Don’t you wish fleas and ticks would take a vacation? Unfortunately, these little buggers are here to stay: no retirement, no vacations, not even sick days. If these pests were people, they’d deserve a promotion!
Since fleas and ticks don’t take time off, neither can you when it comes to protecting your pet. In fact, fall is the busiest season for ticks and a favorite time of year for fleas!
Ticks and Fall
Fall is a tick’s favorite season to bite humans and their pets. Why? As the weather cools off (finally), we tend to spend more time outside. We take long walks with our dogs. We enjoy evening tea with our cat in the backyard. And we tend to go on more hikes in wooded areas where ticks hang out.
And it’s not just our fault that ticks seem to tag along more in the fall. They begin feeling chilly this time of year. And until someone knits sweaters small enough, and with enough sleeves for these pesky critters, they’re going to seek warmth by hopping on warm-blooded mammals.
The cold weather also drives tick towards our toasty warm homes. This means just walking your dog in your neighborhood is more likely to result in a tick bite.
What Can You Do to Reduce the Risk of Your Pet Becoming Prey to Ticks?
Ticks carry some painful, dangerous, and disgusting diseases. From Rocky Mountain tick fever to Lyme disease, you don’t want to worry if you find a tick has sunk its teeth into your pet. There are ways to protect your pet and reduce the likelihood of her getting bitten.
1. Keep Your Dog or Cat on Tick Prevention All Year-Round
Prevention is the best route to a healthy tick-free pet. Tick prevention that your dog or cat ingests works from inside out when it comes to tick-borne illness. If a tick latches onto a dog or cat on tick prevention, that tick rapidly gets a dose of poison. This kills the time in time to prevent your pet from catching diseases from the bite.
This also kills the tick in time for it to not make you its next victim.
2. Don’t Let Small Mammals Get a Free Meal Meant for the Birds
If you have bird feeders, it’s a good time to move them further away from your house. Why? If you get rid of the vehicle, you eliminate the hitchhiker.
The seeds birds knock onto the ground become a free meal for mice, rats, squirrels, and other small rodents that may have ticks ready to drop off right outside of your window.
3. Rake Up Fallen Leaves
Ticks like to hide in leaf litter and moist organic material. If you have fallen leaves, rake them up. The last thing you want is your dog, cat, or child walking through a pile of leaves and stirring up hungry ticks.
4. Mow Your Lawn Regularly
Another way to ensure the ticks in your area to make your yard their home is to mow your lawn frequently. This makes it more difficult for ticks to hide and less likely for them to grab onto you or your pet as you walk past.
5. Check Your Pet Before They Come Inside
Finally, there’s the age-old technique of surveying your dog or cat for ticks. These parasites often aim for warm, damp, or hidden areas. So, thoroughly check your pet’s ‘armpits,’ between their toes, in their ears, and on their belly.
If you find a tick, you’ll need tweezers to remove it. Make sure you have a good grasp on it as close to its head as possible. Don’t pinch or squeeze too tight because you want to remove as much of the tick as you can. Leaving the head can often lead to infection.
Contrary to Popular Belief Fleas Often Fail to Flee During Fall
Fleas also enjoy the fall weather. They love the moisture and dampness we experience here. Do you know what else they like? Your dog or cat’s fur coat. Why? It helps them hide better. It also gives them a sense of protection. Often, fleas find their way into the warmth of your home and refuse to leave in autumn.
What Makes Fleas Thrive in Fall?
- Fleas can live in temperatures down into the 30s.
- Small mammals that carry fleas come closer to homes as the temperatures drop and they bring their fleas with them.
- Fleas can enter your home and reproduce just as rapidly as they would if it were spring or summer.
Luckily, there are some ways to reduce your pet’s exposure to fleas and prevent fleas from infesting your house. And these techniques overlap with your tick checklist:
- Remove leaf litter and organic waste from your yard
- Use a prescription flea prevention
- Don’t let your dog or cat run free near where rodents and small mammals travel
Don’t Make Fall A Flea and Tick Fest
If you need to refill your pet’s flea and tick prevention, make an appointment. Don’t give these bugs a fighting chance to ruin the cool weather and beauty of Grantsburg and surrounding areas for you this fall. When it comes to bugs, prevention will save you time, money, and headaches. Protect your home by arming your pet with the right prevention.
