With all of those outdoor adventures that warm weather allows, you may primarily think of pesky pests as summer problems. However, did you know that your pet can still get fleas and ticks in the winter?
This applies to cats, too. Whether it’s from other animals in the home, a warm indoor hiding spot, used furniture or rugs, or visiting a new place, there are several ways that our pets can be affected by pests.
Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to ensure a pest-free environment all year long.
Tip #1: Clean Your Home & Yard
Fleas can multiply at a rapid rate. In fact, one flea with a warm host can lay up to 50 eggs each day. Gross, right? That’s why it’s important to thoroughly clean your home, doing your best to get rid of any sneaky fleas or eggs that may be present.
Vacuum carpets and furniture regularly, emptying the dust canister outdoors immediately afterward. Wash your pets’ bedding and blankets, along with any other areas of the house where your furry friend tends to frequent. Clean your floors and countertops to avoid attracting any flea-carrying rodents, too.
Keep your backyard tidy and well-maintained, too. Keep your lawn mowed, leaves raked, and shrubs trimmed, as these can be prime hiding spots for pests if they become unruly. Consider planting some flea-repelling plants, too—catnip, marigolds, rosemary, and sage, for example.
Tip #2: Keep Your Pet Clean and Fresh
Along with maintaining a clean living environment, it’s also important to keep your pet clean.
For dogs, this involves regular brushing and bathing. A fresh summer haircut can also help to make that thick coat less appealing to ticks; just be sure to keep at least one inch of fur to protect the skin from sunburn and debris.
Every so often, it also doesn’t hurt to brush your furry friend with a fine-toothed comb to remove potential fleas and their eggs. This is especially helpful for cats since we’re generally trusting them to do all of their grooming on their own.
Tip #3: Conduct Home Health Checks
You love to pet and cuddle with your four-legged friend, right? During one of those pampering sessions, conduct a home health check. Gently run your hands along your pet’s jaw, neck, chest, back, belly, and legs, checking for any abnormalities or foreign objects.
In addition to checking for fleas and ticks, pay attention to any lumps and bumps, redness, or other skin abnormalities. If your pet is pulling away, whimpering, or acting a bit aggressive, he may be feeling uncomfortable and could benefit from a visit to the vet.
Tip #4: Visit the Vet Regularly
In addition to those home health checks, it’s important to visit the vet for regular checkups whether you suspect a pest infestation or not. Plus, some bugs can carry diseases, so it’s always good to rule out potentially serious health issues.
Stay up-to-date on vet-prescribed flea and tick treatments, too—even in the winter.
Tip #5: Provide Supplemental Support
When it comes to choosing the right supplements for your pet, there are lots of options to choose from, ranging from individual ingredients to commercial products.
For example, garlic can act as a natural pest repellent. It will take some time, but after consistently giving your dog small amounts of garlic—between half a clove to three full cloves depending on his weight—many pests will find him too garlicky for their taste.
Coconut oil can also be helpful. In addition to making your dog’s coat shinier and less susceptible to damage, it also hydrates the skin and makes it harder for ticks, fleas, and mites to latch on.
Find garlic, coconut oil, and more natural ingredients in Pet Honesty’s Flea & Tick Defense Chews. These delicious soft chews act as a natural complement to your pest prevention efforts, providing toxin-free defense against fleas and ticks. Plus, it also helps to support skin, joint, and immune health. What’s not to love?
*Please note: our Flea & Tick Defense Chews are not designed to supplement, rather than replace. other flea and tick solutions.