Our dogs are many wonderful things, but they could seldom be called careful or neat. You probably know there’s no greater joy than letting your canine friend go out and chase their way around a field, and it’s simply something dogs naturally do—they run, jump, and roll in the grass just for the sake of fun. Unfortunately, as fun as it may be for them at the moment, it becomes a lot less entertaining once they come back to your side full of fleas and ticks that make their skin itch and can actually cause a lot of harm. Does your best buddy frequently get himself into these kinds of troubles? Then it’s a good idea to prepare a few strategies that will help you get rid of these nasty critters, and we’re here to help. If you want to find out what you can do, just keep on reading.
Make an apple cider vinegar solution
Apple cider vinegar is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and a lot of owners immediately turn to this remedy if their furry friend gets a flea or tick infestation. It’s usually well-tolerated by animals, but you’ll need to dilute it with lukewarm water to avoid causing any irritations. Get a bunch of treats ready, and start this process either outside, or in the bathtub. You want to completely saturate your dog’s fur with the solution and allow it to sit for ten minutes and it would be preferable to keep your pup as still as possible. Avoid soaking their ears and face, and let the cider do its magic—it should repel fleas pretty quickly. Now you can move on to the next step.
Use a flea comb
We’ll warn you right away—dogs usually don’t like these combs, particularly if they have long fur, but they can be quite effective at ridding them of fleas. Once you soak your buddy with apple cider vinegar, it’s time to comb through their fur thoroughly and you’ll get all those stubborn fleas out. Wash off the comb each time you collect a few critters on it. It’s possible that this will be a long process, depending on the size of your dog, and the length of their fur.
Learn how to check for ticks
Incidentally, this is also a good opportunity to check your canine friend for ticks because they’re easier to detect when the fur is wet. Run your hands over their body and see if you can feel any bumps. Check the bumps carefully, and if you discover a tick, use tweezers to remove it slowly and carefully. Do not twist or squish as you extract!
Find specialized products for ticks and fleas
Certain products can be of great help, and you can find most of them at the pet store. Some of the best are generally Bravecto or similar chews that contain fluralaner, an active ingredient that can be used to keep a tick or flea infestation under control for up to 12 weeks. When applying this kind of protection, you should pay special attention to the weight and size of your pet. For example, if your dog weighs between 20-40 kg, you should give them special Bravecto for a large dog. Besides this, you can also find special shampoos, sprays, and powders that can be used for the same purpose. If you get a shampoo, you can always combine it with the apple cider vinegar remedy. Bathe your dog a little more often during the peak season and it can help you keep them safe.
Get them a repellent collar
Repellent collars can also be really useful, but you’ll need to buy several of them because their potency tends to decrease with time. They often have an unpleasant smell, so bear that in mind when you go to the shop. Some people also like to make their own repellent collars by using essential oils. Basically, all you need are a few drops of lavender oil mixed in with a teaspoon of water. Spread this over the collar and put it on your dog. Do be careful, though — not all dogs react well to essential oils, and you should generally be careful when you use them.
Careful with powdered products
Another type of product that’s often used to repel ticks and fleas are powders, and they are usually used topically. While they can be quite effective, you want to make sure your dog doesn’t lick them away and that you don’t use too much product and risk having them inhale it. It’s not very good for their (or your) lungs. Powders are also handy when used on your pup’s bedding. Spread a small amount of it on the place they sleep and it can benefit them.
Clean your house and backyard
The cleaner your home is, the less chance will ticks and fleas have to spread in the area. Clean and dog-proof your house and your backyard, and make sure to wash your dog’s bedding often during the peak season. If you think you still have a problem, look into getting a spray or granular solution that you can spread over the yard to repel nasty infestations.
When to see a vet
A rash, red swelling, or any other changes on your dog’s skin could be cause for concern, but you also want to pay attention to their mood. Are they mopey and refuse to eat? Do they sleep all day? It’s possible they might be feeling ill. Take your best friend to the vet as soon as possible.
Keep your dog safe and pest-free with these tips, and enjoy your long walks in nature!