As Temps Rise, Veterinarians Advise Early Flea & Tick Prevention

Hike Planned with Your Pet? Outdoor Fun?

As Temps Rise, Veterinarians Advise Early Flea & Tick Prevention

They’re not just in your pet’s fur–they’re everywhere. With the warming temperatures, they might be jumping earlier than usual. Fleas may be ready to dive into your animal, but there’s a way to stop the scratch before it starts.

“It’s always skin irritation. Being sensitive to the flea bite,” Billy Martindale said, DVM, Animal Hospital of Denison.

Man’s best friend may have something to sweat about this summer.

“When you have animals, you’re going to have fleas unless you control them,” Martindale said.

As the mercury rises earlier than usual this year, veterinarians advise pet owners to use flea prevention early.

“Fleas feed on animals. That’s the only place they feed. That’s the dinner plate. They can be off the animal for a long period of time, actually for years,” Martindale said.

According to veterinarian Billy Martindale, fleas thrive when it’s 80 degrees with 80 percent humidity. However, cold weather doesn’t stop dormant bugs from looking for a bite to eat.

“Doesn’t mean the fleas aren’t going to be inside the house, doesn’t mean they’re not going to be on the animal, because they will be,” Martindale said.

Fleas aren’t just outside. They could be in the carpet. Martindalae recommends spraying your home for pests regularly, not just once a year.

“You got to be able to control the pet and do something inside the house, or even outside the house,” Martindale said.

During summer hikes in the woods, ticks are another pest to be wary of because of the diseases they may carry.

“Fleas do not pose a human health problem. Ticks pose a humongous human health problem,” Martindale said.

Flea prevention can come from a pill or topical treatment.

“Some animals are predisposed to being sensitive to fleas,” Martindale said.

It might keep Fido from scratching later.

The Environmental Protection Agency advises pet owners to vacuuming frequently to remove eggs, larvae and fleas. It’s also important to clean carpets and cushioned furniture.