Image Credit: Pixabay
September is Animal Pain Awareness Month! And for most pet parents, this doesn’t mean much. Their dog, cat, rabbit, or other pet seems to get along just fine. But we want to take the time to pay special attention to the hidden pains some pets face.
When we think of pain, we often think about broken bones, cuts, scrapes, and bruises. These are all forms of acute pain. But when it comes to our pets, it’s helpful to be aware of chronic pain. Chronic pain is sharp or dull pain that recurs or persists over a longer period of time.
Chronic pain is ultimately more complex because it can increase gradually and it doesn’t always have physical, apparent evidence like bruises, bumps, and cuts. Chronic pain also ebbs in severity. Often pet parents think their pet feels better just to find the same pet limping, again, a week later.
Our Pets and Pain
Our pets can mask chronic pain. And from time to time, owners aren’t aware that their sweet pet isn’t sleeping well, has trouble getting up from their bed. Sometimes chronic pain looks more like reluctance or old age. For example, a pet may want to participate and play, but they hold back due to pain. Why? Their pain slows them down or makes them withdrawal more despite the desire to engage.
What Causes Pets Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain can come in many forms and the causes can be just as varied. The most common forms of chronic pain include:
- Joint pain
- Dental pain
- Digestive pain
- Skin irritation and rash
- Urinary infection and issues
- Skeletal issues like spinal disk slips
- Post-surgical pain
- Nerve pain
- Virus related disease
Many causes of chronic pain are invisible to the untrained eye. Dental disease and discomfort can go unnoticed for weeks, months, and even years, but the throbbing discomfort often comes to light when a pet stops eating or loses a tooth. And the gradual onset of arthritis, cancer, and nerve pain hides within its slow progression. In other words, dogs don't wake up one day suffering from arthritis.
This is why we dedicated this time to chronic pain. We want you to participate in a meaningful way. How can you do that?
How You Can Participate In Animal Pain Awareness Month
Take a moment and evaluate your pet for signs of chronic pain. You see your pet every day. But how often do you take a moment to check for skin irritation or inflamed gums? Here are some basic checks you can knock out in a matter of thirty minutes or less or a few minutes daily for the next week or so.
- Does your pet limp?
- Does she seem to walk more slowly than she used to?
- Does she seem to hesitate before or while standing up?
- Do her muscles shake or does she seem weak?
- Has she slowed down significantly over the past year?
- Does your pet pause before jumping?
- Does she lag behind on walks?
- Does she jump or get excited then seem to change her mind?
- Does your pet have any broken teeth?
- Does your pet have swollen or red gums?
- How much plaque or buildup is clinging to her teeth?
- Are her teeth discolored?
- Does your pet seem to have trouble getting comfy?
- Does she get up and pace or reposition herself?
- Does she wake frequently?
- Does your pet strain to urinate?
- Is her urine dark, discolored, or show a presence of blood?
- Does your pet throw up or experience diarrhea often?
- Does your cat cry out while urinating or seem to avoid her litter box?
- Does your pet seem more reclusive or aggressive?
- Did her temper seem to shorter?
- Does your pet seem to spend too much time sleeping?
Pain Management for Pets
Don’t let chronic pain rain on your pet’s joy. We can help your pet cope with and even overcome chronic pain to restore a better quality of life. If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, it’s a good idea to bring your pet by for an exam.
We can look in those ears to see if she’s scratching herself raw from allergies, mites, or yeast infection. We are also happy to peer deep into your dog’s mouth to assess those chompers that might make eating a painful experience.
Joint discomfort and arthritis can often be treated with NSAIDs and a diet. A quality bed can also help your pet sleep better.
But the most beneficial thing you can do for your beloved pet is to identify the source of her pain.
Let’s work together to say “Good-bye!” to chronic pain for pets. Give us a call today to give your pet the opportunity for less pain.
Image Credit: Pixabay