Humans often complain about being bothered by mosquitoes, ticks, and other menacing insects, and we do everything we can to keep them away. However, our four-legged family members don’t appreciate these pests either—they just can’t speak up or apply insect repellent when they’ve had enough. So, it’s up to pet parents to protect their dogs, cats, bunnies, and other outdoor animals from these biting bugs.
Here are 6 ways to keep harmful insects away from your pets.
Protecting Your Pets from Bad Bugs
Check for Ticks or Fleas Often
Whenever your pet goes outdoors or hangs around other pets, there’s a risk of getting exposed to ticks and fleas. After a romp in the backyard or a pet playdate, be sure to check your furry friend thoroughly for any signs of fleas or ticks. To check for fleas, run a fine-toothed comb all over your pet’s body, especially in the lower back and tail area. For ticks, use your fingers and run them through your pet’s coat and check the skin for any small bumps, paying extra attention behind the ears and in any dark, hidden areas.
Learn How to Remove a Tick Properly
If you do find a tick on your pet, it’s important to use the right technique to remove them. The CDC recommends using a pair of tweezers to gently grip the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Then pull slowly away from the skin, with the goal of removing the entire tick, including the mouth-parts. Disinfect the bite area afterwards, and wash your hands with soap and water.
Use Medication or Natural Repellent
In order to prevent your pet from attracting fleas, ticks, and parasites, talk to your vet about a treatment program. There are a variety of medications on the market, including topical or oral treatments, heartworm injections, medicated shampoos to use regularly, and flea collars for everyday wear. Flea dips are another option to handle a severe case of fleas, but they are very potent. If you prefer to go the natural route, consider natural tick repellent options like amber collars, electromagnetic products, and essential oils.
Know the Warning Signs for Lyme Disease
If your pet is frequently exposed to ticks, you should become knowledgeable on Lyme disease and learn how to spot it. Start by understanding the risk factors—living in the Northeast and Midwest regions and spending time in wooded areas or tall grass can make your pet more at risk. Then, familiarize yourself with the symptoms and monitor your pet carefully. The most obvious signs include recurrent lameness, swollen joints, and stiff walking. If you notice any of these red flags, talk to your vet to see if your pet should be tested for Lyme.
Keep Your Pets Out of High-Risk Areas
Certain environments have higher concentrations of harmful insects, so it’s a good idea to keep your pet away from these areas whenever possible. For instance, avoid tall grass and wooded areas to steer clear of ticks. Overgrown vegetation can be inviting for fleas and mosquitoes, so keep your lawn and shrubbery trimmed.
Tackle Insect Populations in Your Backyard
If you have active tick, flea, or mosquito populations on your property, this puts your pets—and your family—at risk. Consider calling in the professionals to treat your yard and evict unwanted pests. We at DC Mosquito Squad offer barrier sprays and effective solutions that last up to 21 days. Contact DC Mosquito Squad today!