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the Dog Blog

The First Defense Against Fleas and Ticks for Dogs

Dog running and playing with his owner.

Higher temperatures, longer days and a yard in bloom can only mean two things: 1) Summer is in full swing, and 2) flea and tick season is as well. While many of us look forward to sunny days and warm nights during summer, we’re also looking to help our best friends avoid fleas and ticks. Here are three tips to help you and your dog be prepared this summer.

1. Feed High-Quality Food

The quality of food your dog eats will determine how healthy they are on the outside. Protein and essential fatty acids, like omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, are key nutrients for the skin and coat health of your best friend. According to PetMD, fur consists of approximately 95% protein. In addition, studies have shown that 25-30% of your dog's protein intake is allocated to support your dog’s skin and coat. Bil-Jac Dog Foods provide the protein and essential fatty acids levels your dog needs to maintain a healthy skin and coat. A strong first defense against flea and ticks starts with a healthy skin and coat that is supported by high-quality nutrition.

2. Regular Grooming

Regular brushing, no matter the hair type of your pup, is important. Brushing takes out loose hairs, even if you have a shorthaired dog. If you have a longer haired dog, it assists in avoiding matting, which can be itchy and uncomfortable when knotted tightly to your best friend’s skin. 

A regular scrub in the tub can help wash away fleas. It also gives you a great way to see your dog’s skin and identify any fleas or ticks they might have. Keep in mind that too much bathing can strip skin of essential oils that help protect the skin and coat. Talk with your vet or groomer on how often to bathe your dog.

Brushing and bathing your dog regularly gives you a chance to check them closely for any signs of fleas or ticks. Fleas are often found hiding near the base of the tail, around the neck and on the belly. Ticks like those same areas, and can also be found on elbows, front legs and even between toes and on eyelids. Look for any signs of droppings or small red bites that might be left behind.

3. Flea and Tick Products

Talk with your veterinarian or your local pet store about products for flea and tick control. Today there are a wide variety of products you can use including pills, collars, ointments, and sprays.  There are also some natural products on the market.  With so many options, there is likely one you can feel comfortable with that will give your dog some extra protection against unwanted pests.

If your dog does come in contact with some pesky bugs this summer, contact your vet immediately to find the best treatment to eliminate the issue. If you follow these tips and act quickly at the sign of an issue, you can help your dog be protected for flea and tick season.

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Do you have any other methods that help keep the fleas & ticks away from your best friend? Please be sure to share your suggestions with us in the comments section below.

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