How to Protect Your Pets From Fleas, Ticks and Heartworm

While it would be nice to be able to provide our pets with perfect health, unfortunately, that’s not always possible. The best thing is often not treatment, but setting up preventative measures. It’s easier to keep fleas away than get rid of them once they have popped up after all. Fleas aren't the only thing that should be concerning to pet owners. Based on the time of year, ticks and heartworm can be serious medical issue for your pets. Heartworm especially can be fatal if not treated properly. Keeping your pets healthy and free of these pests lets them live a happier life. In turn, this usually makes your life better too!

The 6 Steps Needed

  1. Identify Potential Threats
  2. Clean and Tidy
  3. Try Preventative Measures
  4. Check For Warning Signs on Your Pets
  5. Remove Ticks If Found
  6. Treat Infections or Infestations Quickly

The 6 Steps Explained

The first thing that any pet owner should do is try to identify the potential threats to their pets. An indoor cat has far less to fear from tick based problems than a dog that’s taken for regular walks through long grassy areas. There’s no point in wasting time protecting against threats that can’t happen! Keep in mind that previous example would be different in a multi pet environment.

When it comes to fleas and ticks, they love to live in love grass and overgrown shrubs. While these are common if you take your dog for a walk on paths, most instances of fleas and ticks occur when a dog or cat is in their own yard. Feral animals will bring them in (especially possums and raccoons) and then they will get dropped off to wait for your pet. Cleaning up your yard and keeping everything trim will look good and remove places for pets to get in. Also consider your home. Keeping it clean will reduce the chance of flea eggs in the carpets from reaching maturity.

When it comes to treating fleas on your pet, you want to offer up a multitude of options. Giving your pet a brush after a trip outside can help remove a lot of the harmful pests. To avoid ticks, consider changing your walking routine with your dog. Try to find them fun spots that feature less wild growth. Heartworm is arguably the easiest of the issues to prevent in your pets. This is good because it’s the most dangerous. Preventative heartworm measures include a preventative medicine that is good for 12 months at a time. Pets should be checked every 12 months to ensure they haven’t contracted heartworm in that time.

Ticks attach themselves to an animal. They bite down and stick. Ticks can carry a variety of diseases, which is why they are dangerous. When it comes to ticks, you can often feel them as you pet your animal. They attach most commonly near the head, neck and paws of dogs. Cats have them attach near the ears and their eyes. Early heartworm cases don’t show a lot of signs. As it develops however, animals (especially dogs) will cough and struggle with breathing. They may have a lack of appetite and struggle with food. In addition, heart failure is a possibility. Heartworm is more dangerous in cats due to the signs being so subtle until they often collapse.

Ticks removal is something that can be done by a pet owner. The key is to not use fluids. Ticks are disease carriers and using a fluid based method can cause the potential for infected fluids to fall back into the bite. After finding a set of gloves to cover the hands, tweezers should be used to remove the tick. It’s important to grasp it by the head right at skin level. Pull the tick directly up and off the skin while not squeezing the tickets infected bloated belly.

If it appears that your animal is deal with any of these issues, an easy step is to check with your vet. They know your pet and they know how it will react to things. There are many shampoos and tools to help remove fleas. Just remember that a flea infection is likely to have expanded out into your home as well, so the faster it’s taken care of, the easier it is taken care of. Ticks should be removed quickly to reduce the chance of them spreading disease. The severe danger of heartworm means that your pet should immediately be taken to a vet if it is exhibiting symptoms.

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