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Dog Flea & Tick Treatment

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FLEA & TICK TREATMENT FOR DOGS

Fleas, ticks and worms can be anything from extremely uncomfortable to potentially deadly for dogs. It is very important for the health of your dog and your family that you administer regular flea, tick and worming treatment. Here at Pet Supplies Empire, we offer al the trusted brands at the lowest prices.

Why are fleas a risk and how do I know if my dog already has fleas?

While fleas are a problem throughout the year, the warmth and humidity of summer is when flea populations around Australia explode. These wingless insects, who specialise in piercing skin and sucking the blood of their host, thrive in warm and humid temperatures between 24C and 30C. The summer months are when thousands of unsuspecting Australian homes develop flea infestations, usually caused by their cats or dogs.

Fleas hatch from hidden cacoons and jump around finding somewhere to nest. When you see a flea on your pet, it has likely jumped onto your pet from either outside or from an infestation in your home. A flea that has come from outside is known as a ‘hitchhiker’ flea. Once your pet brings a hitchhiker home, it only takes 36 hours for flea eggs to spread indoors and cause a home infestation. An adult flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day. These eggs fall off your pet around your home and hatch into larvae. These larvae hide under your carpet, rugs, floorboards etc. until they develop into adult fleas and start looking for a host, such as you or your pet.

As long as you have been properly applying your cat or dog with flea treatment throughout the year, hitchhiker fleas will be killed before they can lay eggs and cause an infestation at home. There are many trusted brands out there including Frontline Plus, Nexgard, Advocate and many more. Read the product descriptions of the different options to see which one is best for you and your pet.

Prevention is definitely better than the cure when it comes to fleas. Don’t wait until summer hits before you start thinking about flea treatment – by then it can be too late!

Fleas are particularly common in warmer temperatures and, if the conditions are right, will burrow their way through the fur to your dog’s skin. They stay there comfortable and hidden while they feast on your dog’s blood causing irritation, itchiness and inflammation of the area.

It’s often our first thought when you see your dog itching uncontrollably; “my dog has fleas”. It can be difficult to tell the difference between a dog with fleas and one who is just enjoying a good itch! Here are the top 4 ways to tell if your dog has fleas.

1.       A dog with fleas will usually show visible signs of irritation and restlessness. If your dog is shaking its head, scratching, licking, or chewing on certain parts of its body more than usual, this may be a sign of fleas.

 2.       Fleas are a dark brown colour and can be spotted just by inspecting your dog’s fur. Focus your attention behind the ears, in the armpits, around the groin, and above the tail on their rump as these are particularly common areas for fleas to congregate. Note, this approach can be difficult as fleas are fast and will quickly move to another part of the fur to hide as you separate the hair looking for them.

 3.       A flea comb is a comb specifically designed to catch fleas when run through the fur. If using a flea comb, make sure you are combing close to the skin where the fleas may be and that you have a bowl of soapy water on hand as this will hold any caught fleas.

 4.       Creating a flea trap is easy to do and is another good clue into whether your dog has fleas. Place a lit candle in the middle of a plate of soapy water and put it in a dark room near where your dog sleeps (making sure it’s out of reach of your dog so it doesn’t drink the soapy water). Fleas will be attracted to the candle and may get caught in the soapy water when trying to jump to the candle!

If you think your dog has fleas, speak to your vet to seek treatment. Make sure your dog’s flea and tick medication is up to date to help prevent the problem in future.

How do I know if my dog has a tick?

Ticks are a dangerous parasite that can be particularly harmful for dogs. Using flea and tick treatment is the first step in trying to prevent experiencing these problems, however you should always stay aware of the danger and know the signs to look for, particularly during the warmer times of the year.

Different dogs show different symptoms for different ticks so while there are no easy rules to follow, it’s good to know the more common symptoms. Here are the top 4 things to look for that may indicate your dog has ticks.

  1. Where there’s one, there may be more: If you notice one around the house, don’t assume it’s a one-off. Check your dog thoroughly.
  1. Feeling a bump: This may sounds obvious but it’s an important one to remember. If you notice a bump when playing with or petting your dog, don’t ignore it! Have a closer look to see what it is and whether or not it might be a tick.
  1. Fever: A dog with ticks may exhibit symptoms of a fever including weakness, shivering, loss of appetite, panting or other unusual behaviour including lethargy and depression.
  1. Irritation: If your dog is persistently biting and licking the same spot to the point of causing scabs to appear, you should check the surrounding area thoroughly as this may be a sign of a tick. Persistent head shaking could be another such sign of irritation indicating the presence of ticks in or around the ears.

If you live in an area prone to ticks, make sure you are petting your dog regularly to feel for bumps including in harder to reach places such as armpits, between the toes and in the ears.

If you think your dog may have a tick, speak to your vet to seek immediate treatment and get recommendations on preventing the problem happening again in the future. Top brands include Advocate and Panoramis.

If you want to try and remove the tick yourself, use gloves and tweezers, try to grasp the tick as close as possible to your dog’s skin and pull outward in a straight, steady motion. Be careful to make sure you’ve removed the entire tick and apply antiseptic to reduce the risk of infection (your dog deserves a big treat now!). Keep the tick stored for while in case your dog gets sick and your vet wants to inspect the tick.