This week we want to talk about ticks and fleas. Ticks usually lie dormant during the summer but once Fall comes, they are out in force!  Of course the easiest way to avoid tick bites is to avoid going anywhere near where they live.  If you’re like us, there’s little chance that’s going to happen. It seems that the tick population has just exploded around the Seacoast of New England.DSC_0081 There are two schools of thought when it comes to treating your dog or cat against ticks. There are the chemicals like Frontline, Advantix, Revolution, Sentinel, Trifexis, and Comfortis to name a few. They all are applied topically and the chemicals will kill the ticks when they get on the animal.  Some of these work well, and some seem to work less and less every year. Some vets say the ticks have developed a resistance to the chemicals.  The upside is they usually do something, the bad side is they can pose a health risk to some animals. It’s best to talk to your vet and see what the risks are. Some people only apply the treatments during the heavy tick seasons to minimize exposure. The other school of thought is the natural tick treatment. If you do a Google search you’ll see scores of treatments claiming to keep your dog or cat tick and flea free. Popular treatments include Brewers Yeast and Garlic which can be purchased in pill form at your local health food store, to essential oils, most notably rose geranium seems to work well. Here’s what PetMD has to say about it…

“Essential Oils

Because ticks carry dangerous bacteria, repelling them is a priority. One of the natural repellents that a lot of people have success with is rose geranium oil, which can be applied to your dog’s collar. Do NOT use this on your cat, though. They can have a bad reaction to essential oils.”

Sometimes just checking you dog or cat closely and removing the ticks manually works well. If you have a short haired pet, a flea comb will get all but the tiniest ticks. If you have a long haired pet, a fine toothed comb will do well.

If you find that your dog has fleas, there’s a simple way to get rid of them. Dawn dishwashing liquid. A bath with Dawn will completely rid your dog or cat of the nasty parasites. It will lead to dry skin if used frequently so be careful. After the fleas are off the dog, remember, your house is probably infested and will need to be treated.

The Pet Pantry can give your dog a bath with Dawn if you’re not set up do do it yourself.

Take heart, Winter is just around the corner!