Protect Your Pup's Health: What You Need to Know About Fleas & Ticks


It’s your pup’s favorite time of year: Summertime! The season for outdoor play and adventure — and time to learn to protect dogs from fleas and ticks.

Whether you decide to take them hiking or to the beach, outdoor activity is a healthy way to spend time with your dog. We want to help you make the most of this warm summer weather, but also help you protect your dog from fleas and ticks. 

FLEAS

Beach season is in full swing, but amidst the sunshine and frisbee-playing there is an important threat to your dog’s health to watch out for: fleas. They are highly attracted to sand, which makes the beach a high-risk area for exposure to your pup. This doesn’t mean you should avoid taking them with you on a beach day, but that you should keep a close watch on them as they play on the sand.

Lets dig into the details: how do fleas affect a dog? While fleas immediately come off as a nuisance to your dog, they can eventually cause greater health risks if left untreated. Fleas can transmit parasites and lead to other diseases that put their health at risk. 

Furthermore, let’s go over some tips for spotting and treating these little pests. First, it is important to check your dog for fleas regularly and to act quickly if you see an outbreak occur. Key signs to look out for are your dog constantly scratching their coat, which may even lead to areas of hair loss and irritated skin. Adult fleas are small, brown and easily visible. When checking for fleas, focus in on more thinly-haired areas of your dog’s coat for an easier shot at spotting them. You can also try using a flea comb (available at your local vet or pet shop) to finely brush through your dogs fur in search of flea droppings.

Checking regularly for fleas is the most effective way to prevent these little pests from bothering your furry friend. An easy way to remember regular inspections of your dog is to set reminders through the WonderWoof app.

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TICKS

With the warm weather and extended time playing outdoors, your dog faces another nuisance: ticks. Your dog’s health can be greatly affected by exposure to ticks, so it is important to watch over your dog after they enjoy playtime outside. Ticks are usually picked up after traveling through long grasses or bush, and the risk of exposure varies by region.

Ticks are very tiny before attaching to their host, so they may be difficult to spot at first. Where they attach, however, usually becomes red and irritated. The more the ticks feed, the more visible they are to the naked eye. In feeding, they pose the risk of transmitting diseases to your dog such as Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

How can you spot if your dog has a tick? If your dog is spending a lot of time outdoors, keep a close watch over them and look out for signs of fever or lameness. If you find the tick, make sure to remove it fully — partial removal can still leave them at risk of contracting diseases.

If you think you and your pup will be spending a lot of time outdoors this summer, a great prevention method is to regularly treat your dog with tick prevention products. This will help keep them healthy and happy during these summer months.

If you need to treat a flea or tick infestation, use this handy product list from the NRDC that includes chemical exposure information: http://www.simplesteps.org/greenpaws-products

Have an adventurous summer with your pup, and stay healthy!