We all love the feeling that bringing home a new puppy gives us. Everyone in the house gets excited to meet the new member of the family and is overjoyed when he’s brought home.
But, what happens if your puppy suddenly gets sick? All that joy can quickly turn to worry, and you’ll have many sleepless nights ahead trying to get your puppy well again.
Ticks and fleas are a menace to puppies. They not only cause incessant itching, leading to sores on your puppy’s body, but they can also carry a wide variety of diseases.
Because we know that prevention is the best cure, we’ve put together a list of things that you can do to reduce the chance of your puppy ending up with a flea infestation or tick bites.
If your puppy does end up falling victim to fleas and ticks, we also have treatment options that can help you get them feeling better in no time.
With the right preventative care, you too can protect your puppy from encountering any of the health issues that tick bites or flea infestations cause.
Table of Contents
- Health Problems Caused by Fleas and Ticks
- Tip 1: Use Preventive Products Year-Round
- Tip 2: Keep Your Home Flea and Tick-Free
- Tip 3: Perform Regular Flea and Tick Checks
- Tip 4: How to Prevent Flea and Tick Bites
- Tip 5: Never Miss Your Puppy’s Yearly Checkup
- Frequently Asked Questions
Health Problems Caused by Fleas and Ticks
Fleas and ticks can make a puppy suffer from many health conditions. Taking measures to keep your puppy tick and flea-free will not only make his life comfortable but will also help him to avoid the following diseases:
- Lyme Disease: This is one of the biggest tick-transmitted diseases in the US. Every year close to a million dogs test positive for Lyme disease as a result of tick bites.
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Many puppies have suffered from this disease as a result of tick bites. Signs of infection include swollen lymph nodes, a poor appetite, fever, and painful joints.
- Flea allergy dermatitis: Many puppies are allergic to flea saliva, and when they get bitten they have an allergic reaction. Flea allergy dermatitis can cause itching, swelling, and hair loss.
- Anemia: When puppies have extreme flea infestations they can lose a significant amount of blood from all the bites that they get. This can cause pale gums, generalized body weakness, and fatigue, which are all signs of anemia.
Tip 1: Use Preventive Products Year-Round
Ticks and fleas thrive in warm temperatures and are usually a nuisance during the summer months. Because of this, most puppy owners feel like it is only necessary to use tick and flea preventive products in summer, but this is not true.
Some fleas and ticks find their way indoors and can survive during winter, even in places that get sub-zero temperatures. For this reason, vets recommend that puppies should be protected from fleas and ticks all year round.
Most of the preventive products on the market aren’t safe for use in puppies, so you’ll need to have a discussion with your vet for a recommendation or prescription. After getting the product, you need to follow all the instructions on how and when to use it on your puppy.
Expert Tip: There are many options when it comes to flea and tick prevention. You can use spot-on treatment, shampoos, sprays, collars, and oral treatments.
Tip 2: Keep Your Home Flea and Tick-Free
Fleas can find their way onto your puppy, your clothes or the clothes and belongings of your visitors, and then end up inside your home.
If you only focus on keeping your puppy clean, you may miss these other sources, and end up with a persistent infestation inside your home—despite what you’ve done to treat your pup.
To avoid this, you need to regularly wash all your puppy’s bedding, vacuum all your carpets, and treat your home with an anti-parasite fogger, spray, or powder.
Your puppy’s favorite hang-out spots in the house will most likely have the highest concentration of flea larvae and eggs. You should pay extra attention to these when you’re fogging your home.
Expert Tip: If you’re worried that you won’t do a thorough job, you can hire a professional cleaner that specializes in getting rid of fleas and ticks. They’ll ensure that there’s full coverage of your home.
Tip 3: Perform Regular Flea and Tick Checks
Products can go a long way in preventing pests, but the surest way to get rid of fleas and ticks is to always be on the lookout for them. You’ll need to get your hands dirty for this part.
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How to Check for Fleas and Ticks
To look for fleas or ticks, carefully brush or comb your puppy’s fur with a fine-toothed comb. Adult fleas are big enough to be seen with the naked and eye and after ticks feed they are visible as well.
If your puppy starts scratching a lot, suspect a flea infestation. If you find any live fleas, wash your puppy with flea shampoo.
If your puppy is in the wrong place at the wrong time, he may end up getting bit by a tick. Tick bites do not itch as much as a flea infestation does; because of this, they usually get overlooked.
Ticks tend to prefer to attach to the neck, ears, head, and feet. Pay extra attention to these areas while you’re checking.
If you find a tick on your puppy’s skin, carefully remove it straight away as this will reduce the likelihood of it causing an infection. For best results, use a pair of tweezers to grasp the tick close to its head and pull it off the skin. Always make sure the head comes out of the skin.
When the tick has been removed, clean the spot that it was attached to with hydrogen peroxide or alcohol to prevent infection.
Tip 4: How to Prevent Flea and Tick Bites
You can’t always avoid going outdoors with your puppy. Here are a few tips that you can use to keep your puppy tick-free when you’re outdoors:
- Don’t let your puppy roam free in wooded or grassy areas. If you decide to go on a hike, stick to the designated trail.
- Keep your garden lawn mowed and your hedges trimmed so that ticks have nowhere to hide in your yard.
- Get rid of leaf piles in your yard.
Fleas are much easier to get than ticks. Here are a few tips that you can use to keep fleas off your puppy:
- Fleas like to breed in warm places and they hate cedar. If you’re looking for a solid way to keep fleas off your puppy, get him a cedar bed.
- Fleas hate all things citrus and won’t be a fan of your puppy if you sprinkle some citrus juice on his fur.
- Mix essential oils with water in a spray bottle then spray your puppy’s bed with the mixture. This will deter fleas by acting as a repellent. Be sure to ask your vet which essential oils are safe to use, especially if you have other pets.
- Add a tablespoon of vinegar to your puppy’s bath water to prevent fleas.
Tip 5: Never Miss Your Puppy’s Yearly Checkup
You should always take your puppy for his checkups. When you go for your yearly checkup, the vet will check for any signs of fleas or ticks.
The vet will also determine if the preventive products you’re using are suitable for your puppy and if they’re effective. If your puppy was already bitten and has any signs of disease resulting from the bites, the vet will catch those early and treat your puppy.
Expert Tip: Look out for any changes in your pet’s behavior and if there’s evidence of any limping, loss of appetite or if your puppy is lethargic, call the vet straight away.
We all know how disheartening it can be when your little furry friend is down. Watch the video below for tips on how to get him feeling better again.
When your puppy is feeling poorly, it can be nice to get him a yummy treat. That will get him excited and may even improve his appetite.
Flea and Tick Prevention and Treatment Tip Recap
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I protect my puppy from fleas and ticks?
What is the best flea and tick prevention for dogs?
How can I prevent fleas and ticks on my dogs naturally?
You can use vinegar, essential oils, and citrus juice to keep your puppy flea and tick-free. Again, always consult your vet first about which essential oils are best to use, especially if you have other pets.
Pro Tip: Give your dog a toy to take their mind off of itchy skin. Here’s a list of 5 Indestructible dog toys.