Parasites: how to eliminate and prevent ticks
Ticks are ectoparasites that feed on blood and are the largest mites. They appear in the warmer seasons and seek the skin of any victim that crosses their path, so we must take care of our pets.
Parasites are not a minor problem, they threaten our dog’s health and can affect humans too since they are vectors of infections and diseases. Eliminating ticks and preventing them is our job!
How to eliminate ticks
If you find that your dog is scratching more than usual, you may have to ask yourself what is the reason for this constant itching. In addition, your dog may be suffering from allergic dermatitis as a result of the tick bites. Not to mention the wounds he will cause himself by scratching so hard to cope with the unbearable itching.
Bathe your dog with specific lotions to eliminate these bugs. These are very effective insecticide liquids that you can find in veterinary establishments and that kill ticks instantly. Therefore, the first and safest step for your dog would be to ask your veterinarian for help. They will tell you which shampoo and lotions are the safest for your dog.
If you have some skill and patience, you can do it yourself or ask your veterinarian for help. So, remove the ticks from the skin with tweezers or a special comb. If there are any wounds (tick bite), clean the area with soap and warm water, disinfect the wound and let it air dry. You need to be careful because removing ticks is easy if you do it right, but otherwise it can be very dangerous because the head can remain inside the animal's skin and cause a serious infection.
Anti-parasite collars. They are easy to use. Most are water resistant and their life span varies according to the brand but in general they last between 5 to 8 months. They not only repel ticks but also other parasites such as fleas and lice.
Pipettes. They are a very effective product that helps to avoid infestations but also to kill parasites already present in the dog. Its effect is activated within 24 hours after application and lasts between 3 to 4 weeks, depending on the brand.
Pills. Oral treatment is one of the most effective ways to eliminate parasites in dogs and is safer because there is no risk of the dog or children in the house coming into contact with the collars or pipettes which are toxic if put in the mouth.
For puppies some products are not safe. Always read the label and consult with your vet if you have doubts.
Only use natural remedies as a last resort, as many aren’t proven to be as effective or safe as manufactured and controlled products. You shouldn’t put and leave vinegar or other acids on your dog’s coat, it dries it out and can irritate the skin and exacerbate inflammation in insect bites.
What about the house?
Now, it is also important to eliminate them from your house. If you remove ticks from your dog and forget to clean your dog’s environment these parasites won't go away completely.
If your dog has a habit of taking long naps on the couch, your bed or the living room carpet, these are areas where ticks and fleas also thrive. So, let's get to work.
All clothing, textiles and household items that have been in contact with your pet should be washed at a very hot temperature to kill any remaining ticks and fleas. The best is to finish this washing with the dryer, in the case of clothes, to eliminate even the most resistant bug. On the other hand, textiles and household items that cannot be put in the washing machine (mattresses, comforters, large carpets...) should be vacuumed thoroughly. Do the same with the corners of the house.
Another place where these bugs can hide is in wooden furniture, especially if they come from second-hand and vintage markets. The first thing you should do, before taking them home, is to check them for insects. But if the problem comes up later, we advise you not to move that piece of furniture so as not to "infect" other parts of the house and hire a professional service to get rid of the pest.
To make sure that there is no trace of fleas or ticks, you can buy an insecticide spray and spray those spaces that you think have been more exposed to them, especially the dark and damp areas as there may be some larvae. Or make your own solution to kill them using two lemons, cutting it into slices while you boil half a liter of water in a pot. Add the fruit and pour this preparation in a spray to wet every corner of your home.
You can also use two tablespoons of baking soda and two of salt, a paste will be formed and you can put it in those holes or cracks where fleas and ticks can nest.
If you have a yard at home you should keep it clean and, in case of infestation, it would be best to hire pest control professionals. Also, remember that wild animals should be kept out of the yard as they are carriers of these parasites.
How to prevent ticks?
The best thing you can do to avoid ticks is a good preventive anti-parasite plan, both for your dog and in the environment where you live.
There are different methods to combat these parasites, both to prevent them and to treat tick infestations in dogs. These methods differ in how they are applied, how they work and how long they protect your dog so depending on the method of application you will have collars, pipettes, tablets, sprays, lotions, powder or antiparasitic shampoos that can be used individually or in combination.
It is important for you to know that many of the products indicated for adult dogs are not indicated for puppies, nor are they indicated for use in cats. So before using any of them, consult your veterinarian.
If you do not know how to apply these recommended products, the best thing to do is to take your pet to a dog groomer where they have professionals who know how to handle and apply them correctly.
Here at My Dog Spot, we offer you a variety of parasite-control options, including: manual tick removal, natural pesticide-free flea and tick shampoo, pyrethrin based topical treatment and pipettes.
Taking your dog to the groomer can also give you time to go home and wash its bed, and clean the house applying the tips we’ve shared with you today!