Whether you have a dog wellness plan or not, dog's can often be very susceptible to fleas and ticks as they are typically outside more than other pets and accidents can always happen. Whether that’s going for daily walks and being active with their humans, or simply having to go to the bathroom everyday outdoors in a backyard.
It's important to remember that cats also need flea and tick care, even more so if you have dogs living in the same house. Dogs, and even humans, can drag fleas or ticks into the house with a quick interaction of the outdoors. For the best flea and tick treatment and prevention, read on.
Why Do Dogs & Cats Get Fleas?
Fleas and ticks like to feed on the blood of our pets, literally draining them of all their energy. These gross, and dangerous pests can be contracted in all sorts of ways both indoors and outdoors and having a dog wellness plan or cat wellness plan can be especially beneficial to your finances in helping support the medication and prevention needed.
Fleas and ticks are seemingly everywhere. One of the best ways to avoid them is to know where they live and breed. Commonly, fleas live in warm, dark, and moist environments. This includes wood piles, leaves, and grass clippings. Fleas and ticks can be the worst in the spring, with all the snow melting and frequent rainstorms.
How Do Dog's Get Fleas & Ticks?
Fleas and ticks often jump and attach to a dog's fur as they walk by. This can happen as they are out on a walk-in nature, or pass by another animal that has a flea or tick issue. That goes for any outdoor animal, including raccoons, squirrels, possums, rabbits, and more.
Farm dogs, outdoor working dogs, and dogs that frequent a doggy daycare (or similar facility) are often at high risk due to them coming into close contact with other animals as well as nature.
This is why a flea and tick pet preventive care plan is so important. Preventing these pests from infesting your animal also helps to protect the other pets they might interact with.
How Do Cat's Get Fleas & Ticks?
If your cat enjoys being outdoors on their leash or playing around in the yard, they are just as much at risk for environmental fleas as dogs are. Fleas and ticks live in the mulch, firewood pile, and anywhere else in your yard that can be warm and moist for laying eggs.
Cat's also love to hunt rodents. If your cat has ever hunted a mouse before, you know how easily they can catch that mouse and carry it in their mouths. If that mouse has fleas, your cat is now risking fleas infesting their fur, your other pet's fur, and your home (ew!).
But one of the most common ways our cats get fleas or ticks is through their dog friend or human trekking them into the house. It can be so easy for us to accidentally bring fleas and ticks home on our clothes or shoes. The scary part is that fleas can also go dormant for months, so sometimes, they already live in the wood or carpeting of your home. The carpeting in a communal apartment or in the halls can also be flea-infested.
What Is a Flea or Tick Infestation?
It's essential to know what you're looking for when inspecting your animals for fleas and ticks. Some of the top warning signs of a flea infestation include:
- Dark spots (flea feces) on your pet's skin and in their fur.
- White spots (flea eggs) on your pet's skin and in their hair.
- Hot spots and scabs on their skin.
- Constant scratching and licking.
Take a fine-toothed comb and begin inspecting your animal's fur. The stomach is usually an easy spot to notice any flea droppings and eggs if present. It's essential to check our pet's fur for fleas often as it can cause anemia when left untreated. This is caused by the fleas being able to ingest over 15 times their body weight in blood. If your dog or cat has a sudden loss of energy, it could be a sign of flea-induced anemia.
Ticks are usually a lot easier to spot as they can be quite a bit bigger. They will usually attach to a dog's head, neck, eye area, or paws. And for a cat, usually near their eyes or ears. A vet will have to remove the ticks with tweezers safely and properly clean the wound.
How to Prevent Fleas & Ticks
So you might now be thinking, is it even possible to avoid ticks and fleas? Thankfully, yes! Fleas and ticks can be avoided and treated when the proper precautions are taken. When it comes to fleas and ticks, we always like to say that prevention is better than treatment.
Some of the best ways to prevent a flea or tick infestation are to:
- Routinely brush your pet's fur.
- Limit contact with stray and feral animals.
- Get them professionally groomed (they check for fleas!).
- Start using a pet preventive care plan for fleas and ticks.
Using a pet preventive care plan like cat wellness and dog wellness plans, set your pets up with a shield against ticks and fleas. There are a couple of different options for flea and tick prevention care. Your vet will often prescribe one based on your animal's breed, lifestyle, age, and more. This can include topical products, oral products, shampoos, sprays, or combinations. The best thing about it is that your cat's wellness and your dog's wellness plan will cover the cost of these treatments.
Cat wellness and dog wellness plans cover routine exams with a veterinarian. During these exams, your vet will inspect your pet for any skin conditions including fleas and ticks. Professional grooming services can also be added to a dog or cat wellness plan. Groomers are the best at spotting anything physically wrong with skin and fur - often catching infestations.
Check out Wagmo Wellness today and get all your pets set up with the best cat and dog wellness plans out there!