Ticks and fleas are every dog parent’s nightmare. However, there is no need to worry, as long as you are prepared, and have taken the necessary preventive actions to keep your dog and home protected from them.Here is a list of stuff to do.
Protecting your home:
- Vacuum clean your home every other day. Yes, especially carpets, and around/below furniture
- Use vinegar to repel ticks and fleas. Have a handy spray bottle filled with half water and half vinegar and a little dish washing soap. Daily, spray your carpets, curtains, and corners around the house. To read more on the many uses of vinegar, click here
- Wash your carpets, bed spreads, and curtains regularly. At least once a month, with a strong detergent
- Machine wash your dog’s bed. At least every 2 weeks on a warm cycle
Protecting your dog:
- Make sure your dog is getting his monthly medication against fleas and ticks. Check with your vet what is most suitable for them. Most important thing: Bathe them at least one day before you give them the medicine. When you apply it make sure they are completely dry. After applying the medicine, don’t bathe them or wet them for at least 24 hours. This is the most effective way for the medication to work. Follow the medication instructions carefully.
- Bathe your dogs more frequently during the summer, . Many pet supply stores sell shampoos against ticks and fleas. Read more on bathing your dog
- Apply vinegar to your dog’s coat before leaving the house every time. It keeps ticks and fleas away
- Run a brush through their fur when you’re back, and make sure they haven’t caught any ticks/fleas
- Use natural homemade recipes for tick and flea repellents. Click here for a list of recipes.
Checking your dog’s body for ticks and fleas:
- Inside ears. Check here a quick reference on how to clean your dog’s ears
- Between fingers in their paws
- On the stomach
- Rear and around the tail
- Read about the seven hot spots where ticks hide in your dog’s body
Protecting yourself from ticks and fleas:
- Insect repellents containing deet are most effective. You can buy them from the supermarket (e.g. OFF). Apply it when you’re on your way to a place you know might have ticks/fleas (e.g. public gardens, parks, etc.). Note: Never apply this on your dog’s body!
- Bathe as soon as you’re back home. Take a nice hot shower.
- Machine wash your clothes immediately on warm cycle
Protecting your car:
- Use your water and vinegar mix to spray your car mats and seats at least every other day.
- If you have a small dust buster, use it every now and then to clean up your car seats, mats and floors
So what if you found ticks/fleas, what should you do?
- Use tweezers to get them out, especially for ticks
- Have a jar ready in your home filled with half water, half Dettol or dish soap. As soon as you grab a tick off your dog, place it in that jar and close it completely. The Dettol/soap will kill them. After they are dead you can flush them down the toilet. If you try to flush them down the toilet or the sink while they are still alive, they will most probably crawl back into your home.