disposal.
4. An additional way to pick fleas off your dog is to first dab your finger in petroleum jelly.
5. To get fleas out of your carpet and keep the larvae from hatching, sprinkle the carpet with table salt or borax. Let it stand for several hours, and then vacuum.
6. When vacuuming during a flea infestation, dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag after each use to prevent any eggs or larvae you've picked up from hatching.
Keeping your dog flea and tick free is an essential job for all dog owners. By being vigilant, consulting with your veterinarian when necessary, and following the above tips will go a long way to help ensure that you can succeed at this very important task.
About the Author: Dan Irwin has been 'in love' with the Golden Retriever breed for nearly twenty years now. For a limited time, receive a free copy of "101 Ways to Spoil Your Dog for Under " when you sign up for his free golden retriever newsletter. www.AllGoldenRetrievers.com