Dog owners will know that seeing their pet scratching themselves vigorously from time to time is nothing out of the ordinary. However, when that scratching becomes much more frequent and frantic then it’s quite possible your dog has fleas. Now, this is never any cause for you to start beating yourself up and labelling yourself as a negligent pet owner. Your dog SHOULD be able to spend extended periods of time enjoying themselves outdoors, and when that happens they’re eventually going to pick up a flea or two. So stop being hard on yourself, and look into flea and tick control instead.
Ticks aren’t quite the same level of public enemy #1 for dog owners like fleas are, but that’s only because ticks aren’t found all across the continent like fleas are. If you live in a region that does have ticks, then these equally vile parasites are also going to be on your must-eliminate list. If you’re taking aim at both types of parasites then the good news is that there are many flea and tick medications that eliminate both of them quite reliably.
What do vets recommend for flea and tick control? Most of them will advise you to use one of these medications, and some will also suggest that you do so in conjunction with a flea and tick shampoo to ensure the best combination of killing the parasites themselves AND doing the same for any eggs they’ve laid. Taking your dog to the vet to have your veterinarian inspect him or here will be the best way to determine which approach will serve you best.
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Effective Relief for Your Pet
It is true that for some folks who are living more rurally it may not be a simple matter to go and see a veterinarian. It’s these folks who will be looking for a recommendation for a good flea and tick control medication. There are a number of that meet the criteria of being safe, effective, and reasonably priced. Some of the ones that get the highest marks from pet owners are the ones that are combination medications.
By combination, what is meant is that these flea and tick control medications will address fleas and ticks AND other parasites. The best combination flea and tick control medications that also kill worms will be able to eliminate heartworms, roundworms, and hookworms. The fact these medications can also work to kill worms is a big deal. Why is that? Well, fleas and ticks do cause a dog great suffering and, in the case of fleas, can lead to sarcoptic mange if left untreated.
However, worms are much more of an overall health risk than fleas and ticks. We wont’ derail this by talking too much about parasitic worms and the threat to pets, but it’s almost impossible for a flea and tick infestation to put your dog’s life at risk. Whereas these worms can 100% do that.
It’s for this reason that being proactive – acting before you NEED to act to prevent rather than react to the problem – is really the best way to be when it comes to preventing fleas and ticks and preventing parasitic worms with your dog. Some of the best combination flea and tick control medications are Trifexis, Sentinel, and Revolution Plus. For many pet owners – dogs and cats included – a combination flea medication that also targets worms is just what they’re looking for in order to have real peace of mind when it comes to their pets’ health.
We’ll cut right to it here – anyone who thinks a flea collar is an equally effective alternative to flea and tick control medications is very much mistaken. Not only are flea collars only marginally effective at the best of times, but cheap flea collars can actually be harmful to dogs and cats. Flea collars will serve one purpose effectively, however, and that’s to prevent fleas from moving up the animal’s neck and biting them behind the ears. That’s one of the most sensitive and irritating areas for a dog or cat to be bitten, and you’ll see them scratching furiously in that region when they’re being bitten there.
Every reputable and knowledgeable veterinarian will tell you that the best and most responsible choice is to administer a preventative flea and tick control medication. The best of them are designed to be taken once a month on an ongoing basis to give your pet full-year flea and tick protection. Some of those same vets will agree that a good flea shampoo is an option, but only if it’s used to complement the effectiveness of a flea and tick pill.
Again, the primary reason for that is the only way to kill flea larvae is through the use of these medications. A flea and tick control shampoo will eliminate some fleas or ticks, but the majority of them will likely survive the attack. And the entirety of their eggs will survive it. With flea and tick medication, on the other hand, the majority of both are going to meet their demise.
Which, our course, is just how you prefer it to be!
Natural Flea and Tick Control Options
Any veterinarian who had the opportunity to chime in here would advise against relying on natural flea and tick control and instead urge pet owners to go with one of the proven-effective medication options out there. That is in fact the best advice, but there will always be pet owners who have suspicions about pharma products for their pets. It’s for those owners that we’ll conclude things here by mentioning a few natural flea and tick control options you might like to try.
- Citrus Juice
It is true that fleas do not like citrus juice, and applying a citrus juice from an orange or a lemon to their fur can help to limit the spread of fleas. This is because these juices contain limonene, a natural insect repellant. This approach may be effective if you can understand that your pet has a few fleas. If your pet needs a solution for fleas – a LOT of them – then you will probably want to skip the citrus juice approach.
- Rose Geranium Essential Oil
First off here, it’s important to understand that rose geranium oil should only be used for dogs and NOT used for cats. Cats can have a bad reaction to essential oils. Rose geranium oil is particularly effective for ticks, but not so much for fleas and again for only mild infestations.
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