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I’d like to welcome Mckenzie Hillam to what I hope will be the first of many guest posts on A Real Housewife In Houston. She is a freelance writer who is interested in many different topics, including home and garden. She currently works for companies like Preventive Pest Control and has submitted an informative article about the importance of keeping your dog or cat flea and tick free.  She has been kind enough to share the following article she recently completed. If you have fur-babies like me, I hope you will find it as informative as I did.

Don’t Risk Disease; Keep Your Dog Flea & Tick Free

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No one would consciously risk letting fleas or ticks into their house. But when you aren’t being vigilant about your dog’s health, then you may be welcoming more than just your dog into the house. Risk for Your Dog: Ticks and fleas are nothing new for the dog. These parasites have likely waged war against our loyal friends since we first domesticated them. But despite the long relationship, fleas are no better for our pets than bed bugs are for us! There are several risks for our pets from fleas and ticks. Fleas, for example, can cause irritating rashes, especially if your pet is allergic to them. They also can give your poor dog tapeworm, and puppies can easily become anemic. Ticks can transfer a number of diseases to your pet, including Lyme disease. Risk for Yourself: If your dog is flea-ridden and tick-infested, it’s likely that a few of these pests can hop onto you. While it’s rare for people to “have fleas,” these pests will still try to take a morsel of you once and awhile. When your house is infested, a common sign is flea bites on your legs. They love to nibble at your ankles when your pet is overcrowded. Fleas can also give people diseases, such as cat scratch fever, flea borne spotted fever, and flea borne typhus. Ticks are no better. Depending on the type, ticks can cause serious harm to you as well as your pet. As mentioned earlier, your pet can contract Lyme disease from ticks. Here’s more bad news: so can you. The American dog tick, for example, spreads the Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis among people.

Prevention Is Better than Extermination

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Well, if you don’t want your dog bringing the flea and ticks inside, it’s better to prevent now than to call pest control later. Collars and spot treatments are the most convenient way to keep your dog pest-free.

  • Collars:
    • A flea or tick collar is a simple way to prevent (or even treat) infestations. It does this by emitting a “gas” that repels the pests. It helps prevent ticks more than fleas because it’s located around the neck (where ticks are most likely to be found). Collars also last for months.
  • Spot Treatments:
    • Spot treatments are very effective by killing and preventing ticks and flea infestations. By applying some between your dog’s shoulders, the substance is spread through the dog’s skin oils. After it’s applied, the fleas or ticks that bite the dog will die. Some treatments prevent fleas from maturing and reproducing.

Make it a Habit

Remember to regularly check your dog (or cat) for ticks and fleas, and be sure to use the collar or spot treatment. These preventive measures will keep your home safe from infestations, and your pet happily itch-free. 

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