Fleas and ticks on dogs can be a real problem. They can cause a variety of health problems like Lyme disease, tapeworms, anemia, and more. This is why it is so important to take a proactive approach and actively work to prevent infestations whenever possible.
For dogs that are already infected, there are several treatment options available as well. This article is going to explore the most popular ways to prevent and control fleas and ticks on dogs.
5 Ways to Treat Ticks on Dogs
1. Medicated Shampoos
One of the easiest ways to treat fleas and ticks on dogs is medicated shampoos. These shampoos contain special pesticidal ingredients that are useful for killing these pests on contact. The most common types of ingredients that are used are Pyrethroids.
It is important that you prevent the wastewater from reaching lakes or streams. Pyrethroids are often very toxic to fish and can harm the environment if the water is not disposed of correctly. To use medicated shampoos effectively, work up a good lather on your dog and make sure the shampoo stays on for the required amount of time.
There are many commercial powders available that are ideal for treating ticks on dogs. These powders use the same pesticide ingredients as the medicated shampoos mentioned earlier. Powders often provide a very inexpensive solution for ticks and fleas.
Unfortunately, powders can be quite messy. For those with allergies, this treatment option may not be ideal. Also, you need to be very cautious when applying these treatments. It is very easy to apply too much if you are not careful.
Dips are another treatment option that is ideal for killing fleas and ticks on dogs. They contain pesticides in a much stronger concentration than medicated shampoos. They are applied to your dog’s coat in much the same way as shampoos.
The key difference between the two treatments is that dips are left on your dog to dry. Shampoos are rinsed off. The benefit to this is that dips provide a much more effective killing solution. They also provide longer lasting results. Unfortunately, the presence of this pesticide product remaining in your dog’s coat may be cause for concern for those with small children.
Sprays are another great way to effectively treat fleas on dogs. The advantage of these products is that they are easily applied and dry fairly rapidly. To get the best results, try ruffling your dog’s coat to expose the underlying skin.
You want to be sure the spray coats the skin as much as possible. Most of these products kill on contact and require good surface exposure to be effective. Many of these products also include insect growth regulators that are designed to break the lifecycle of fleas and ticks.
5. Removal with Tweezers
The last effective way to remove ticks from dogs is removal with tweezers. This method is time-consuming. However, it is very effective when done correctly. When petting or brushing your dog, pay special attention to the feeling of their coat. Ticks are usually identified as a small lump on the skin.
Once you have found one, take tweezers and carefully grasp the tick by its head. You can then remove it by gently twisting the tick clockwise. Remember, you want to remove the whole body and head of the tick from your dog. This is why it is so important to grasp the tick by its head instead of the body.
3 Effective Ways To Prevent Tick Reinfestation
1. Topical Treatments
Topical treatments remain one of the most effective ways to prevent tick infestation on your dog. These products are generally applied between the front shoulder blades on your dog. For larger breeds, the directions often recommend applying the treatment further along the spine as well.
Some of the most well-known brands include Frontline and Advantage. These products usually contain a growth inhibitor that is designed to break both flea and tick life cycles. They are generally applied once a month. This makes them one of the most simple and effective tick and flea prevention methods available.
2. Treated Collars
Specially treated collars can also provide some protection from ticks and fleas. These collars use a special pesticide compound that kills on contact as fleas and ticks move underneath the collar. There are many collars available that also contain growth inhibitors that provide a complete prevention solution.
However, these collars to have a few drawbacks. For those with small children, the collars can pose a safety concern since children can easily touch them and then get the residue in their mouths. Also, their effectiveness is limited to a very small area on your dog’s body. This is why many people opt for topical treatments instead.
3. Environmental Treatments
One of the last methods to help prevent ticks and fleas is environmental treatments. There are many products available that are suitable for use on your landscaping and other outdoor areas. By preventing fleas and ticks from developing in your yard, you can stop the problem before it even reaches your dog.
It is important to pay special attention to the manufacturer’s directions when using these products. The reapplication times vary from product to product and can be impacted by things like recent rainfall.
Remember, fleas and ticks on dogs can cause a wide variety of health problems. Fortunately, you can use the treatment and prevention methods outlined in this article to ensure your dog remains flea and tick free regardless of the season.
Feel free to try out some of these methods and let us know what you think. If there is a product that you would like to recommend, we would love for you to tell us about it as well.
How Do You Remove a Tick from a Dog?
Ticks can be creepy and can transmit diseases. Whatever tool you use to repel ticks, if your dog runs around wooden places, he will still likely pick up ticks. Tick removal is a vital part of tick-borne disease prevention.
When your dog has ticks, they should be removed at least 24 to 36 hours after a bite. If your dog is out in places where he can get ticks, a regular check-up is needed. Check your dog for ticks especially in places such as ears, groin, eyelids, tail, and toes.
To remove ticks, use tweezers. Separate your dog’s hair where the tick is located. Position the tweezers around the tick. Do not jerk or twist the tick. Pull the tick upwards and add pressure until you successfully pull the tick from your dog’s skin. Clean your hands and the bite area with water, soap, iodine, and rubbing alcohol. Flush the tick down the toilet.
Can a Tick Go All the Way Under the Skin?
Ticks are not the usual type to bury themselves totally under the skin. Ticks attach to the skin as they draw out the blood. It is likely that they bury themselves completely if they get into an open wound. Ticks attach themselves by coming into contact with the skin, which usually happens once you go to wooded areas or grassy places. They crawl across the dog’s body until they get into a warm, moist part.
What Are Fleas and Ticks?
Fleas and ticks both cause health issues and can be treated in similar ways, however, there are some key differences between the two.
Fleas are wingless insects that have six legs. Their hosts usually include cats, dogs, raccoons, foxes, opossums, and coyotes. Adult fleas have a lifespan of greater than 100 days. Fleas thrive on a single host. Once they have a host, they tend to live and die there. Only adult fleas feed on their host. For many weeks, fleas lay around 20 to 40 eggs per day. They begin laying eggs after they start their feeding. The dogs shed the eggs whenever they roam around.
Ticks are closely associated with spiders. They are arachnids and have eight legs. Ticks have more hosts than fleas. Among their hosts are foxes, deer, snakes, lizards, birds, rodents, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, opossums, humans, dogs, cats, and cattle. Some ticks take only a few weeks to complete their life cycle while others take up to three years. Ticks lay thousands of eggs at once and die after.
How Do I Prevent Ticks?
There are various approaches you can use to get rid of and prevent ticks on dogs. The first way to prevent ticks is to use an over the counter medication that you can purchase from a pet store, from your veterinarian, or even online. These medications are very effective at preventing ticks.
The use of pills once a month works best to prevent immature fleas and ticks. These pills work best in disrupting the life cycle of ticks. They are easy to administer as well. Bathing your canine with a shampoo can also kill ticks. The use of shampoos is a very inexpensive method, however, it can be labor-intensive. There are also tick collars available in the market. These collars repel the ticks.
How Do I Prevent Fleas?
Despite the many attempts to reduce the fleas in your lawn, pets can still be potential hosts to these parasites. To prevent fleas, it is essential to have a flea control product in your household. Tropical products are also beneficial in preventing fleas. The key to preventing fleas is consistency. Do not miss a single dose of your monthly flea control.