What do you need to know about your pet’s fleas and ticks?
- Fleas may be categorized as human or cat/dog fleas. As the names suggest, human fleas feed on human blood while cat/dog fleas feed on a pet’s blood.
- They are not harmful to both human and pets, however, they do cause skin irritations that when not treated may cause allergies or infection.
- These pests may be avoided by keeping your dog away from grass trails during the hot season, applying tick/flea-control products when necessary, and keeping your surroundings clean.
Are you crazy about dogs? I know I am! Who wouldn’t want to have these cute and furry little stress-relievers running around the house? They just make our homes so much livelier, especially if you’ve got a bunch. But of course, though more is merrier, more is also more responsibility. We have to keep ‘em all bathed and clean, not just for hugging, but because we don’t want them carrying fleas and have to risk getting their itch too.
Unfortunately, these pesky fleas are inevitable and I’m not even exaggerating. Even with preventive measures, we just can’t keep them from coming! And at some point in our dogs’ life, there is always a chance of them being infected. Fleas come from all sorts of places – from stray animals just “visiting” your home, out in the park where you walk your dogs, a ride in your car, or even from you! Yes, you! Fleas have a way of hiding in our clothes, furniture, and other things we least expect them to be hiding. But just because we might be carrying some of these pests, doesn’t mean they will start living with you.
What are the main types of fleas?
There are two types of fleas: the Human Fleas (also called the “Pulex Irritans”) who feed on humans and pigs, and the “Ctenocephalides felis/canis”(cat/dog fleas) who feed on our pets. Human Fleas rarely infest homes unless the family is exposed to wildlife a lot. There is a reason why they have different hosts – it’s because of the nature of their hosts. The difference between you and your dog is that your dog has fur, which the dog fleas can cling to and live in. HOWEVER, even if you don’t have fur, they can still bite you if they don’t find a host!
Especially when there’s just so many of them because they start competing against each other on who gets to feed on your dog. So when there’s too many of them, you better have your dogs treated for fleas and ticks because if not, you’re going to be their next prey! Don’t forget that the main thing these fleas want is blood and you know you have lots of them too.
Are they harmful to human’s health?
Fleas can move their way to you in the absence of your pets. Though they may be itchy and can cause rashes and allergic reactions, they are fortunately harmless. The same goes for your pets.
However, it depends. There are still dogs or cats that are pretty sensitive to these fleas. Hence, it’s only important to get rid of them as long as you find one on your pet.
How does a bite look like?
Typically, the bites may appear as tiny red dots. Though they come unnoticed in for a while, the moment you scratch them, they’d definitely turn into skin infections. Thus, the tiny red dots at your back, your tummy, your arms or your knees.
How can you treat them?
In order to treat fleas or ticks bite, you should be mindful of the following:
- First and foremost, it’s important to NOT scratch them. Regardless of how itchy or irritating they are. Scratching will only lead to the worsening of the bite and the risk of it getting infected by the bacteria that may enter it may cause unpleasant infections.
- In order to actually treat it, look for the an itching cream or lotion which may have the indication ‘For insect bites’ somewhere on its label. Apply it on the spots to reduce the swelling and also to clean the area.
- If the bites have gone worse, or if you’re having allergies due to the bite, you may contact your doctor for advice. This will make it easier for you to get rid of the bite given the unlikely effect of the flea bite to your skin.
- In the event that the bite that you have acquired do not seem severe or in need of a cream or any other solutions, you may just apply cold compress or run the bite through cold water to relieve the itching. You may also rinse it to clean the area and avoid getting skin infection.
How to avoid these pesky pet pests?
There are simple, natural ways that you can do to avoid these kind of pests from getting aboard your pet’s body. Among them are:
- Do not walk your pet dog on grassy trails during the summer season or when it’s particularly hot outside as this can cause the pet to get wandering ticks or fleas from the area.
- Clear your area of unnecessary garbage and of clutter to avoid tempting these pests from lounging around your place.
- Apply vet-approved tick-control products such as shampoos, powders, or even spray solutions regularly or, when necessary, to avoid the pests from breeding and living in your pet’s fur. In the event that you see it falling on the ground, be sure to kill it and put it away.
- Do not forget to cut your grass regularly. This may be used as a hiding place of fleas as they wait for your pet to come out if it isn’t maintained.
Before these pests gets out of hand and start biting you, you should get rid of them once you start seeing even just one of them on your dog. If you’re not sure because you have lots of dogs and it’s very hard to inspect fur, you should call your vet and ask for a prescription of tick drops to kill off these pests. However, if you see these ticks and fleas crawling not just on your dog, but on your curtains, furniture or bed – you better call pest control instead. Yeah, it rhymes, and it makes a lot of sense too!