Fleas & Ticks: A Good Plan To Keep Your Dog Safe

Starting from March, many bugs populate back the mountains, fields and sometimes even the streets, posing a huge danger for dogs.

Ticks and fleas are widely known for not only making miserable the life of the poor pooch where they live, but also for carrying so many and sometimes fatal diseases. There are many methods responsible, loving owners can apply to protect your dog from these hateful little monsters.

When it comes to control these parasites, you need to act in 2 main areas:

  1. Prevention, which includes repellants in the form of collars, sprays, drops or any type of way of keeping the bugs away and not wanting to get close to your pup
  2. Elimination, which will include any product that will kill the bugs, their eggs or any type of infection they may cause. This can include either physically removing the parasites,  giving your dog something that kills them if they bite, or giving  your dog something that kills whatever the bugs put into their blood stream

It’s important to keep in mind that both areas are equally as important to attack, and to read carefully labels and instructions of any product you wan to use in order to determine what else is required if you are not covering everything.

Amazing pic by CDC

Most people think that by only purchasing a good collar, everything’s OK, and that’s definitely not true. Some bugs will endure the repellant of killing ability of the collar (especially if it’s close to the expiration date or if the active ingredient has been depleted), at least for a while, which will give them enough time to lay their eggs or inject the toxins or other parasites into your dog’s system. If that happens, the repellent might be no longer a way of controlling the problem, and your dog can become ill if you don’t take measures.

A good, recommended by vets plan to keep your dog safe when it comes to fleas and tick is:

a) A good repellant, either a chemical or natural one

b) Something that kills every tick or flea who dares touching or biting your dog – and before you ask “why if they already bit them?”, well, yes, you have to kill them because otherwise your home may be affected. They can also bite you, by the way, so watch out

c) A good deworming plan; once the bacteria carried by the flea or tick enters into your dog’s bloodstream, it can develop and get to other vital organs. You need to kill them before. Deworming tablets are usually very small and have no side-effects to deal with.

Since everyone at home is very allergic to strong chemicals, we use a natural repellant, consistent of 1 ml of citronella oil and 1 ml of geranium oil, dissolved in 150 ml of water, which can and should be sprayed over them before going out, especially in spring or summertime. It has a beautiful smell. You can spray the legs only, bearing in mind that if you are going to visit wet areas, you may need to take the spray with you and re-apply. You can also put a bit on the back of their necks. At the beginning, they may not like it so much, but try to associate it to positive experiences like giving them affection or, if required, even a small treat, until they’re OK with it.

To kill fleas and ticks that have bitten them we give them Bravecto, a tablet that lasts up to 3 months and makes their blood not so tasty to them, on top of killing them if they bite.

We also deworm our dogs every 3 months; this is a best practice, not just for fleas and ticks related-problems, but also because it prevents many other issues with other forms of parasites.

When in doubt, ask your vet for a complete plan. Sometimes vet oversee this point or forget to suggest one. Seek help for natural solutions when possible.

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