Dog Care: Keeping Your Dog Safe From Fleas And Ticks
By Lisa Pallardy
March 1 marks the â€œofficialâ€ beginning of flea and tick season. Are you prepared?
Fleas are the most common external parasites that affect our dogs and, although they prefer dog blood, fleas are quite happy to dine on our ankles as well. And although ticks are not as common, they are potentially more dangerous, to us and to our dogs, because they can transmit such diseases as Lyme and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Fleas and ticks thrive whenever and wherever the humidity is above 50 percent and the temperature is over 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Diagnosing a possible flea infestation is relatively simpleâ€¦your dog will scratch. Additionally, you can usually actually see the little critters, or see white and black grains, about the size of sand grains, in your dogâ€™s coat (these are the eggs and feces of fleas). Tick infestation can only be detected by finding one or more ticks on your dogâ€™s skin, so itâ€™s a good idea to check for these parasites when you groom your dog several times a week. To remove a tick, use tweezers to grasp it as close as possible to your dogâ€™s skin, and then pull it out slowly. After removing the tick, clean the bite area with an antiseptic.