The days are getting longer, the ground is starting to peak through the snow, and coats and boots will soon give way to shorts and flip flops. This Spring will be a welcome relief to many of us in the United States who have endured one of the coldest, snowiest winters in recent memory. Another household member who looks to get rid of their spring fever is our dogs, who have perhaps endured even more than us this winter.
Even though we are for the most part cooped up during the cold months, humans still get to go out and go to work or take trips to the grocery store which helps us keep our sanity. Dogs on the other hand are literally outside the house for minutes of the day and they’ll surely be ready to leap and bound through the yard once the weather finally lets up. One thing to remember as your dogs and even cats will be spending exorbitant amounts of time outside is proper flea and tick care for this Spring season.
By far the best way to prevent your pet from being infested with fleas and ticks is by using the once a month topical ointments such as K-9 Avantix or Frontline. The pet is lathered up with these products to kill any fleas and larvae that might be embedded on their skin or in their fur. It’s important to note though that studies have shown the chemicals in these products have been linked to cancer, asthma, and other allergies and should be used with caution around small children or pregnant women. The effectiveness of the products is immeasurable but there are natural, alternative, methods that can be explored.
There are a number of organic methods a pet lover can explore to try and limit their pet’s exposure to fleas, ticks, and other irritants this Spring.
• A healthy pet – There are obviously a number of benefits to making sure your pet is in top health and one of those associations is a reduced risk of flea infestation. Explore more organic pet foods and mix in digestive enzymes, multi-vitamins and other supplements into their meals.
• Brewer’s Yeast – Putting a tablet of brewer’s yeast regularly into your dog’s food will make their blood to acidic for ticks to feast on and they’ll be turned away.
• Apple Cider Vinegar – Flea reducing sprays are especially important to apply on a dog when going hiking on the trails or doing Spring scavenging in the woods. An apple cider vinegar spray can easily be concocted with ½ water and ½ of the cider for extra protection outside.
While we normally associate Spring cleaning with inside the house, proper attention should be taken to the outside yard to prevent fleas, ticks, and other insects from taking up residency on your land. Make sure to clean up piles of wet leaves that can attract a flea nest as well as old tree trunks and compost piles that could also attract rodents. After that make sure to always keep your lawn cut regularly and bushes and trees trimmed efficiently.
After your pet has enjoyed a nice day frolicking in the woods, mozying around the yard, or hanging out with other furry critters at the park you should do an eye check for ticks and go over them with a flea comb that catches and traps the insects. On top of that bedding should be washed at least once a week along with a regular carpet shampooing regimen. If possible keep your animal away from heavily wooded areas or spray them with an anti-flea spray before heading out.
Spring is a fun time for pets to stretch their legs and whisk away the long, arduous Winter. It’s important to allow your dog and cat to get out and enjoy the sunshine but without having to fear fleas and ticks. A solid approach of prevention, protection, and maintenance will allow you and your pets to enjoy the Spring just as it’s meant to – by being outdoors.