Spring has arrived, which means long walks and fun adventures with our dogs and cats. Unfortunately, fleas and ticks usually come along with the warmer weather. This is especially true for those of us who have working dogs. I have a service dog; her name is Diamond. She goes everywhere I do, so it’s very important to keep her free of fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.
Because she is in public so much, she gets flea and tick preventative all year round rather than only during the Spring and Summer months. I prefer to apply topical products because they kill fleas and ticks before they ever bite my dog. I tried oral products with one of my other service dogs, which consisted of a pill given on the first day of every month. What I didn’t know about the pills was that fleas have to bite the dog before they die. Oral products do not repel fleas, ticks and mosquitoes and require that the pests have a blood meal before they die. The pesticide is in the bloodstream of the pet which personally bothers me. The dog I had at the time had a severe allergic reaction to flea bites, and even though the fleas died, she couldn’t work with me for several weeks while the horrible rash on her belly healed.
After that experience, I switched back to topical products because I believe they are a better option for my dogs, whether they are working dogs or beloved pets. I apply the product on the first day of each month after giving Diamond a thorough grooming. It only takes a few seconds to do this, and it allows Diamond to go on all kinds of adventures with me without accidentally picking up pests on our travels.
If you are a new pet owner or just unfamiliar with all the options out there when it comes to flea and tick control, please consult your Veterinarian to determine the best option for your pets and lifestyle. Most oral flea and tick preventatives need to be prescribed by a Vet, while there are several topical products that can be purchased over the counter. Most pet owners choose to apply a flea preventative on the first of each month because it’s easy to remember but feel free to pick another day if that works better with your schedule. As mentioned earlier, I always choose to use flea preventative year-round. It doesn’t cause any harm to go this route, but many people do opt to give flea preventative in the Spring and Summer months only. It is never a bad idea to consult your Veterinarian to determine the best routine for your household and individual pets. I personally use Vetality Avantect II, a generic alternative to K9 Avantix® II but costs so much less. I like this formula because it kills and repels fleas, ticks and mosquitoes as well as kills flea eggs and larvae to prevent re-infestation. Fleas don’t have to bite to die which is awesome in my world.
The main thing to remember is to give your dogs and cats flea preventative once a month, especially during the Spring and Summer. A few minutes a month will save you and your pets a lot of discomfort by keeping pests off of your dogs and cats, which also keeps them out of your house or yard.
By: Shanna Stichler