Happy Spring! Can you believe that spring has officially begun? Time for spring cleaning, changing the batteries in the smoke alarms, and time to start thinking about spending some more time outdoors. Depending on where you live, this means that our furry family members will be outside more and will be exposed to those pesky fleas and ticks. Fortunately, as a responsible pet parent, you are going to be proactive about their protection.
As you may know, there are A LOT of flea and tick products out there. Your veterinarian and the veterinary team are your best resource in determining which product is the best for your particular needs. They can also help you make sure that the product is labeled for use in dogs or cats and that it is the right strength based on your pets weight and age.
If you are going to use a topical product, be sure to follow the label directions carefully. Your veterinary team can also help show you how to apply these if you’ve never used them before. Be sure to wash your hands after applying and don’t let children or other pets play with the pet until the product has been completely absorbed and the area is dry. If you have multiple pets in the house, it may be easiest to treat them all at once and then put them all is separate rooms until the medication is absorbed into the skin.
If you live in a house with both dogs and cats, you may think that you can use the same flea and tick products for both. DON’T! Cats are actually very sensitive to many of the medications that are used in dog flea and tick products so if you use a dog product on a cat, you can make them VERY sick (these intoxications can sometimes even be fatal).
The flea and tick products that are prescribed by a veterinarian have been extensively tested for safety and efficacy. Sometimes however, an individual animal can have an unexpected response. If you are using a flea and tick product for the first time on your pet, be sure to keep an eye on them for a few hours following application. If you see any vomiting, lethargy, difficulty walking, etc., call your veterinarian right away for advice and bathe your pet with warm water and soap to remove any residual product.
Using flea and tick preventives not only protects our pets against rashes, itching, and hair loss but they are also critical in protecting our furry family members against life-threatening infections that are transmitted by these pests. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian today to ensure that your pet is protected.