Look what the dog dragged in: How routine grooming can keep ticks and fleas at bay this summer

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, June 17, 2012

As the weather grows warmer, so grows the abundance of ticks and fleas that can cause havoc for pets and households. Not only are these pesky parasites responsible for spreading Lyme disease and other harmful bacteria, but this summer promises to have more of them, as health experts predict record numbers due to a mild winter. Fortunately, the same routine that keeps your dog looking and smelling good can help protect them and your home from these tiny intruders.

1. Clip and trim regularly – The longer your dog’s hair, the easier it is for fleas and ticks to tag along for the ride. Keep your dog’s hair cut shorter in the summer to make it more difficult for these parasites to hide and harder for them to climb on. Since flea and tick season extends through summer and into fall, consider making this grooming exercise part of your routine during warmer months. To save on grooming costs, invest in pet clippers and do this at home.

2. Bathe and shampoo the natural way – While there are topical ointments that can deter fleas and ticks for several weeks, many of these contain harsh chemicals that can cause harm to your pet. To play it safe, go natural. New pet shampoos, such as Wahl Natural Pet Shampoos, are made from 100 percent natural plant-derived ingredients and include a flea and tick control formula that naturally repels fleas and ticks for up to one week. Adding bathing to your pet’s summer routine can also make it easier to spot and remove fleas and ticks, especially after long days of outdoor activity.

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3. Brush before re-entry – After taking your dog for a walk or playing outside, brush them thoroughly before allowing them to come back inside. This, in addition to running your fingers through their fur, will help ensure any hitch-hiking fleas or ticks are brushed away before they have the chance to get inside your home. For best results, consider using a large bristled brush that can effectively remove loose debris – and creepy crawlies.

Flea and tick control requires regular cleaning and maintenance of your home and pet. Maintenance such as brushing, spot checking your dog’s skin and clipping their coat short in the summer are all proactive ways to ensure prevention of fleas and ticks during the summer months. For more grooming tips and advice for every breed of dog, visit wahlpets.com.