Do want to know how to prevent ticks and fleas on dogs? Ticks and fleas are a common cause of diseases that affect dogs. Tick and flea bites are irritating to the dog causing a lot of discomfort and at times may result in hypersensitivity reactions in dogs.
Ticks and fleas are easy to get rid of in dogs that are indoors most of the time. For outdoor dogs especially in hunting, this is a different case entirely and difficult to treat. Ticks and fleas are commonly found in long grasses and in forest areas. Some species of these Ticks and fleas are host-specific for dogs meaning they would rather suck blood from your dog than you or another domesticated animal.
Fleas on dogs (Ctenocephalides canis( are tiny (1.5 to 3.3 mm long) six legged wingless insect. It is very agile and can jump either horizontally or vertically up to 200 times its own height. Its body is hard and polished with tiny hairs directed backwards making it very easy to move around the fur strands of its host. Its armor-like shell provides protection that is very resistant to finger pressure. It feeds on mammals’ blood by piercing and sucking with its tube-like mouth.
Fleas – Life Cycle and Habitat :
An adult female flea after having a good feast of fresh blood from its host may lay up to 50 eggs per day. A healthy well fed pair of these micro-monsters living in a very suitable environment and perfect climate can produce around 20,000 nasty fleas in 3 months! Their eggs are laid usually on the skin of their host and hatches after about two days to two weeks.
These larvae will feed on tiny food debris (dried blood, skin debris, etc). After some time, it can transform into tiny pupae which, later on, will hatch into a new batch of scratch causing nuisance not only on the dog but also to its owner! It is important to keep in mind the life cycle of the flea before considering what kind of preventive measure you are going to undertake. This could give you a better chance of breaking the cycle of reproduction.
Tick (Nuttalliella namaqua) is an eight-legged arachnid, a cousin of spider that is known for spreading diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, tularemia, encephalitis, and tick paralysis. The most common among its species that feed on dogs are wood tick, brown dog tick, and the deer tick; they all thrive in woods and shrubby areas.
Unlike fleas, ticks are slow movers, thus can easily be spotted and removed with the help of cotton buds dipped in antiseptic, and tweezers. They’re commonly found between the dog’s armpits, inside ear flaps, between digits and paw pads, tail, inside thighs, etc.
To find out if your dog is infected with fleas or ticks, you can check for these common signs:
Tiny bits of dark reddish brown “grains” attached to the dog’s fur itself. You can test if these indeed are fleas’ excreta (digested blood) by wiping these bits with damp paper towel. A visible tinge of blood red on your paper towel will confirm infestation.
Following are some tips to remove ticks from the body of a dog:
Using the tweezers, grasp the tick firmly, then, gently rock the bug back and forth until it lets go. Avoid contact with the tick’s bodily fluid by wearing surgical gloves or plastic bag. To prevent local infection on the spot where the ticks were removed, a dab of antiseptic is recommended.
To control tick infestation, you must discourage suitable breeding environment by regular trimming of the grasses and shrubberies around your house. Over-the-counter medicated shampoos and other products in spray and powder form may also help. Nevertheless, a visit to a licensed veterinarian is highly recommended to ensure proper care of your beloved pet and safety of your family.
Fleas and Ticks Areas :
In preventing infestation by these parasites it is important that you keep your dog away from areas where these parasites are likely to be found such as long grass and forested areas. The lawn in your backyard (if you have one) should be kept at reasonable length and should not be allowed to grow long. Do not let your dog spend a lot of time playing in the grass or running around in the forest area.
Indoor Living Dogs :
For indoor living dogs, the dog should be checked for fleas and ticks every time he comes back from the park, dog show or some other place he might have been exposed. Any ticks or fleas found should be remove in proper way. The dog’s sleeping area should be washed at least once in a week and the blanket dusted or washed also weekly.
DIY Remedies :
Some DIY remedies you can use to keep your dog ticks and fleas free. Mixing apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of water and spraying it on the dog.This mixture of apple cider vinegar and water can also be applied in dog sleeping area and in other regions around the house corners, cracks and carpeted areas. You can also use lavender oil which is believed to be a natural flea remover.
Also read more related to : Lyme Disease in Dogs Cure – Symptoms and Prevention
Carpets can be vacuumed daily, any fleas or ticks present will be sucked up by the vacuum cleaner. This method only removes the ticks and fleas from the carpet but some may survive the vacuuming. You can then add a pesticide on the vacuum bag to kill any parasites that are still alive.
Use of flea comb :
Bald patches due to skin irritation or excessive scratching, redness, and tiny red spots on your dog’s skin
Fleas and Ticks Presence :
To check the presence of ticks on the body of your dog, wear latex gloves and run hands slowly and carefully all over the body. Ticks may be very small, similar to point of a pencil or they may be very big and can be easily spotted with naked eyes. Check their existence in the well lit place or use artificial light.
Regular Detection :
If your dog plays in a grassy area, then regular detection of ticks is recommended, i.e. once or twice a day. If you find a tick rooted deep in the skin of dog, then remove it immediately.
Removing Ticks and Fleas :
Put on a pair of latex gloves and use a pair of tweezers or tool which is specially designed for removing ticks from the root point. While removing the tick, keep in mind that tick’s body should not get compressed because the internal parts of tick can cause bacteria and other diseases. Use tweezers if some parts of tick still remain on the dog’s body. Do not worry if the skin of the dog comes out with tick; apply light pressure at that place to stem bleeding.
Ticks and Fleas Flushing :
After removing the tick or flea, flush it down to the toilet. Many people keep the tick in an airtight container. Clean the skin with mild soap. Observe the place for some days and consult a vet if the dog suffers from irritation or infection. Never apply nail polish, petroleum jelly, alcohol or any other chemical on the site.
Grass Trimming :
To prevent ticks on your dog, trim the grass in your courtyard and make the place safe for playing.