Is your dog or cat constantly scratching and biting himself? Are you looking for remedies for dogs or cats with itchy skin? Does it seem like a cat and dog skin problem? How sure are you he’s not suffering from fleas and ticks? Nasty little buggers, pet parasites totally bypass the welcome mat, and bring an inconvenient, and unhealthy situation when they decide to take up residency on your pet.

What are fleas? What are ticks?

Fleas and ticks, as the most common pet parasites, carry dangerous disease that they can transmit to your pet once they latch on. Some facts about fleas and ticks might help understand them better!

Fleas bite, causing excess itching, scratching, allergies, and if ingested, may even give your furbaby tapeworms. Usually found concentrated on the neck and base of your pet’s tails, these jumping disease carriers are NO NO’s for your pet. Where you see one flea, you don’t see 20!

Ticks, on the other hand, can carry dangerous diseases such as Lyme disease, and in large untreated amounts, your pet can suffer from massive blood loss from infestation. Beware of ticks, especially when passing through wet grassy areas, as this is usually where ticks like to latch on to unsuspecting furbabies.

With a little love, prevention and thorough grooming practices, you can keep unwelcome visitors off your pets!

Both fleas and ticks flourish in warm climates with ideal temperatures of 70 to 85 degrees, and will die in extremely hot temperatures. However, they still also like to live in cooler and warmer temperatures so it’s best to take preventive measures at all times.

They are so stubborn that home remedies for fleas and ticks are sometimes not enough. Flea and tick medications are necessary to eliminate them completely. If you’re looking for best ways to get rid of fleas and ticks, here are 3 simple tips.

3 Tips on How to Get Rid of Fleas and Ticks 
1. Be Proactive

Regular use of anti-tick or anti-flea products are ideal to have around, with the intention of not having to use tick or flea removal products at all. Consult with your vet which method is best for your pet and you, as the administering pet parent. You can choose to use one or all products available in the market, from shampoos, conditioners, combs, collars, powders, sprays, or dips. 

When your furbabies get home from playtime or a simple walk outdoors, comb through his coat to remove any pests that might’ve latched on before going back inside. Opt for all-natural products, as the chemicals used to kill parasites can be potentially harmful to your furbaby and who you live with.

If you live an area where ticks or fleas are prevalent, discuss with your vet any vaccines your furbaby may need, such as a Lyme disease vaccine, for an added safety precaution. If your cat or dog is always scratching but doesn’t appear to have fleas and ticks, it’s still best to have him checked by a veterinarian.

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2. Groom Regularly

The best way to get rid of fleas and ticks is to groom your pets regularly! During your grooming sessions, dig a little deeper every now and then and inspect your pets coat for any signs of parasites. The most common hiding spots of fleas and ticks are your pets’ armpit, groin, belly, ears, and the base of his tail. Be mindful of eggs, swollen red areas (think itch bites), tiny bruise-like discoloration, or the fleas and ticks themselves. Flea and tick grooming is a must!

During your regular grooming sessions, dig a little deeper every now and then, and inspect your pets coat for any signs of parasites. This could involve eggs, swollen red areas (think itch bites), or tiny bruise-like discoloration, or the fleas and ticks themselves!

Tick Removal

tick removal from pets

Put on gloves to prevent any infectious agents from seeping in your bloodstream. Use tick removal tweezers to remove the entire tick, without crushing the body. Pull out from the base, to remove the head, which is embedded into your furbaby and place it in a container with rubbing alcohol. Disinfect the bite side by using antiseptic spray or wipes. Keep the tick in the container and observe your pet. If he begins to display symptoms (eg. Inflammation), bring both your dog and the tick to the vet for a check-up.

For whichever tick removal method you use, bring your furbaby in for a veterinarian check-up to ensure they haven’t gotten any disease. Should your furbaby suffer from tick wounds, ensure that you disinfect each area thoroughly, and avoid bathing them until there are proper scabs. For the time being, keep them clean by using an all-natural grooming spray or dry shampoo, avoiding the wounded areas.

Tick on humans is also a possible occurrence. Responsible pet parenting also requires regular grooming and a doctor’s check-up if you’ve been bitten by a tick.

Flea Removal

pet flea removal

Pets can get fleas when in contact with other animals or even just fleas in the environment, so be careful with extra playful pets. Fleas are small but can jump high even without wings and reside in pets and humans. Once they attach themselves to a pet’s body, they bite causing skin irritation. Although the bites are small, these can cause hair loss, inflammation and secondary skin infections. Some pets are more sensitive to fleas more than others.

Vacuum carpeted areas of your home, and other places where fleas can live and lay eggs, such as couches and cushions to prevent reinfestation. Simultaneously do this while de-fleeing your pet. Seek the aid of a veterinarian if you suspect your furbaby ate any fleas. Ingested fleas can give tapeworms, so monitor accordingly even after the flea removal.

With a little attentiveness, fleas and ticks can be prevented.  But being the furry cuddly things they are, pet parents aren’t the only ones who want to snuggle up into pet fur, and finding your pet ridden with fleas and ticks isn’t to be so unexpected. Keep an eye out for parasitic signs. Excessive scratching is a typical give-away for fleas and ticks, or in more serious cases, when your pet starts to noticeably lose weight. Ensure you give your pet the nutrition and love they need to resist the potential dangers parasites can give, and immediately take action once you know there are fleas or ticks.

Continue to keep an eye on your pet for the next few weeks. Symptoms to look out for include restlessness, fatigue, fever, loss of appetite and swollen lymph nodes. If your pets experience any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately.

Reward your pet with a special treat or extra playtime! It’s always good to let your pet know that everything is going to be okay after that horrible, itchy and painful experience.

 Itchy dog home remedy

3. Protect your surroundings

If your pet has ticks and fleas, your house and your lawn probably have too! Don’t spend all your time vacuuming the floors and washing everything because no matter what cleaning measures you take, you will never be able eliminate them all by yourself. Depending on where your pet hangs out: the house or the garden, treat the area with chemicals or natural solutions.

At home

Ticks and fleas in your bed or other pieces of furniture is not unusual. Pet parents should always sweep floors, change pet and human beddings, and clean throw rugs and walls at least once a week. Ticks and fleas are very small and will appear as black dots around your home. There are also all natural sprays pet parents can spray around the house. It is also good to regularly maintain your home with flea and tick household spray or powder.  

In the Garden

Flea larvae show up in shaded humid areas. To prevent flea larvae from residing in your garden, maintain the absence of weeds, mow the lawn, trim shrubs, and remove any debris around the area to lessen possible hiding spots. If your garden or yard is infected, spray the grass area with water until it floods to kill any eggs of flea larvae. It might be best to do simple landscaping because ticks and fleas like to hide. As much as possible, do not let feral pets enter your hard as they are more prone to bringing fleas into your garden.

Dog tick prevention products

source: @judgejudylim

Home remedies for fleas and ticks are simply not enough. Pet parents need to take precautionary measures and take immediate action when an infestation occurs. There is no better way to care for yourself and your pets than to be a proactive pet parent, who invests in good flea and tick grooming and protects his surroundings.

References:

dogster.com

vetstreet.com

care2.com

pets.webmd

petmd.com

petsmart.com

petsandparasites.org