Your dog is precious to you and your family, so keeping him or her healthy and happy is essential. The first step is ensuring your dog does not have fleas or ticks. According to the American Kennel Club, over 200 species of fleas affect dogs.
Both pests can be painful for your pet, so you must know how to identify and quickly eliminate them. To do this successfully, there are a few steps that need to be taken:
Table of Contents
Importance of Removing Fleas and Ticks From Dogs
Fleas are small insects that live on the backs of dogs or other animals, feeding on their blood. Flea bites are usually painless to humans but can cause severe itching in your dog’s skin, making them scratch themselves raw if left untreated.
If left untreated for too long, these bites can lead to skin irritation which can turn into anemia in extreme cases. This is especially dangerous if you have an older pet who has trouble healing wounds as easily as younger ones do or if you have young children who like playing with their pets’ fur.
Ticks also pose a threat when they latch onto a host animal’s body. Some species carry Lyme disease, or Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), which can infect humans and pets alike when transmitted through tick bites. While RMSF isn’t typically fatal if treated early enough, it does have serious consequences, including paralysis and death.
Luckily, a new vaccine for preventing Lyme disease in dogs has been found. A study from the NCBI website shows that Vanguard crLyme is safe for dogs and can prevent Lyme disease.
Identifying Fleas and Ticks
You can identify fleas and ticks by looking for small black or brown insects on your dog. You can also check for parasites in their hair and skin, as they may be easier to spot if they are crawling around on your dog’s body. Look under the chin, around the ears and neck, around the tail, and belly to find them quickly.
If you see dark dots on your dog’s skin that look like tiny blackheads or pimples, it means that fleas have been feeding off him/her for quite some time, and he/she needs immediate treatment.
How to Remove Fleas From Your Dog
You’ll need to use a combination of methods to remove fleas from your dog. The first step is using a flea comb to remove loose fleas on their coat. You can also pick off visible fleas by hand if they’re not too big or challenging to reach.
After removing all visible signs of infestation, it’s time to apply shampoo and/or medication explicitly designed for this purpose. This will kill off any remaining eggs or larvae that may have been missed during earlier stages of treatment.
Medication to Remove Fleas and Ticks
Several options exist if you want to remove fleas and ticks from your dog at home. The most common medications include:
- Frontline Plus: This topical treatment can be applied once every month. It contains fipronil and imidacloprid, which help kill adult fleas and prevent them from laying eggs. This is probably your best option if you’re worried about ticks or flea infestations. The efficacy of imidacloprid is 95.7%, and that of fipronil is 46.5% in controlled groups.
- Comfortis: This chewable tablet prevents fleas from biting into your dog’s skin by preventing them from activating the muscles needed for digestion. You should give this medication at least 30 minutes before feeding time so that it has sufficient time to work its way through the system before eating anything else. Otherwise, they may vomit or have diarrhea after eating.
- Credelio: Credelio is another chewable tablet that can kill adult fleas and control tick infestation. Credelio for dogs is a powerful medication, but it is still easy on your dog. Any dog eight weeks older and weighing 4.4 pounds or more can consume the tablet.
You can get these medications from an online pet medication supplier. But only choose a licensed online supplier because many suppliers operate illegally. PetRX is a Pharmacy-verified website. Such websites are licensed by regulators and accept only valid prescriptions, which is crucial for your dog’s safety.
Give Your Pet a Bath to Remove Fleas and Ticks
- Gently wash your pet’s coat with shampoo or soap that is safe for dogs.
- Use a flea and tick shampoo if you have one on hand. Otherwise, use any gentle dog shampoo.
- Rinse well to remove all traces of soap residue from your dog’s fur and skin. This will help prevent irritation and remove all fleas or ticks from the coat.
- Dry thoroughly with a towel after rinsing off the shampoo. This will help reduce the risk of mildew growth on damp fur later in life if you can’t bathe them daily.
Comb Your Canine Friend’s Hair to Remove Fleas and Ticks
The first thing you’ll need to do is get a flea comb. These can be purchased at pet stores and are relatively inexpensive, so this shouldn’t be an issue for most people.
Once you have your flea comb, it’s time to start combing through your dog’s fur in the direction of hair growth. You may want to do this while they’re lying down or sitting on their hind legs so they won’t move around too much while being groomed by you.
Sprays to Remove Fleas and Ticks
If you have a dog or cat, there are sprays that you can use to remove fleas and ticks. The best sprays for dogs include Frontline Plus and Advantage Multi. These products kill fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and lice on contact with no residue left behind. They also don’t irritate the skin or cause any side effects in your pet, such as vomiting or diarrhea.
You should only use these products if your vet recommends them because not all dogs are suitable candidates for this type of treatment. Certain breeds may be more susceptible than others, so always check with your vet before purchasing any product like this one.
If your cat has been infested with fleas, then it’s probably best just get rid of them all together rather than trying something like Advantage Multi, which may just end up making things worse down the road, but if nothing else works, then go ahead and give it a shot.
Tools Required to Remove Fleas and Ticks
You’ll need the following tools to remove fleas and ticks:
- A fine-toothed flea comb. This is the essential tool in your arsenal. A regular comb won’t do the trick because it won’t catch all those tiny insects that have burrowed into your dog’s fur.
- Paper towels or clothes to clean up messes. You might also want to keep a trash can nearby and some soap and water in case something gets stuck on one of your hands while grooming your dog. You don’t want them crawling off into other rooms.
- Towels for wiping wet fur after bathing with soap and water. If there are any remaining fleas or ticks after bathing them with soapy water, these will come off easily once dried out completely.
Removing fleas and ticks from your dog is a simple process that can be done at home. All you need are basic tools like a comb or a flea spray and patience. With these tips, you should have no problem removing pests from your canine companion.