Keeping Your Pooch Free From Pests
by Katlyn Hibbert
Fleas are one of the most common pests dogs face. There are over 2,000 species of fleas and they can consume up to 15 times their body weight in blood each day. Understanding how fleas survive is essential in being able to keep your dog free of them. Fleas can jump almost 1,000 feet if they were scaled up to human size, so other pets with fleas need to be kept away from your dog and treated promptly to reduce the risk of them spreading. A dog free from pests is a happy dog that will look and feels its best, which is particularly important for competing dogs.
Bathe them regularly
Dogs should be bathed at least once every three months, but no more than weekly as it can disrupt their skin and fur’s natural oils that are necessary to keep them healthy. Not only can you bathe them with a shampoo that will deter fleas, but you can also give them a thorough check over for any pests. Fleas and ticks will draw a dog’s blood, so any cuts or wounds on your pet will make your dog an easy target. Make sure these are clean and regularly checked while they’re healing. Dogs that have wrinkles, such as on bulldogs and similar breeds, should have their skin folds checked regularly as not only do these need cleaning too, but pests can hide in them.
Keeps your dogs indoors when certain pests are more likely to be about, such as mosquitoes which are most active first thing in the morning and early evening, after sunset. Ticks will live in long grass, including the edges of garden lawns, so keep dogs out of long grass and make sure your own lawn is well maintained. Sadly, fleas will be active throughout the entire day, mostly during summer months. The best way to prevent fleas, ticks and worms is with preventative treatments, such as tablets and spot-on medications.
Keep beds and carpets clean
Fleas and other common pests can live on surfaces that your dog may come into contact with, like their beds, blankets, and the carpet that they enjoy rolling around on. Regularly vacuum floors and wash and air beds to ensure nothing is lingering on them. If your dog sits on your bed and couch it’s a good idea to vacuum these too, wash the covers and consider putting a blanket on them that can be easily washed. Don’t forget places outside of the home too, like their kennel in the garden, as this also needs to be regularly cleaned.
If you have a pet with fleas or other pests, keep them away from other pets until they’ve been treated. Preventative measures are best, but you should still regularly check your dog over to look for any pests. Make sure treatment is prompt as dogs can be allergic to pests and become very irritated and sore.