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Spring is a great time to take a nature walk with your furry friend — but be careful! Since May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, we thought we’d share some great ways to prevent your pup from getting ticks (or fleas) while experiencing the great outdoors.
- Topical Prevention: Over the counter spot medication is an effective way to control flea and tick outbreaks. This form of prevention can work for months at a time. However, you must be very careful to choose the appropriate dosage for your pet. Be sure to read labels carefully and when in doubt, consult your veterinarian.
- Oral Prevention: There are a number of once-a-month flea and tick prevention pills readily available for dogs. This type of medication can kill immature fleas and ticks, as well as disrupt the life-cycle of mature pests. Unlike topical treatments, the benefit of an oral treatment is that you won’t have to worry about keeping small children and other pets away from your pup immediately after administering the medicine.
- Flea & Tick Collars: Another option for prevention is to purchase a flea and tick collar. These products make contact with the neck and transfer the chemicals onto your dog’s fur and skin. If you decide to utilize a collar, be sure it is snug enough to make contact with the neck but loose enough to fit two fingers under it.
- Treat Your Lawn: Looking to go with an all natural approach to flea and tick prevention? Strategic landscaping can work wonders. Regularly trim your trees, bushes, and grass to reduce the population of pests in your yard. If you want to take it one step further, have your yard sprayed with pesticides — just make sure to keep Fido off the grass for a few days. These options will keep your pet flea, tick, AND chemical free for the season.
- Avoid Wooded Areas on Walks: This one’s a no-brainer. Don’t stray off the beaten path when you walk your dog. Wooded areas are a breeding ground for fleas and ticks.
- Examine Your Pup When He Comes Inside: If you do happen to wander into an area that looks like it’s probably a tick’s backyard, be sure to thoroughly check your dog’s coat when you get home.
Be sure to consult your veterinarian before starting your dog on a tick prevention regimen. If you think your pet has been bitten by a tick call the expert veterinarians at Upper East Side Animal Hospital immediately.
For more information on our veterinary services, call us at 212-396-3020 or submit a request to speak with a vet online.