A staggering 2,200 species — that’s the number of known flea species in the world.
There are also the 865 species of ticks worldwide, 80 of which live in the United States.
Let’s not forget worms, including the potentially deadly heartworm. There are also many species of hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms.
These parasites affect not only humans but also animals, including household pets. In dogs, parasite infestation and worm infection can cause tragic outcomes.
This is why you should know the best methods for flea, tick, and heartworm prevention for dogs. Besides, it’s easier to protect dogs from these parasites than to get rid of these pests.
Ready to protect Fido and your entire family from the health hazards of dog parasites? Then let’s dive right into it!
The Dangers of Fleas, Ticks, and Heartworms in Dogs
Be it fleas, ticks, or worms, you don’t want any of these in your dogs and your home. They are a serious health hazard in dogs, but they could also be dangerous to humans.
Fleas are blood-sucking parasites that can cause more than just anemia in dogs. Their “bites” could be very itchy and irritating, and not only on dogs but humans too. Constant scratching can lead to skin diseases and infections.
Worse, fleas can transmit tapeworms into canines and humans.
Like fleas, ticks are also blood-sucking parasites in dogs that can also affect humans. They also transmit many types of diseases, including Lyme disease, babesiosis, and ehrlichiosis. Ticks are also the culprit behind the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Heartworm is a specific type of roundworm known as “D immitis”. In dogs, these parasites cause the “heartworm disease”. It’s a deadly condition that causes blocked pulmonary arteries and severe weight loss.
As you can see, these parasites could leave more than just itchy bites on your pet and your skin. That’s why protecting your furry family members from these pests should be a top priority.
Get Your Pet on a Medicated Flea, Tick, and Worm Prevention Program
A combination of medicated treatments prevents fleas, ticks, and worms in dogs. Some of the best medication-based preventative programs even protect against mosquitoes.
Combination parasites medications come in tablets and topical applications. What’s great about them is their multi-action effects administered in a single dose. This means that your pets can enjoy multi-layered protection with a single visit to the vet.
All of these provide flea, tick, and heartworm protection. However, there are others that go the extra mile and also kill many other species of worms. These include hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms.
Talk to the veterinarian about getting this multi-protection program for your dog. Since these are potent medications, some will require a vet’s prescription.
Identify Your Dog and Keep Fleas and Ticks Away With a Flea Collar
A flea collar is an affordable yet proven effective way to keep these dog parasites at bay. Be sure to look for a collar that contains imidacloprid/flumethrin. While these are insecticides, studies confirm that they are safe for dogs and cats.
Moreover, researchers found these to be up to 100% effective in preventing fleas and ticks in dogs. Moreover, these effects lasted for up to eight months.
Another study found that such collars are 95% effective against fleas and flea eggs in the first 24 hours. Within an eight-month period, their efficacy further improved to over 99%. The scientists also found 100% effectiveness against ticks and mites for eight months.
Since flea collars are still collars, then they’re still a way to identify your furry pal. Plus, you’ll find these in a variety of designs and sizes, so you can make sure your dog will stay comfy while wearing it.
Give Your Furry Pals Regular Baths
Regular bathing with antiparasitic shampoo will kill fleas and ticks on contact. The medication in the shampoo also works to make your pets less attractive to pests. Regular baths also keep your dog’s coat and skin clean, which helps keep skin infections at bay.
How often to give your canine pals a bath depends on their breed, their coat, and their lifestyle. In most cases, the shorter the hair, the less frequent they need bathing. However, experts say that hairless breeds like the Chinese Crested need more care.
Dogs with medium to long coats should take a bath at least every month. For the rest, the recommendation is at least once every three months.
If your dog leads an active lifestyle though, more frequent baths are in order. Especially after playing at the dog park, in wooded or grassy areas, or at the beach. These are some of the top places where fleas and ticks love to congregate.
Comb Out Those Parasites While Also Preventing Tangles
A flea comb has very fine teeth that collect fleas, flea larvae, and even flea dirt. It also helps unravel tangles, but make sure you use a wider-spaced comb first for bigger locks. If possible, use this special grooming tool at least once a week or right after your dog played outdoors.
Follow These Top Tips for Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Prevention for Dogs Now
There you go, your ultimate guide on the best methods for flea, tick, and heartworm prevention for dogs. You no doubt want to prevent infestations, as this also helps keep parasite illnesses at bay. Moreover, infestations won’t only affect your dog — fleas and ticks can also jump on and bite you.
Parasite infestations are also difficult to get rid of without professional pest control. That’s why you shouldn’t let these hitch a ride on your furry pals in the first place. The earlier you follow these preventative tips, the better for you, your family, and your pets.
Ready for more health and safety tips for your beloved canine pals? Then be sure to check out the rest of the posts filed under this site’s Health section!