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4 Tips to Help Protect Your Pooch From Fleas and Ticks

Spring has begun, which means it's a wonderful time to get outside to play or to get your yard work done. It's also the time of year when fleas and ticks start making their way to your furry pet. 

Protecting your dog against fleas and ticks is important to prevent the spread of diseases and to prevent your dog from itching and scratching from those pesky fleas. Fleas and ticks can be harmful to you as well, so it's important to get rid of these bugs.

Read on for tips to help protect your dog from fleas and ticks. Use this guide to learn how to keep ticks and fleas out of your yard and away from you as well.

1. Use Preventative Medication

Flea and tick prevention medications are essential for protecting your dog. Prevention medication can be found at your local pet store, or through your veterinarian. You can use a few different types. Some protect against fleas only, while others will protect your dog against both fleas and ticks.

A tick preventative medication is good to use if you have a wooded area near your home where ticks may be more prevalent. 
This medication can be administered in different ways as well, for example, some are chewable oral medication, while others are applied to the back of the neck directly onto the skin (liquid form).

Flea and tick preventatives should be given to your dog once a month to keep them protected.

2. Clean Your Yard

A yard that has a lot of trash, woodpiles, or long grass should be cleaned up. Fleas and ticks could be hiding in the tall grass or in the piles of wood. Trash in the yard may attract other animals, which could bring fleas to your yard.

Clean up your yard by removing the trash and moving piles of wood to the furthest part of your yard, away from recreational areas. Your grass should be kept trimmed around trees, fencing, and other landscaping. Mow your yard often and prevent it from getting too long.

Trim back low-hanging branches, especially branches hanging over recreational areas where your pet or family likes to hang out.

3. Use a Pesticide

Spray your yard with a pesticide to get rid of fleas and ticks, especially if you have a lot of them or live near a wooded area. You can use granules, or look for a spray formula. Follow the instructions on the pesticide you choose to use. You can also hire a pest control company for assistance with this.

Whichever type of pesticide you use be sure to keep your furry buddy inside until the pesticide dries or the dust from the pesticide settles.

If you have fleas inside your home, then you can use chemicals inside your home as well. Using a flea bomb can help kill fleas and other types of bugs in your home. However, your dog cannot be in the home while the flea bomb is doing its job. 

Keep your dog outside while using the flea bomb, and be sure nobody else is in the home during the process. Follow the instructions on the flea bomb pesticide, and be sure to vacuum your home thoroughly after using it.

4. Vacuum Your Home Often

Vacuum your home often to prevent any fleas that may have come inside from invading your home and multiplying. Vacuum your carpeting thoroughly and often (at least one to two times per week). 

Make sure to also clean your dog's kennel or the bedding your dog uses. Scrub the kennel clean and wash the bedding in hot water.

If you notice a tick or spot fleas on your dog, then you can take your dog to the veterinarian to have the tick removed properly. A flea bath at your veterinarian's office may also be necessary.

Take your dog to Erickson Veterinary Hospital for all your flea and tick preventative needs or if your dog has fleas or ticks.