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The Ultimate Pet Guide For Flea & Tick Prevention

The Ultimate Pet Guide For Flea & Tick Prevention

Summer in California is sunny, hot, and the season for fleas and ticks. It’s so important to be proactive in keeping your dog and cat safe from these terrible little creatures. When dogs and cats are susceptible to flea or tick bites, they are at risk for diseases. Unfortunately, vaccines for tick-borne diseases are not yet available. It’s extremely important to use flea and tick prevention products on your furry family members.

Did you know that when a dog or cat is bitten by a tick the signs and symptoms don’t typically appear for 7-21 days? Keeping an eye on your pet for changes in behavior or appetite is imperative, especially if you have your suspicions that they’ve been the main course of a tick’s dinner.

Stop Tick-Borne Diseases Before They Happen

There are plenty of things you can do to reduce the chance of your cat or dog being infected with a tick-borne disease. Your first step should be an appointment with your veterinarian. Getting your pet a good once-over by the doctor is key. At this appointment, you can ask your vet any tick-related questions you may have and for the best ways to keep your pet safe.

Here are some other tips for tick prevention:

  • Check your dog or cat daily for ticks, especially if they spend time outside
  • If you find a tick on your pet, properly remove it, ASAP
  • At each vet appointment, have your dog checked over for ticks
  • Take measures to reduce tick habitats in your yard
  • Research and discover which tick preventatives are best for your pet

Keep in mind that cats are far more sensitive to chemicals than dogs. Always ask your vet to point you in the direction of feline-friendly tick repellents.

Make sure to check the following areas when examining your pet for ticks:

  • In and around the ears
  • Around the eyelids
  • Under the collar
  • Under the front legs
  • Between the toes
  • Between the back legs
  • Around the tail

Prevent Fleas From Infesting Your Pet

Dogs and cats need flea protection all year round, not only in summer. This is because most fleas thrive in temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees. Most of our homes meet these temperature thresholds, even during winter. It’s important that your pet remain effectively protected with high-quality products.

Which leads us to our next point: Don’t use expired flea products! The efficacy begins to wear off, significantly, after the expiry date. This leaves your dog or cat open to a flea infestation. It’s wise to check with your vet about the products you plan to use and what their shelf lives are.

Using canine flea and tick prevention products on your cat is a mega no-no. Dogs and cats do not metabolize chemicals in the same way. Your cat is far more sensitive to medications than your dog. Using a canine flea treatment on your cat can seriously injure or kill your pet. Make sure to thoroughly read all product labels. If you are unsure of a product being safe for cats, ask your veterinarian.

Regularly check your cat or dog for fleas. Unlike ticks, fleas are much easier to notice. They swarm your pets’ body and often culminate in groups. You’ll often see sore spots, bleeding, and itching when a flea infestation is severe. Your dog or cat may even excessively scratch or bite at themselves to relieve the itching and discomfort.

Regular grooming is vital in keeping fleas and other parasites from calling your pet’s body, home. Lucky Dog Pet Grooming Salon knows exactly how and where to check your pet for fleas during the grooming process.

Keeping your yard neat and tidy is another excellent way to deter fleas from bothering your pets. Fleas love to congregate in warm, moist, shady areas with lots of grass and leaves. Raking and mowing can help keep them away.

Lastly, taking your pet to the vet for regular checkups is important. Your vet can examine your cat or dog for signs of flea infestation and also counsel you on the best preventative measures.

Get Flea And Tick Prevention Tips From Lucky Dawg Pet Grooming Salon

We want to see your pet healthy and free of ticks and fleas just as much as you do. Schedule an appointment with our friendly staff today for your professional grooming services, whether that be an in-salon visit or our mobile grooming services. Feel free to contact us with any flea and tick prevention questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Everything You Need to Know About Flea and Tick Control for Your Pets

Everything You Need to Know About Flea and Tick Control for Your Pets

As a dedicated pet parent, there are some tasks that you just have to stay on top of. You need to make sure that your dog or cat is fed on time, bathed and groomed regularly, and that they have a comfortable spot to settle down for the night. But amidst the daily walks and more than occasional treats, there is a less obvious concern that can often be overlooked – pests. While we may look at these eight-legged parasites as just everyday annoyances, the truth is that they can cause real harm to our furry friends.

