Friday, May 1, 2015

Protecting Your Dog Against Fleas and Ticks

After a long and grueling winter, spring is finally in the air in Western New York. I can now take my dogs for a walk without having to bundle them up in sweaters. Brody, Suzy, Mandy and Otis can play outside and freely romp around in the grass. However, along with the nice weather comes the responsibility of treating my dogs for fleas and ticks.

Treating Your Dog With Flea Medicine:

There is no need to be alarmed, treating dogs for fleas is not a hard task. It only takes a few minutes to apply the liquid medicine on a dog's skin once a month. 

To apply the flea medicine to your dog, squeeze the majority of the liquid in between their shoulders. You can apply the rest of it further down their back. Make sure the medicine soaks into their skin and doesn't rest on the top of their fur. For best results, don't pet your dog until the liquid has dried.

I recommend using K9 Advantix or FRONTLINE products. K9 Advantix products kill and protect against fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, flies and lice. The product can only be used on dogs. FRONTLINE products kill and protect against fleas, ticks and lice. The product can be used on both dogs and cats.

I prefer K9 Advantix because it protects against more insects than FRONTLINE. Six treatments come inside one box. 
The flea treatment tubes look like this.

These flea medicines can be purchased at your vet, online or in some pet stores. If you decide not to buy it from your vet, make sure you call them and get the proper dosage measurement for the size of your dog. The type of flea medicine you buy and amount you apply depends on your dogs size and weight. Too little medicine will not be effective and too much medicine could make your dog extremely ill. Avoid using multiple flea medications and treatments at the same time as well.

I have several different size dogs so I will buy the extra large dog size and measure out smaller increments for my small dogs. I get all the dosage measurements from my vet.

Why Flea Medication is Important:
If you don't treat your dog with flea medication, they can contract serious diseases. Lyme disease is one of the most common tick diseases. The main symptom of the disease is recurring lameness in the joints and requires antibiotics to treat. Serious cases of lyme disease can cause kidney, heart or nervous system diseases.

A common disease caused by mosquitoes is heartworm. At first, a dog with heartworms will display no symptoms. However, as worms begin to multiple and crowd the heart and lungs the dog will develop a cough. If heartworm is not treated, the worms will cause abnormal sounds in the lungs and eventually kill the dog.

Flea medication will greatly reduce a dog's risk of getting one of these diseases. Remember it's always easier to prevent a disease than to treat one.

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