This post is part 2 of a 3-part series to help you keep your dog happy and healthy this spring.
In the first post of this series we looked at some of the most common symptoms of seasonal allergies in dogs and gave you some tips for preventing and treating them.
In today's post we'll take a look at another problem that can affect our four-legged friends at this time of year – flea and tick bites.
The higher temperatures and increased humidity during spring and summer provide ideal conditions for fleas and ticks to multiply and thrive.
Bites from these stubborn pests can cause skin irritation and extreme itchiness. But did you know that they can also lead to more serious conditions including tapeworms, anemia, and Lyme disease?
That's right. Fleas and ticks host all kinds of nasty viruses, parasites, and bacteria that can seriously jeopardize your pup's health.
So, what can you do to naturally protect your dog against fleas and ticks this season? Keep on reading for our top tips...
Troubleshoot Your Yard
The first step in the fight against fleas and ticks is to prevent them from hiding out in your yard. Untidy yards can harbor pests, and keeping things clean will help prevent an infestation.
Mow long grass and trim back areas of overgrown vegetation. It's also important to remove any other obvious hiding places such as piles of wood or grass cuttings.
After eliminating hiding places, use a natural pest repellent to treat your yard.
Diatomaceous earth is a natural, non-toxic substance made from fossilized algae that causes pests and their larvae to dehydrate and die. It's available as a powder and can be sprinkled around the yard to control pests.
Beneficial nematodes are microscopic roundworms that are natural predators of fleas and ticks. They live in soil and can be easily applied to your yard with a lawn sprayer to control the pest population. Unlike chemical pesticides, beneficial nematodes are perfectly safe for both pets and people.
Keep Your House Clean
After troubleshooting your yard, it's time to turn your attention to the inside of your house. The first thing to do is de-clutter your home. Remember, pests love hiding places – so don't make it easy on them!
The more clutter you have in your home, the more places there are for fleas and ticks to hide. Common hiding places for pests include piles of dirty laundry and stacks of old newspapers, so make sure your home is as tidy as possible.
Fleas and ticks also like to hide out in carpets, furniture, bedding, and other areas where they are easily concealed. That's why it's so important to regularly vacuum carpets and furnishings and keep bedding clean and laundered.
Bathe Your Dog Regularly and Use Natural Pest Repellents
Bathing your dog will kill the majority of pests on their skin and fur. Use a flea comb to remove any remaining fleas. If you spot a tick, carefully remove it using tweezers or a tick removal tool.
After bathing your dog, apply a natural pest repellent to keep fleas and ticks at bay. Essential oils such as lemongrass oil, cedar oil, and peppermint oil have anti-parasitic properties and can be used to naturally repel fleas and ticks.
Essential oils should be diluted with water and sprayed directly onto your dog's fur. Always use sparingly, taking care to avoid your dog's face.
That's it for today's post. We hope you've enjoyed reading. Remember, there are lots of natural and commercial treatments available to prevent and eliminate fleas and ticks. If you need more advice, we recommend talking to your veterinarian.
Don't forget to check back next week for the third post in this series, 5 Spring Activities to Enjoy with Your Dog. See you then!