What to Do When You Find a Tick on Your Dog

Even though winter brings frigid temperatures around most of the United States, your dog isn’t necessarily safe from pesky, opportunistic ticks. If you take your pooch out for a walk in the forest or a stroll through a nearby field, when the conditions are right, ticks may still be around and looking for a victim. After you take a walk, no matter what time of year, it’s important to check your canine companion for parasites.

Checking for ticks is easy. Start off by petting your pup like normal, but use your fingers to feel for any bumps, no matter how small. If you find a bump, investigate it. It could be a tick, a small scratch, or something less consequential. Pay special attention to covered areas on your dog, like their armpits, toes, groin, chin, ears, head, and even tail.

A tick will feel like a pea-sized bump but can vary in size. If you suspect you found one, take a look. Ticks will be brown, black, tan, or grayish with eight legs. They may be attached to your dog or just on the surface of your pooch’s fur depending on when you find them. Also, some can be very small, so don’t be too quick to dismiss, the Humane Society of the United States explained.

Dealing With Dog Ticks
If you do stumble across one of these pesky pests, you’ll want to take careful steps to ensure your and your dog’s safety. First, put on a pair of rubber gloves, because ticks can cause trouble for humans as well as dogs. Next, gather tweezers, antiseptic, and isopropyl alcohol.

Use the tweezers to grab the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible without pinching your pooch. Then, pull the tick out with a swift, fluid motion. Check the spot afterward to ensure that no other bits of the tick are lingering, as these can also lead to infection, the Humane Society reminded.

Place the tick into a container full of isopropyl alcohol to kill it immediately, yet still preserve it in case your dog shows symptoms of an illness and your veterinarian needs to see what type of tick it was to determine treatment. Use the antiseptic or soap and water to wash the wound and protect your dog. Also, make sure to give them plenty of love following the annoying and possibly painful experience.

Prevent tick problems altogether with tick medication for your dog from PetPlus. Advantage II, Frontline Plus and K9 Advantix can help protect your pooch all year-round for a low price.

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Protect Your Pet From Fleas to Protect Yourself

Fleas are terrible pests. In addition to causing your furry friend serious discomfort, they can also carry life-threatening diseases. But did you know that our pets aren’t the only ones affected when fleas enter the picture? Our bodies and homes are at risk, too. Here are four reasons to protect your pet from fleas so you can protect yourself, too.

1. Fleas Can Bite Us

While it’s true that fleas prefer animal blood, they will bite a human if the opportunity presents itself. And if your pet has fleas, the opportunity often does. Flea bites usually occur around the feet and ankles, but can also show up around the waist, armpits, groin, breasts, or in the folds of the knees or elbows. The bites appear as small, red bumps, and for most people, are extremely itchy. Some people are less sensitive to flea bites and may have only mild irritation or no irritation at all, but for those who experience itching, the sensation can be unbearable.

2. Flea Bites Can Cause Secondary Problems

Fleas can easily pass on diseases to pets, but for humans, the risk of contracting a disease from a flea is relatively low. Still, flea bites can cause other problems, such as scarring and infection if you scratch to the point of breaking the skin.

3. Fleas Can Take Over The House

Imagine sitting down on the couch to enjoy your favorite TV show when suddenly — eek! A flea jumps onto your arm. Or perhaps worse, you have guests over, and you notice a flea creeping along your friend’s shoulder. These are not extreme scenarios; when fleas infest your home, they really take over. Fleas lay eggs on your pet (as many as 50 in one day!), and as your pet moves around the house, those eggs disperse. Once this process is in action, it can be incredibly difficult to get rid of fleas.

4. Fleas Can Take Over The Yard

Your yard should be a place where you can catch a breath of fresh air, let the dog out to play, or have friends over for a BBQ. It shouldn’t be a place crawling with blood-thirsty pests. But if your pet brings fleas home from the dog park, kennel, or neighborhood, it can easily become that. Fleas love to post up around trees and in garden beds, prepared to pounce on the first warm-blooded creature that crosses their path. While it is possible to eradicate fleas from your yard, it’s just as difficult as removing them from your home.

Want to avoid the irritation and hassle of fleas? Protect your pet today! And with PetPlus, you’ll get wholesale prices on flea preventatives like Frontline Plus, Comfortis, K9 Advantix II, and more. PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more. Learn more at PetPlus.com

 

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4 Safety Tips For Dressing Your Pet

Many pet parents like to dress their four-legged friends in clothes. Sometimes it’s for fashion (e.g., tutus and t-shirts), sometimes it’s for function (e.g., jackets, raincoats, safety vests, and protective boots), and sometimes it’s to celebrate (e.g., Halloween and Christmas costumes).

While dressing your pet up can be both fun and functional, it is important to do it safely. Follow these 4 tips to ensure that your pet won’t become a fashion victim.

1. Don’t Force Your Pet Into Clothes

Some pets love to wear clothes and become real hams when dressed-up. Other pets prefer the coat they already have, and may become stressed if forced into an outfit. If your pet looks uncomfortable, anxious, or like they are having an allergic reaction while wearing clothes, accept the fact they might not be cut-out for wearing a get-up.

2. Choose Clothes That Won’t Cause Harm

Make sure that any clothing you buy is made out of non-toxic materials, and that it doesn’t have embellishments (like buttons) that could be swallowed or pieces that could become tangled. Also beware of loosely woven knit garments that could snag a tooth or toenail and accessories that could block vision. When it comes to buying pet clothes, those with the fewest bells and whistles are usually the safest.

RELATED STORY: 5 Tips For Dog Safety Around The Home

3. Make Sure Your Pet’s Clothes Fit Properly

Is your cat’s coat constricting? Is your dog’s t-shirt too loose? You want to make sure that your pet has enough room to comfortably move around, but not enough room that the garment will cause chaffing or catch a leg in a loose opening. In addition, make sure that any clothing item can be easily removed should your pet ever become tangled or injured.

4. Don’t Leave Your Pet Alone In Clothes

Even if you buy the safest garment you can find, there is still a chance that your pet could get twisted up in it, catch it on a hook or fence, or get bored and decide to give it a chew, swallowing pieces that could cause intestinal obstruction. If you want your pet to wear clothes, make sure that you are around to supervise.

Does your pet wear clothes? Leave a comment and let us know what kind, and consider signing up for PetPlus to save on your pet’s medications, boarding, supplies, and more.

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