The Dangers of Fleas

There are over 300 species of fleas in North America alone, and just a few dozen of these insects can produce about a quarter of a million offspring every month. Statistics like these just go to show how difficult it is to avoid flea bites, especially if you’re a pet that enjoys spending lots of time outside! In fact, there’s a species of flea that prefers to feed exclusively on household cats and dogs.

While flea bites are extremely painful on their own, they can lead to far more than just temporary discomfort. Many animals (including humans) can develop intense allergic reactions to flea saliva, a condition that is known as flea bite dermatitis. Among afflicted pets, this condition can lead to severe itching which in turn compels your pet to scratch the affected area compulsively. As a result, their skin can become inflamed and break open, forming scabs that are vulnerable to infection.

Apart from this issue, there are other nasty flea-borne illnesses that can affect your pup or kitty. If your pet actually eats a flea then they may be at risk of developing tapeworms, as fleas regularly carry these parasites.

How Fleas Attack

While fleas may not have wings, they have a leap that’s more than capable of getting them where they need to go. These insects have highly developed rear legs that can propel them at least seven inches vertically, and a foot in any direction. Fleas are generally found outside among the bushes and dense vegetation, during the warmer months from April to October. When the cooler weather strikes most fleas look for opportunities to travel indoors where temperatures are ideal. They can accomplish this task easily by hitching a ride on your pet, so you need to be vigilant all year round.

What are Ticks?

Ticks are not insects. They actually belong to a subspecies of mites known as ectoparasitic arthropods. These creatures subsist solely on blood, and each specific type of tick is adapted to feeding off just a few animals. Ticks can survive in all but the harshest winter climates, so you have to be wary of them throughout the year.

Ticks can either be hard or soft. Hard ticks are usually tiny and dark. They have a shell which prevents them from eating too fast, while soft ticks have no such limitations. Soft ticks can quickly grow to the size of a small pea after one meal.

How Ticks Attack

Ticks are highly sensitive to odors, warmth, moisture and vibrations. In other words, everything that makes up a living, breathing body. When they sense a potential victim nearby, they will climb to the edge of grass or leaves and stretch themselves out, in anticipation of their approaching prey. When your cat or dog happens by, they simply latch on.

It takes anywhere from 10 minutes to a couple of hours for ticks to find a suitable feeding spot on the skin. Before feeding, the mite will inject a small amount of anesthetic saliva into the skin, which prevents victims from feeling the bite. After beginning to feed, the tick will simultaneously secrete a cement-like substance to anchor it in place. A single tick can feed like this for days on end, unless it is removed.

Why Worry About Ticks?

Even if a specific tick does not carry any bloodborne infection, several of them combined can drain a lot of blood from your pet and even cause anemia in extreme circumstances. Ticks can also carry a number of serious diseases which can be transmitted to humans (called Zoonosis).

  • Lyme Disease – there are 43,000 reported cases of this illness every year. If left unchecked it can quickly become chronic and debilitating for pets and owners alike. Lyme disease is treated through vaccination
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Colorado Tick Fever
  • Tularemia
  • Tick Paralysis
  • Cat Scratch Fever

Tick Removal

The safest and most effective way to remove a tick is with a pair of pointed tweezers or a similar tool. Grab the pincers as close the skin as possible and pull away directly upwards using gentle, steady pressure. Make sure not to twist or crush the tick as this can cause it to vomit up infected blood or saliva. Once the parasite has been safely removed, drop it into a Ziploc bag, seal it and drop it into the trash. Make sure to cleanse the bite area thoroughly and use antiseptic to treat the wound.

