It’s that time of year when routine pet care has to include preventative measures to avoid flea and tick woes for your furry family members. Treating your pets isn’t just for but to mitigate the onset of any diseases or illnesses from the little blood suckers. It is important to pick the right products and use them correctly to keep the pets, you and others safe as well!
The best place to start any task is at the beginning, and in this case it means carefully reading all the labels on whichever products you choose. First of all, make sure you are purchasing the right dosage size for your pets. Be sure to use ONLY approved products for your pets’ age, weight, health status, and species. BES SURE to be extra careful if you have pets that are in any extreme range…very young, very old, pregnant, nursing, ill or debilitated. Also, if your pet experienced sensitivity to any of the available products in the past, be sure to talk to your veterinarian first!
These products are species specific. Dogs should only be treated with products specially made for dogs. While cat products might not cause harm to a dog they most likely will not be nearly effective enough for them. On the other hand, don’t use Fido’s preventatives on Fluffy the kitty! Cane products can actually be quite harmful to your feline family members. ALWAYS consult your veterinarian with an chemical being given to your pets!
After reading all the directions for applying the product to a pets, only use the amount required for your critter. For example, don’t use more flea and tick product than indicated and do not use more than one product at one time! One flea and tick product, regardless of how it is applied, should be all that is needed to do the job for the length of time indicated on the package!
To prevent yourself from accidental contact with the topical type products during application, use disposable gloves to protect your skin. Thorough hand washing with soap and water is a must after any application! Keep the kids away from the pets until the product is thoroughly dry. Be sure to read the instructions for proper disposal of the empty product containers after use.
If your household has several pets, it is a good idea to keep them apart from each other for the time it takes the product to dry in case one of the poets decides to groom another and ingests the chemical.
Lastly but equally important, watch your pets for adverse reactions. A good rule of thumb: for a few hours after treating a pet with ANY flea and tick preventive product, keep an eye on your dog or cat for any reactions or sensitivity to the product. This is especially important when using a product for the first time on a pet! Keep all the packaging for the product for a day or two after application. Why? So you will have both the kind of ingredients used AND contact information for the company that manufactured the product!
What to watch for?
• Excessive drooling excessively or foaming at the mouth
• Stumbling or incoordination (ataxia)
• Vomiting and/or diarrhea
• Trembling (seizures)
• Lack of appetite
• Severe depression
If you notice any unusual behavior shortly after applying a preventive product, call your veterinarian immediately. Bathe your dog completely in soapy water and rinse its coat with copious amounts of water.