A puppy makes an ideal companion for homeowners living alone or with families. According to a 2023 survey, 90% of households in the US consider dogs as part of their families. Bringing a young canine home enables you to condition it according to your lifestyle and expectations. Raising them from an early age strengthens the bond, but it also entails a responsibility.
You need to ensure proper nutrition, ample exercise, and regular vet visits to give your puppy a head start with health and growth. Proper care and good health at an early age ensure longevity in dogs. While you may pay attention to your dog’s weight and energy levels, it is easy to overlook problems like tick and flea infestations. You are more likely to miss out on the issue as a first-time pet parent.
Beginners are often overwhelmed by the nuances of tick and flea prevention and treatment. The bigger concern is that they are common and prevalent all around the year, not just in the warmer months. However, a little care and a proactive plan can help you prevent and manage ticks and fleas in your puppy. Surprisingly, keeping these pesky pests under control is easier than you imagine.
In this article, we will share a few actionable tips for novice pet parents to manage this issue and ensure a safe environment for their furry companion.
Understand the Risks
Awareness is the first step when it comes to building your puppy’s defenses against any health issue, including ticks and fleas. New pet parents often go wrong with understanding the risks they pose to their canine companions. Remember that these pests are more than a nuisance; they can cause discomfort and transmit various diseases to pets and even their owners.
Flea-related problems include flea allergic dermatitis, anemia, and flea-borne diseases. Ticks are even more harmful, leading to dire illnesses such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Even as a first-time dog parent, educate yourself about the potential risks to understand the significance of proactive prevention and treatment measures.
Use Preventative Products
Once you understand the risks, you will know the importance of a preventive approach. While there are numerous preventative products in the market, you need to be extra careful when choosing one for a puppy. You will have to pick a safe and easy-to-use product and ensure accurate dosing according to the age and weight of your pet.
Credelio for dogs are chewable tablets with beef flavoring and Lotilaner as an active ingredient. This fast-acting formulation starts working within two hours and kills 99 % of fleas within eight hours. It leaves dogs pest-free for over a month, and the effects stay even longer for puppies. The best part is that the medication is easy to feed even to a young canine because of its flavor and chewable nature.
PetCareRx recommends checking the ideal dosage of these tablets with your veterinarian before starting treatment for your puppy. Be prepared for side effects such as low appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, and an increase in urine output. Besides oral medications, you can try topical treatments, collars, and sprays for flea and tick prevention and control.
Ensure Regular Check-ups
According to Forbes, dog parents should commit to a yearly vet visit for a scheduled check-up for their pets. You should do it more often for a puppy or senior dog. Be extra careful if you notice anything amiss, including potential flea and tick infestations. Run your hands through your puppy's fur and pay close attention to areas such as the ears, neck, armpits, and groin. These are the areas where ticks and fleas thrive.
Besides looking for ticks and fleas on your puppy’s body, you must know the red flags of potential infestations. Novice pet parents should watch out for signs like excessive scratching, biting, licking, hair loss, redness, or inflammation of the skin. Also, look for visible parasites in your puppy’s feces or in the fur.
A prompt visit to a veterinarian is essential if you notice anything suspicious on your puppy’s skin. You can use tweezers or a tick removal tool to pull these pesky pests away. This first-aid step can minimize the risk of disease transmission. However, you should still get a vet check-up for treatment and prevention guidelines. Early intervention can save your furry companion from a full-blown infestation.
Maintain a Clean Environment
Medicines and vet checks are effective control measures to keep fleas and ticks at bay. However, a preventive approach is the best way to prevent discomfort for your pet in the first place. It begins with good hygiene and proper grooming. Keeping your puppy's environment clean is an equally important step for preventing and managing ticks and fleas.
Start by checking the areas where your puppy spends time. It may be a cozy nook in the living room or your backyard. These are the spaces that deserve attention. Vacuum your carpets, rugs, and upholstery to keep flea eggs, larvae, and adult fleas away from your living space. Washing your puppy's bedding, grooming tools, and toys in hot water eliminates fleas and their eggs.
A well-groomed yard is another essential measure for pet owners. Commit to regularly mowing the lawn, trimming bushes, and removing debris. Also, declutter your backyard to ensure that parasites have no place to thrive. These steps can reduce the presence of ticks and fleas in outdoor spaces where puppies love to spend time.
In conclusion, managing ticks and fleas in puppies is doable even for first-time pet parents. However, it requires proactive prevention and prompt intervention. You may be a novice, but lack of awareness is hardly an excuse to get complacent about these pesky pests.
They can make your furry companion uncomfortable and even affect its well-being in the long run. You must understand the risks and take these measures to provide a safe space for your puppy and ensure it stays healthy and happy during the early years of its life. Also, regular vet visits can help in early detection and timely treatment