(Welcome to the weekly pet column of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla, N.Y. A new article is posted each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)
Although many in the northeast welcomed this year’s mild winter, it will cause an early and intense flea and tick season, according to regional entomologists. What’s more, the CDC expects cases of Lyme disease to increase tenfold this year.
Pet parents in New England, New York and New Jersey need to act now to protect their pets from tick- and flea-borne illnesses. Regular use of a parasite control product is essential says Traci Simo of Canine Company, the at-home pet services provider. “If you aren’t already applying a control product to your pet, it’s important to start immediately.”
A regular grooming routine also helps in parasite control, notes Simo. “Fleas and ticks are small and one of the best ways to find them is to regularly brush and bath your pet.” She recommends the following:
1. Start with a thorough brushing. You may want to do this outdoors during shedding season. As you work, feel your pet’s body for any “bumps” that might be ticks. Also look for small fast-moving dark specks, a sign of fleas.
2. Give your pet a deep massaging shampoo, followed by a conditioning rinse. It’s often easier to see your pet’s skin when his coat is wet, so examine closely for both fleas and ticks.
3. If you find a tick during the brushing or bathing process, carefully remove it with a tick remover. Save it in a container with isopropyl alcohol so your vet can test it if your pet becomes ill. Put antiseptic on the bite spot on your pet’s skin.
4. If you find fleas, call a professional groomer or vet right away for a flea treatment. You’ll also need to deep clean all carpets, couches and bedding your dog has used. It may take multiple treatments for both your dog and home to get rid of all the eggs and larvae.
5. Get into the habit of applying a flea and tick treatment like Frontline or Sentry Natural Defense monthly. If you’ve just bathed your pet, be sure his coat is completely dry before application.
Canine Company provides at-home pet care products and services that help people keep their dogs and cats healthy, safe and happy. Offerings include Invisible Fence brand pet containment systems, Manners dog obedience training, as well as mobile pet grooming and pet visiting services in select markets.
(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)