Summer’s here and the time is right—for ticks and fleas! Our canine companions’ warm bodies and soft fur are magnets for these pesky pests, which are not just a nuisance but a real health threat. Once fleas and ticks take up residence and begin feeding on a dog’s blood, they can cause a range of problems, from flea allergy dermatitis (a skin infection) to tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease.
Fortunately, many types of flea and tick medications are available to stop these creepy critters from making a home on your dog. The active chemicals in the products vary, work in different ways, and may target one insect or the other. So depending on the treatment, 2 preventives may be needed for complete protection. Ask your veterinarian about which meds are best for your dog and follow all dosing instructions. Don’t use any products meant for humans on your pooch. Also, avoid homemade remedies, such as essential oil mixtures, as there’s little evidence they provide reliable protection, and there’s a chance these anti-flea or anti-tick concoctions could harm your pet.