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Dog Flea and Tick Products

Dog flea and tick products can help reduce or eliminate the infestation of fleas and ticks on your dog and in your home. Dog flea and tick prevention is an important part of good canine care. Fleas and ticks are blood-sucking insects that feed on dogs, as well as on humans, cats, and other animals. Along with causing your dog discomfort, fleas and ticks can carry diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Fleas are extremely small, usually only around 1/12th to 1/16th inch. They are wingless insects with dark reddish-brown bodies. Their bodies are hard, making them difficult to crush. They have three pairs of legs, and are excellent jumpers. Ticks are actually arachnids, not insects. They can be soft- or hard-shelled. Ticks are also wingless, and have three pairs of legs when immature and four pairs when mature.

Specially treated collars or topical treatments can be effective at preventing flea and tick infestations. Many flea and tick control products contain pyrethrins, which are natural extracts derived from chrysanthemum plants. Pyrethrin-based products are usually used topically and are considered among the safest to use on your dog.

Imidacloprid is an insecticide applied once a month to the neck of a dog, for flea prevention. It is generally considered very safe to use and is effective against fleas. Imidacloprid is not effective against ticks. Arylheterocycles are synthetic insecticides applied topically once a month to protect against both ticks and fleas.

Dog flea and tick products containing citrus extracts are becoming a popular “all natural” way to combat ticks and fleas. It is important to remember, however, that just because a product is all natural does not mean that it is completely safe. Some citrus products may be dangerous or even fatal to dogs; always consult your vet and follow package instructions carefully.

If infected, there are several ways to get rid of fleas on your dog. Topical treatments such as flea shampoos can kill existing fleas. Once you have treated the fleas on your dog, it is critical to treat the fleas and eggs in and around your home. There are many products available on the market to kill fleas and their eggs. Be sure to read all package instructions carefully regarding the use of products like this. Remove all pets, including birds and fish tanks, if possible, from the area. If you cannot move the fish tank, be sure to cover it completely to prevent chemicals from getting in.

Dog flea and tick products come in different types for different uses. Always be sure to read all label instructions carefully. Dog flea and tick products may not be safe to use on cats or other animals; always use pet-specific products.

 

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