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Pet Patter - Catrina Skepper's Blog

Flea Prevention

Posted on: 6/21/2011 12:46:14 PM under General
Flea & Tick Prevention

Fleas and ticks are a very real problem not only for pets, but people as well.  Both fleas and ticks feed by biting and drinking the blood of their hosts and, being parasites, they can be passed on to other animals, including people. Unfortunately, they can also carry disease and the eggs of internal parasites such as worms, making them not only irritating but potentially harmful to the health of their host. Fortunately there are many flea and tick prevention tips for pets to help keep them safe.
 
Medicated Treatments & Prevention
The most effective method of flea and tick prevention is to use a medicated spot on treatment. These are available from licensed pet shops, veterinary clinics and online pet stores.  Before you choose a medical treatment or preventative, talk to your veterinarian to find out which products best suit your needs and the needs of your pets.
 
Natural Remedies
One useful tip to prevent fleas and ticks from pets is to use natural remedies such as brewers yeast, crushed garlic, or diatomaceous earth.   Brewers yeast mixed with garlic can be an effective substitute for dogs, however garlic is considered toxic for cats therefore it should be omitted from any natural treatments.  When ingested, these substances are purported to raise blood acidity and repel pests.

Diatomaceous earth, also called fossil shell flour, is mineral dust produced from fossilized diatoms,small, ocean bound creatures.  The fine dust is non toxic and highly absorbent, killing fleas, ticks, bed bugs and other insects by dehydrating them.  It can be applied topically to kill pests.
 
Grooming
Keeping pets well groomed is another tip for preventing fleas and ticks, as it gives the owner the opportunity to find the first signs of a parasitic invasion and put a stop to it before it becomes a problem.  Using a fine-toothed comb can not only help to remove the adult fleas, but any eggs that have become attached to the hair.
 
Hygiene
Many people dont realize that only the adult flea lives on the pet.  Eggs and larvae are found within the fibers of furniture and carpets. This is why its important that any bedding used by the pet is washed on a regular basis, and carpets are vacuumed often.
 
Avoidance
Along with treating pets, one tip to prevent fleas and ticks is avoiding situations where they may be transferred to the animal. Ticks are often found in areas with long grass such as fields and forests. By keeping to the path when exercising dogs, owners reduce the risk of ticks hitching a ride on their canine friends.

Cut the Grass
Keeping the lawn short will also help to prevent ticks finding a home nearby to where your pets live. Unfortunately where cats are concerned, there is not much that can be done to avoid ticks as they will roam and investigate long grass and bushes. They may also pick up fleas and ticks from prey animals such as mice and shrews.
 
Fleas and ticks are part and parcel with being a pet owner, and while there are many flea and tick prevention tips for pets, occasionally they will find their way into the family home.  The best way to keep your pets flea and tick free is to invest in some quality preventative medication.  By keeping a good standard of hygiene, and regularly checking the fur and hair of pets by grooming, it is easy to catch the early signs and evict these hitchhikers before they become a problem.