Pest Protection for Pets

  • Brush your pet’s coat thoroughly with a flea comb after any outside activities.
  • Watch out for dark flecks across your pet’s coat, this is indicative of flea droppings.
  • Bathe your cat or dog regularly with a good flea shampoo. But be warned, these treatments have limited residual effect. Talk to a pet care specialist to get a list of safe products that you can use.
  • Wash your pet’s sleeping area and utensils regularly.
  • Vacuum your floors and make sure to keep them clear of debris, so that any pests can be easily spotted. Make sure to throw out the vacuum bag afterwards.
  • Steam clean your furniture to prevent eggs from being hatched inside nooks and crevices.
  • Keep your lawn well-trimmed and treat it with a cat/dog-friendly pesticide.
  • Look out for any sudden changes of behavior. If your pet is suddenly fatigued, or lacking their usual appetite then this can be an indicator of Lyme disease and other related issues.
  • Find a good flea spray that can kill these pests at all stages of their life cycle.
  • If you’re dealing with a full-blown infestation you’re better off contacting a pest control professional.
5 Ways Regular Pet Grooming Keeps Your Pet Healthy

5 Ways Regular Pet Grooming Keeps Your Pet Healthy

Pet grooming is an $8 billion industry. Grooming your pet cuts down on pet dander and dust in your home and keeps your pet clean and tidy. But many people are unaware that regularly grooming your pet also helps them stay healthy.

Here are some ways regular pet grooming will help keep your pet in tip-top shape:

1. Preventing Matting

Have you ever had your hair caught, or had a ponytail that was too tight? This uncomfortable feeling is how your pet feels when they have a matted coat. And they’ll often have that feeling in many different parts of their body.

By ensuring that your pet is regularly groomed, you’ll be able to keep an eye out for any injuries, bumps, and lumps. That means you can quickly show your vet if you or your grooming service find any worrying masses, and potentially detect cancer at the earliest stages- saving your pet’s life.

2. Preventing Overgrown Nails

Not only do thick nails look horrible, but they often cause discomfort for your pet and can even be painful. Sometimes, overgrown nails will cause enough discomfort that your pet begins to walk in a different way to take pressure off the painful spots. That can cause a walking deformity.

Ensuring that your pet’s nails are constantly clipped and filed will prevent them from facing these problems and keep them comfortable.

3. Removing Long Hair

Long hair is a leading cause of discomfort amongst pets. When hair is overgrown, it can get in your pet’s eyes, blurring their vision and causing permanent eye problems.

When your pet has long hair (particularly in the summer) they can get hot and itchy. Imagine walking around with a coat on in the middle of July- pretty uncomfortable right?

When pet hair is left to grow too long, your pets can end up with skin problems and infections.

4. Brushing Teeth

It may seem like getting your pet’s teeth brushed is an unlikely feat, but vets agree that it’s crucial for great health.

While your groomers may offer teeth brushing, you should also be brushing your pet’s teeth at least twice a week.

You can pick up toothbrush kits at pet stores. You’ll need to use special pet toothpaste as human toothpaste can upset your pet’s stomach. Oral hygiene will mean your pet’s teeth and gums will stay healthy. When pets have sore or infected mouths or teeth, they will often go off their food, leading to weight loss, so be sure to brush regularly.

5. Avoiding Ear Infections

Pets, particularly dogs, need to have their ears regularly cleaned. Some dogs and breeds are prone to ear infections. Many dogs also have hair in their ears which sometimes needs to be groomed.

Ensuring that your pet’s ears are kept clean will help prevent ear mites, ear infections, and other problems.

Ready for Pet Grooming?

Regular pet grooming will keep your pet comfortable and allow you to spot any issues as soon as they arise. You’ll also stay on top of any potential issues and keep your pet as healthy as possible.

Want to learn more about our grooming services or make an appointment? Get in touch today.

Keeping Your Pet Flea Free

Keeping Your Pet Flea Free

It can be heartbreaking to watch a pet struggling with itching because of a flea infestation. For many pet owners, this can be even more frustrating because there is a chance the problem could have been prevented. Check out these options for keeping your pet flea-free and happy.

Collars

There are two different types of flea collars that pet owners can choose from. One works to repel pests, ensuring that a pet never gets bitten. The other only works once a pet is bitten, killing the flea after it has ingested the insecticide. Most collars serve to help with both fleas and ticks. The results can last for several months and, in some cases, can be the least expensive of all the options. Be sure to mention that a pet has been wearing a flea collar when bringing him or her in for pet grooming.

Liquid Applications

Topical treatments for fleas are popular with pet owners because of their effectiveness. Despite the fact that the liquid must be applied every thirty days to the skin between the shoulder blades, it gives many owners peace of mind when it comes to the health of their furry friends. The solution is absorbed by a pet’s body and begins to work in as little as twenty four hours. Some solutions treat more than just the adult fleas. They also work to prevent eggs and larvae from fully developing.

