Flea and Tick Control 101

Ticks and fleas may be tiny, but they can be very harmful if they make contact with your pet. Both fleas and ticks carry a wide range of diseases—some may even be fatal—and fleas in particular can cause ongoing irritation for your cat or dog until the infestation is handled. Your veterinarian will be able to provide a comprehensive flea and tick prevention plan for your pet, but you can get a head start with the following tips:

Keep Your Yard Clean

Like other pests, fleas and ticks are attracted to overgrown areas of the yard, where they can find plenty of cover and moisture to help them thrive. Ticks are common in tall grass, and fleas are attracted to areas that may house excess moisture. Keeping your yard clean and trimmed is a good first step in curbing the presence of fleas and ticks, especially in the warmer months when these pests are most common.

Check Your Pet’s Skin Daily

You may not see fleas around the house, but you can see flea bites on your pet’s skin. These show up in small red patches, which can cause excessive scratching and irritation for your cat or dog. Ticks will latch directly onto the animal’s skin, and they will stay there for several hours up to a few days, so daily checks will help you keep ticks away. If you see one, remove it gently from your pet’s skin and talk to your vet right away.

Use Flea and Tick Control Medication

Your veterinarian can recommend an appropriate type of flea and tick prevention for your pet—oral medications are the most common. These are usually given on a monthly basis through the active seasons for flea and tick activity, and the dose will be dependent on your pet’s weight. Do not opt for solutions like all-natural food additives or flea collars, since these are limited in their ability to protect your pet. Never use flea and tick control products intended for one type of pet on a different species, as this can be very harmful to your pet’s health.

A trusted veterinarian is an essential ally for any pet owner, so call Mt. Werner Veterinary Hospital to schedule an appointment for your cat or dog in Steamboat Springs. They’ve been serving the community since 1981, and they can provide everything from wellness exams to surgery. Learn more by calling (970) 879-3486.