Bad news for pet owners: Ticks and fleas are going to be a big problem in 2018, so it's time to stock up on topical preventative.
If you live on the East Coast, then you might want to start stocking up on flea and tick preventative now. According to a vet from West Virginia, ticks and fleas will be more prevalent in 2018, which means your pets will need a little extra protection.
Dr. Matthew Faulkner of Fayette Veterinarian Hospital explained that the unusually warm weather we're already having this winter means it's possible for ticks and fleas to survive year-round, rather than to experience the population drop-off that's standard in winter. The warmer weather means that these pests can continue with their life cycles, so we may see increased population this year.
Topical preventatives are generally your best defense against fleas and ticks. However, it's important to realize that not all topical preventatives are made the same. Do your research about quality products, and realize that many cheaper alternatives can cause serious health issues for pets, including skin irritation, allergic reactions, and even seizures and death.
If you have questions about the best preventative to use on your pet, then check with your vet's office. They likely have particular products that they recommend.
In addition to using preventatives, you should also check your pets over daily, especially after they've been outdoors. Look for ticks on your dog after a walk, and check your cats once they come inside. The sooner you can remove a tick after it's bitten, the less a chance it has of transmitting Lyme disease or another tick-borne disease to your pet.
When removing ticks, use a device, like a Tick Twister, that pulls the tick out from the mouth, rather than squeezing the tick's body during the removal. Squeezing the tick's body can cause it to regurgitate its stomach contents into your pet, increasing the chance of disease transmission.
Do you have any great tips for preventing or dealing with ticks and fleas? Please share them with us in the comments.
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