Chewables

One of the latest forms of flea prevention comes in the form of a chewable tablet. Pets ingest the medicine and get protection from more than just fleas. They are also given a layer of protection from parasites that might try to attack the intestines. For many pet owners, this opens up a brand new world of possibility as dealing with fleas is easier than ever. As an added bonus, certain brands of the medication can also help with heartworm prevention.

Getting rid of and preventing fleas can be a huge concern for pet owners. It makes it possible to bring a pet to a dog grooming appointment without fear of bringing along other unwanted guests. It can prevent fleas from trying to establish a living arrangement inside of a person’s home.

Pet Health is a Combination of Many Factors

Pet Health is a Combination of Many Factors

There are many factors that contribute to good pet health, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, grooming and visits to a veterinarian for well checkups and vaccinations. It takes a combination of all of these to provide a pet with the best care possible. Since our pets are a vital part of the family, keeping them healthy will allow them to live a long and happy life.

Good nutrition helps a pet to grow and maintain strong muscle tone. A balanced diet is important for dogs and cats to be active and alert at all times. An active pet needs regular exercise in order to burn off excess energy and to stay in prime condition. When a pet feels good, it’s only natural that he will be happy and eager to please his human companions.

A healthy diet for dogs and cats begins with food that is low in grains and high in meats and vegetables. In fact, many pet owners are now opting for grain-free foods or raw food diets. Poor nutrition can contribute to a pet becoming obese or developing conditions such as arthritis, bladder stones and heart disease. It can also result in a continuation of common ailments like diarrhea and constipation. A veterinarian can offer advice on which type of food may be best for your specific pet, as well as the optimum weight range to stay within.

Grooming is another important part of having a healthy pet. Regular brushing can keep a coat mat-free, while aiding in distributing the natural oils on the skin. Grooming provides an opportunity to catch early signs of skin allergies, tumors, flea or tick infestations and other medical issues that may require intervention. Grooming should include brushing, bathing, trimming when necessary, along with nail trimming and ear cleaning. It’s also a good time to take care of dental needs to avoid painful tooth problems down the line.

In addition to all of the daily care that a pet needs, well checkups by a licensed veterinarian are essential for detecting any medical problems early on. It is highly recommended to have at least one yearly exam that includes administering any vaccinations that are currently due. Just like with humans, vaccinations can prevent serious life-threatening illnesses from shortening a pet’s life. Well checkups can also provide the assurance that a pet will remain an active part of the family for as long as possible.

Pet Immunizations: Investing in Pet Health

Pet Immunizations: Investing in Pet Health

Are pet immunizations really worth it? How important is it for a pet to be immunized? Owners concerned with pet health have asked themselves, their vets and even resources on the Internet to find answers to these questions. For those new pet owners that aren’t sure about vaccinations and the peace of mind that they offer, here are some quick points on the benefits for both pets and their owners.

Prevention of Disease

No one wants to see his or her pet sick. If fact, most would do just about anything to prevent this from happening. Pet immunizations are one of the easiest way to prevent a pet from suffering from certain types of diseases. With just a quick shot, pets are protected for a year or even a number of years. This results in a happier, healthier life. In reality, this benefits more than just the pet. Owners can avoid expensive vet and hospital bills when they have a pet that isn’t struggling with serious pet health issues.

Prevention of Death

If watching a pet suffer with disease is difficult, losing a pet to death can feel unbearable. It can be worse to learn that the death could have been prevented. Some diseases are life threatening. In addition to struggling with the cost of paying for a sick pet, owners can find themselves with mounting medical bills as they attempt to protect the life of their pet. Unfortunately, after all of that, many pets that are not immunized will still not make it though the process. The cost of an immunization is minimal when compared to the financial and emotional cost of a pet dying.

Low Risks

For pet owners that are wary of putting their furry friends in harms way, pet immunizations come with a low risk considering what could happen to a pet without the protection. The process is convenient and there are regular intervals when a pet needs to come in for boosters to their immunizations. Regular appointment with a vet are the perfect time to take a closer look at a pet’s overall health and find out if any shots are due.