If you suspect that your dog has fleas, there are several ways to check. One way is by using a flea comb. Metal flea combs are best. Prepare a pail of soapy water and keep it by your side. Have your dog lay down, and run the comb through your dog’s coat. Make sure the comb reaches down to the skin. If you see any black specks, it could possibly be flea dirt. If you see fleas on the comb, place the comb in the pail of soapy water and drown those nasty little pests!
Another way to check your dog for fleas is to get a white sheet of paper. Lay it under your dog, and rub your hands across your dog’s fur. If you see black specs, more than likely it is flea dirt.
Next, you must treat your dog. Stay away from those antiquated powders and flea collars that you find in supermarkets. There are several products on the market today that do an excellent job of killing fleas. You can get these products from your vet, or you can purchase these products online:
When purchasing the above products, be sure to verify that these products are for dogs. There are similar versions of these products made especially for cats.
You can avoid flea infestation by vacuuming your home on a regular basis. Be sure to vacuum in corners and around base boards with attachments. Vacuum the areas where your dog sleeps and rests. Wash your dog’s bedding at least once a week in hot water, and hang the bedding outside to dry in the sun, if possible.
Dogs can also suffer from ticks. They feed off of dogs, cats, and other small warm blooded animals. Ticks can be found in tall grass. Dogs love to rest or play in the grass, and ticks attach themselves to any warm blooded host. Ticks can also pass on diseases such as Lyme Disease, and Babesiosis.
Here are some of the most common signs that your dog may have ticks:
He/she seems lethargic, or seems to be depressed.
There is a loss of appetite.
Your dog shows signs of fever.
Arthritis or swelling of joints.
Pain in legs or the body.
If your dog exhibits any of the symptoms above, be sure to contact your vet. Your vet will most likely have you come in for an exam, and will do a blood test. If you see ticks on your dog, do not remove them by hand. Use tweezers, and try to save them to show to your vet.
The best way to avoid ticks is to keep your grass mowed, examine your dog regularly, and use flea control products that repel ticks. If you follow the preceding steps, your pet will remain healthy, and happy. You will be too
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