Melissa Brookshire, DVM, runs North River Enterprises and provides consulting services on pet food and animal health companies while balancing her life as a mom of two active boys. A graduate of the University of MissouriCollege of Veterinary Medicine, Melissa owned and operated a multi-species veterinary hospital with her husband before starting her consulting business.
Spring has sprung! This is the beginning of flea and tick season in many areas. However, in places like California where seasons aren’t prominent, fleas and ticks are around all year long! No matter where you live, you are guaranteed to see these pests more often and in larger numbers as you spend more time outside. Ask your veterinarian about the best protection plan for your area.
The most effective way to protect yourself and your pets is to prevent fleas and ticks from infesting your pet and property. Monthly or seasonal application of flea and tick control products may be enough to keep your household pest-free. Keep in mind, these pests can remain dormant for a while. If you are out and about, don’t be discouraged if you see one or two. Some products don’t keep pests off 100 percent of the time, but will kill fleas and ticks when they get onto your pet. Of course, manually removing any that you see is helpful as well. Don’t forget to brush your pets often to ensure a thorough inspection of their skin and coat. One application of flea and tick preventative may not be sufficient to get rid of an existing population of fleas and ticks. The key is to treat the whole environment- all pets, house and yard- where an infestation exists.
There are several safe and effective products available from your veterinarian. These include monthly topical or oral medications, yard and home treatments. Make sure to read all label instructions very carefully to ensure safe and effective treatment.