Keeping Pets Safe and Itch-Free During Flea and Tick Season
For pet owners, fall is not merely the province of pumpkin spice confections and leaf-littered sidewalks. Fleas and ticks–among plenty of other, perfectly worthy pests–also happen to make their star turns during the autumn months, and while no one is sorrier to have to remind you of that than the pet lovers here at PhytoSmart, it cannot and should not be taken lightly.
Any pet lovers still basking in the knowledge that the mosquito’s reign of terror has begun to subside for the remainder of 2021 will undoubtedly not take too kindly to learning that autumn poses as great a risk to pets overall as even the laziest days of summer. While it may seem that our fur-laden companions are destined to be forever held at the mercy of nature’s less cuddly critters, there are reliable, convenient measures available to help spare them the unpleasant and often debilitating health complications that fall can bring.
Keep It Clean
Fashionable as flea collars may be, they are not the end-all and be-all of flea and tick prevention. As with most facets of pet care, the solution begins in the home or, in this case, just outside it.
Proper lawn and yard maintenance (yes, that means finding a new place of residence for all of the leaves) can prove critical in preventing an infestation or dispersing any ticks that may be helping themselves to some grass already. Coupled with fall’s agreeable temperatures and reliable precipitation, lawn debris and dense vegetation offer the ideal accommodations for the ticks in your neighborhood, and tall, untrimmed grass–seasoned with a few stray leaves\–makes for lodging that simply cannot be beaten.
Similarly cozy furnishings can be found in the shaggy, billowing, and downright gorgeous coats which dogs begin to sport as winter nears, making grooming the very first order of business when it comes to preventing flea and tick harassment. The short-term loss in aesthetics, we can assure you, is nothing compared to the long-term consequences of leaving even the most irresistible mane untended; flea and tick infestation poses a far greater detriment to a pet’s health than persistent discomfort and itching, introducing a myriad of whatever diseases (like, most infamously, Lyme disease) the unwelcome guests have acquired in their travels and, in some hosts, even provoking allergic reactions.
Those of us living in areas which have been “blessed” with humid climates happen to constitute the perfect mark for moisture-loving fleas and ticks, so be sure to remain vigilant in not only tidying up your yard but keeping the furriest members of the family away from any of the more obvious targets that may be piling up around the neighborhood. Additionally, any pet parent who has taken to leaving food or water outdoors for any period of time should make a point of retrieving these items in as timely a manner as possible, particularly if raccoon-looking, raccoon-like, or raccoon-associated creatures have been known to frequent your area. It also pays to give the garage, attic, shed, or any other potential place of refuge found on your property a review every now and then to keep tabs on squatters, and–painful as the thought may be–a thorough cleaning would not be out of place either.
Just in Case…
Even the most vigilant pet parents cannot ensure a completely flea and tick-free environment for their “best friends”. Should a pest or two insert themselves into your household (and your pet’s privacy), it’s probably best to bypass despair and get straight to treating your unlucky loved one with the care they need.
Medicated shampoos, accompanied by extensive grooming, combing, and washing, should be sufficient to alleviate flea infestation on your pet, but cleansing the surrounding area (including carpets, furniture, and any other points of contact) is necessary to fully rid your home of fleas and reduce the likelihood of future flare-ups. Fortunately, tick removal entails a bit less elbow grease on the whole–just find yourself a sturdy set of tweezers and you’re on your way.
One More Thing
However you plan on celebrating the start of fall this year, we hope you and all of the furry loved ones in your household enjoy cool temperatures, crisp air, and warm confections in good health and good spirits, with nary an itch to disrupt the fun.
Try to make time to stock up on the essentials while there are still a few leaves left on the trees, and keep a close eye on your pet’s favorite recreation spots this fall and winter. If you’re looking to bolster your pet’s physical fortitude against the effects of illness, “wear and tear”, and even seasonal allergies, we invite you to learn more about how the raw, fresh DHA nutrition in SmartZYME™ is helping pets achieve peak health, improve their immune function, minimize the incidence of allergic reactions to environmental triggers, and stay active and vital to get more out of life all year, every year.