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How To Keep Your Dog Safe From Common Summer Pests
Pets are part of the family, so if anything is disturbing or nagging them, the entire household suffers. And while we work hard to keep our homes tidy and keep insects and parasites at bay, dogs and cats love playing outdoors and running around in the grass, which is unfortunately where pesky pests call home.
While most insects are harmless to our four-legged friends, some can be toxic and even deadly. Here we discuss some of the common bugs our canines can come in contact with, from worms and ticks to fleas and mosquitos.
Fleas are blood-sucking dark-brown parasites that can be a big nuisance to your dog. Fleas cause a lot of itchiness and irritation. The scratching is even more severe if your pup is flea-allergic or hypersensitive to the parasite’s saliva. According to Rangersdog, your dog can also ingest tapeworm eggs from fleas.
During summer, fleas are a problem as they do well in temperatures of between 65 and 80 degrees and humidity levels of between 75 and 85 percent.
If you notice a lot of itching or scratching on your dog, you may need to seek flea treatment from your vet to keep your pup healthy.
Bees and Wasps
Dogs are adventurous animals and it’s not uncommon to find them sniffing flowers or digging anthills. Summer is when insects such as bees and wasps are foraging for pollen and food that keeps them active during the winter months. Thus, when your pet goes knocking on their patch, they will likely get stung.
Dogs also love chase games, and you’ll often find them running after little insects on the field. Unfortunately, insects such as bees and wasps can pack a powerful sting. Since you can’t supervise your pup all the time, you can protect him from insect stings by applying an insect repellent lotion.
As a word of caution, bee and wasp stings can be deadly if your pup receives multiple of them. Some dogs are also allergic to such stings, which is why you should always seek the advice of a vet if you notice an allergic reaction.
Mosquitos, lice, and flies
Parasites such as mosquitoes, lice, and flies can also be harmful to your dog. These insects feed on your pup, causing itchy skin, loss of appetite, scratching, and allergic reactions.
Let’s look at each of these pests in more detail.
Mosquito bites can cause heartworm disease or the West Nile virus in your dog. Heartworms can be fatal if left untreated, while the West Nile virus has no cure. You can keep your dog safe from mosquitos by ensuring there is no standing water near your home. You can also use mosquito repelling plants or apply a mosquito repellent to your pup when playing outdoors.
Lice have hook-like claws that they use to hang to your dog’s body as they suck their blood. Symptoms that your dog may have lice include scratching, hair loss, and wounds. Always check your dog’s fur, especially in the neck, ears, groin, and shoulder areas after playing outdoors. If you notice signs of dog lice, use a topical pet recommended treatment.
Flies are not only a nuisance to your dog, but they can also cause medical problems. In the heat of the summer, many dogs spend lots of time outside and can suffer from fly strikes, an irritation caused by the biting of flies. The flies’ bites are often found on dogs’ eyes and often appear as sores. In most cases, the flies will lay their eggs in the affected area, causing a painful wound. The wound may look almost like an allergic reaction, so it’s always good to seek your vet’s advice when your pup has crusty sores.
Ticks are blood-sucking pests that feed on the blood of humans and animals. While the tick bites may be painless, they can be dangerous to your dog. Ticks can transmit Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, or Rocky Mountain spotted fever to your pet. Some symptoms of tick bites in your pup include itchiness and lethargy.
Spray or bath your dog with a pet recommended tick prevention product. You should also check your pup fur for ticks twice a day, and if you notice any, you can use a simple tool such as tweezers to remove them.
Summer provides the ideal conditions for spiders to thrive. The temperature is just right, while water and food are plentiful. There are also enough places for spiders to hide during the summer months.
Spider bites may go unnoticed for a few days, but they often become infected sores due to licking from your pup. Poisonous spider bites are worse as they can result in tissue damage and even limb amputation. Keep your pet from licking a spider wound by covering it with a loose bandage before seeing the vet.
To keep your pet safe indoors, you might need to seal all cracks in walls and wood frames as these are the sort of places spiders like to nest. Spiders also love to hide in bushes and shrubs. We recommend that you trim such vegetation around your home. You should also keep your home well-lighted and regularly vacuum and clean the surfaces underneath your furniture.
If you notice a spider infestation in your home, call a pest control professional or use a pest repeller to mitigate the issue and keep you and your pet safe.
Your dog is at risk of picking different kinds of intestinal worms in summer, including:
Dogs usually attract such worms from other infected animals or from eating worm eggs in infected grass, feces, and urine. Dogs can show worm infection symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, or unexplained weight loss. Sometimes your pet may not show any worm infestation signs at all. It’s best to go for regular vet check-ups and adhere to the recommended deworming schedule to protect your pup from worms.
Keep an eye on your pet while they are out enjoying the summer weather. Dog trackers and cat trackers are great too so you can always keep an eye on their whereabouts. As well as protecting your pet with flea and tick protection, always have a water bowl topped up, and if you notice your pet has been stung or has ingested a poisonous insect, consult your vet immediately.