Winter? What winter? Because it was such a mild one- we are going to see more bugs this year than ever before. The Wayside Waifs Veterinary staff is already treating cases of fleas and ticks. Forecasters are calling for a continued warming trend and that means preparing your pet for the outdoors. Spring is here in full force and summer is creeping up fast! As the foliage continues to green up, shrubbery and undergrowth become denser, and the grass gets longer, another creature shows up for a romp: the flea.
Prevention is the best way to deal with these pesky creatures. Once they get a firm hold of your pet, they’ll end up on carpets, upholstery, bedding–and you. Eradication at that stage is a migraine waiting to happen, so take action now, when fleas are just starting to lay eggs.
If you’ve had flea problems in the past, or your yard has a lot of dense undergrowth, consider a yard application as well as direct prevention on your pet. Concentrated liquid insecticides that you apply with a garden hose work well and are available at hardware stores and home and garden centers. Because the KC metro has a long warm season, two applications will probably be necessary.
In the house, be sure a dog or cat’s bedding is washed in very hot water weekly during flea season. Vacuum frequently and empty vacuum-cleaner bags right away. While this will cut down on fleas taking hold in the house, you’ll need an indoor insecticide if you’ve actually seen fleas on pets or furniture.
Finally, and most important, your dog, cat, or other mammal needs its own flea prevention if spending lots of time outdoors. Recent research has brought up concerns over the safety of over-the-counter topical flea preventatives, which have shown to be toxic in some cases to animals and humans. Veterinarian-prescribed preventatives have fared much better in safety tests and still are considered the best option for direct flea prevention for mammals. But to be safe, consider these factors:
- Products are not interchangeable. Follow directions for species and weight of each pet.
- Administer the product exactly as the manufacturer recommends.
- Ill, pregnant, and elderly pets may be poor candidates for topical flea preventatives.
- Check with your vet before using any chemical product, particularly those available over the counter.
Wayside Waifs also offers a variety of flea and tick treatments for your pet as well. When you purchase these and other pet supplies from Wayside, you are also helping us to save the lives of other abandoned, abused and homeless animals.
Posted by Trish Stinger
Web Marketing Manager at Wayside Waifs