The Pet Lover Chronicles: "Pet" Peeves and Flea Prevention

We all have pet peeves - the slow driver talking on a mobile phone in fast traffic, the telemarketer calling during dinnertime, the shopper with more than 50 coupons in front of you at the checkout line. These are just some of the seemingly petty annoyances in life that almost everyone has experienced at one time or another. But have you ever thought about "pet" peeves; those little things that irritate our dearest pets?

The littlest things, literally speaking, can have some major negative effects on our pet. These little things are called fleas. As little as they are, they bring with them a multitude of health problems for you and your pet. Flea bites cause certain diseases such as:

  • Pruritus
  • Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)
  • Tapeworm (Dipylidium caninum)
  • Anemia

Of course, with fleas come their friends, the ticks. So to add to the list above, you and your pet may also contract:

  • Lyme disease
  • Human granulocytic and monocytic ehrlichiosis
  • Babesiosis
  • Relapsing fever
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Colorado tick fever
  • Tularemia
  • Q fever
  • Tick paralysis

Now if that list isn’t long enough to convince you of the perils of tick and flea infestation, I don’t know what is. The good thing is there are ways to prevent it. If you genuinely care for your pet, and for yourself, you will take the time and effort to read and understand what follows.

Prevention is the best cure; it’s no different when it comes to tick and flea infestation. It’s best to attack them first while they are small in number or not give them the chance to attack at all. There are various products available that can help you with your tick and flea problems and it’s best to be aware of them for you and your pet’s sake.

Flea Combs: Often thought as a mere grooming tool, the effectivity of using flea combs has always been overlooked by most pet owners. Using flea combs is best for ill, pregnant or infant pets since they are completely non-toxic. Combing also stimulates bloodflow and presents an opportunity for you and your pet to spend some quality time together. One of the drawbacks in using a flea comb is the time it consumes; it will take a considerable amount of time to thoroughly comb out fleas and ticks off your pet. Your pet will surely appreciate the extra attention, though.

Sprays: When using a spray, you do not have to bathe your pet with it, just be sure to cover all the bases. Spray all parts of your pet’s body and make sure that you do not get any of these products in the eyes - spray a small amount on a cotton ball and apply the product around your pet’s eyes and ears. Check the product label for directions on how often to use it.

Shampoos: Flea and tick shampoos help rid your pet of fleas and ticks already on it. Some have residual activity and continue to have an effect even after application. Check the product label to be sure. The proper use of a flea shampoo should be to work the shampoo in over your pet’s entire body and then leave it on for at least 10 minutes before rinsing off. Prevent your dog from licking itself while waiting. Again, remember to protect the eyes and ears.

Collars: With proper use, flea collars can be very effective. The right snugness should only allow two of your fingers between the collar and your pet’s neck. If you see any irritation, you may need to use another brand or product.

Oral Products: Products which contain insect development inhibitors are available as oral medication for dogs and cats. In the form of tablets, these are only given once a month.

Next on The Pet Lover Chronicles: Natural Flea & Tick Prevention For Felines