The flea and tick season is likely to be day, with dog owners urged to take precautions to protect their pets.

Dogs Australia President Hugh Gent says the wet weather across the nation and rising temperatures as we head into summer has created "the perfect storm" 

“Ticks are blood-sucking parasites that attach themselves to animals and people and then they feed voraciously," he said.  "As they feed, ticks can transmit a large number of diseases and skin issues. And fleas can also transmit disease and cause tapeworm infections and anemia. Some dogs are very sensitive to fleabites and suffer from serious allergic reactions.”

Here are Dogs Australia’s 5 key tips to help keep your dog flea and tick free.

  1. Start prevention treatment ASAP. The best way to prepare your dogs is to put them on parasite preventatives. There are plenty of options to choose from including chewable tablets, medicated shampoos, topical gels/drops, medicated dips/washes, flea powders, sprays, infused collars. Check with your vet or pet shop on what the best solutions are, depending on your dog (e.g., age, size, if they have any health issues etc).
  2. Groom your dog regularly and check for ticks and fleas. Take just 5 minutes each day to brush or finger-comb your dog and check for signs of parasites.
  3. Make your garden less accommodating. It’s important to take preventative measures to keep your backyard free of pests, so make sure you cut your grass regularly and kill or remove weeds in areas you can’t reach with your mower.
  4. If you notice a tick on your dog, remove it immediately. Studies show that it generally takes 36 hours of skin contact for ticks to transmit the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease in dogs and cats. Use a special tick remover or fine-point tweezers, to avoid tearing the tick and spreading possible infections into the bite area, grasp the tick as close to the skin and possible and very gently, pull straight upward in a slow, steady motion. Use antiseptic wipes or ointment to disinfect the bite site and keep an eye on it for signs of infection. Praise your dog for being good and give them a treat as a reward.
  5. Get rid of fleas in the house fast. A solitary adult female starts laying eggs the day after its first ingestion of blood, so it doesn’t take long to have an infestation on your dog and in your house. Fleas often hide in carpet fibre and bedding and can survive a whole winter indoors. Wash your linens and your dog’s bedding in hot soapy water ever week or two to kill any fleas or flea eggs. Vacuum a few times a week during flea and tick season – and then bag up the contents and place them in an outdoor bin so the fleas you suck up won’t re-infest your home.

Dogs Australia is a not-for-profit organisation, promoting responsible dog ownership. It is the consumer face of the Australian National Kennel Council, which was established in 1958.

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