Keeping Fido Free from Fleas, Ticks and Heartworms
By Camp Bow Wow
Few things are as comforting as a couch cuddle with your furry family member. Many pup parents even let Fido snuggle into their bed. But beware – spring’s warm weather provides the perfect breeding ground for creepy crawly critters. Every time your pup steps into the great outdoors, there’s a chance he could pick up some unpleasant hitchhikers in his fluffy fur. Even if your dog never leaves your property, pests can still be carried to your yard by other animals. And heartworm is transmitted by mosquitos, which are nearly impossible to avoid.
Not only are ticks and fleas uncomfortable for you and your pup, they can harbor diseases like Lyme, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichiosis and spread them to canine and human companions. Don’t wait until you see Fido scratching. Once the proverbial cat is out of the bag, you’ll be forced to undergo a thorough pest eradication project not only of your pup, but your entire home – washing bedding, cleaning carpets, and treating your yard.
It is far less costly in time and expense to prevent the problem before it starts. Preventive treatments minimize the risks of your dog’s contact with parasites in advance. You can select from pills, chews, sprays, topical solutions or shampoos. Talk with your veterinarian about the many products recommended to dissuade any pests from taking up residence on your pup, as some require a prescription. You’ll want to consider longevity, frequency of reapplication and active ingredients as you make your decision about what’s best for your furry family member.
In March 2023, The Spruce Pet website published a list of their Top 8 pest prevention favorites.
Best Overall: Simparica Chewables for Dogs – noted for its wide range of doses and cutting edge antiparasitic ingredients proven effective against a variety of ticks.
Best Non-Prescription: Frontline Plus for Dogs Flea & Tick Spot Treatment – a topical liquid squeezed on the skin between your pup’s shoulders. The upside – no prescription is required.
Best for Puppies: NexGard Soft Chew for Dogs – Works for puppies as young as eight weeks.
Best Shampoo: Adams Plus Flea & Tick with Precor – Combines tick-killing ingredients with itch- soothing ingredients. Effective for killing fleas, but perhaps not as prevention.
Best for Worms: Simparica Trio Chews for Dogs – While you are preventing fleas and ticks, don’t forget heartworms. This chew covers all bases.
Best Area Treatment: Harris Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth - Diatomaceous earth kills pests by dehydrating them. The powder can be spread anywhere to form an anti-parasite border and is chemical free.
Best Natural: TropiClean Maximum Strength Natural Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo – excellent choice for dogs with sensitive skin. It repels critters as you bathe your pup.
Best Collar: Seresto Flea & Tick Collar for Dogs – Flea collars are easy to use, effective and don’t require a prescription.
As any pet owner who has ever been unpleasantly surprised by a furry family member’s pest outbreak, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Be vigilant with Fido’s prevention and enjoy a happier summer season.