Win the War on Fleas in the South!

When spring blows in, especially in the warm southern states, not only do we get warmer, sunnier weather, but we also get armies of pesky, biting, and jumping fleas! Some seasons are worse than others when it comes to fleas, but those fleas will move into to your yard by the truckloads it seems.

Before you know it, here you go again with keeping your dog or dogs flea-free. It’s a never-ending battle, but if you stay one step ahead of the game, it makes things a lot easier for both you and your dog!

What to Know About Fleas

There’s a lot of things to keep in mind when your battling fleas. One thing in particular, is that some dogs are affected more by fleas than others. It’s just like, for example, humans and poison ivy. Some people can wade through piles of it and never get affected, while others can have the wind merely blow some micro-fragments of a poison ivy plant on them and they break out in welts from head to toe. Dogs are the same way with fleas! So, just because you’re dog isn’t scratching like crazy doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t have a flea nest riding around on them. Fleas on a dog can be carried into the house, where they can jump on to other things and multiply.

Give Your Pup Extra Baths

A second thing to keep in mind is the importance of frequent bathing during flea season. If you’re using a flea shampoo, another preventative and inexpensive soap to use in-between flea soap baths is Dawn dishwashing liquid. This dish soap is not a long lasting repellent, but if you lather your dog up with this particular soap and let it sit for 5 or so minutes, those fleas will drop dead right before your eyes! For whatever reason, Dawn kills fleas like no other dish soap. It’s just a little tip to remember if you need to give a bath in a hurry.

Keep Dog Bedding Clean

When you are taking part in that war against fleas, you have to pay attention to their bedding, both inside and out. Dog beds need to be washed and cleaned. You could even get a safe insecticide spray to use on them, let it dry, and then wash the beds. If you can afford to get brand new beds and throw the old ones away, well that’s even better. Spring cleaning your dog’s favorite outdoor spots to lounge, like the patio or porch, is also a good habit to get into.

Additional Flea Tips

Monthly flea preventative drops are always helpful. They can be expensive, but adding them into your budget helps everyone out in the long run! These drops, however, are not always a 100% guarantee! Over the years, fleas have evolved and developed a resistance to many of the chemicals, especially in certain parts of the country. Whether the active ingredient is Imidacloprid, or any of the pyrethroid-based products, fleas can sometime tolerate these products and they aren’t as affected as they should be. Additionally, many people prefer to use natural remedies as much as possible, as opposed to chemicals.

When it comes to natural flea repellents, there are a variety of ideas online worth checking out. Make your own DIY flea repellent for dogs using essential oils like peppermint, lavender, lemongrass, or citronella oil. Now you can take these inexpensive oils and make a spray that not only repels fleas, but smells good too! Simply add 15 to 20 drops to a spray bottle filled with water and you have a natural flea spray.

Keep in mind that different natural remedies are needed for cats, as many natural oils are harmful or even fatal for feline friends. One simple flea repellent that’s safe for cats and dogs is apple cider vinegar.

Final Flea Thoughts

Before we wrap up, let’s review a few more things. Certain dog flea products simply repel fleas, while others you kill the larvae and prevent them from hatching. Some flea products are waterproof formulas and others are not. They’re all different, depending on which ones you buy, so make sure to read the labels carefully.

Lastly, focus on tiny proactive steps such as vacuuming your carpets daily. Flea collars are great for added protection. It’s best to keep dogs that are hyper-affected by fleas out of the sand and grass until you get a handle on things.

Remember, staying one step ahead of the fleas and tackling the problem from all directions will get your flea problem minimized in no time! Please remember to read your labels and do not use “dog only” products on your cat. For dog walking or pet sitting by reliable pros in the Charlotte area, contact Little Friends today.

 

 

 

 

Summertime Safety Tips for Dogs in Charlotte

Summer heat in the south can be a scorcher, especially in July and August. Humidity levels can reach 90% and temperatures get well into the high 90s. It’s hot for those of us who grew up in this weather, and even hotter for those who didn’t! Humans and pets need to be mindful of the summer heat- it can zap you before you even realize it.

Often times, transplants from other states aren’t accustomed to the North Carolina heat and humidity. Newcomers to Charlotte need to take precaution when summer rolls around, not just for themselves, but for their pets! Pets that aren’t used to high temperatures and humidity need extra attention during the hot summer months.

So here are just a few helpful tips to get your dogs through a blistering summer weather season:

Don’t Ever Leave Your Pet in a Car, Even With Windows Cracked!

It’s never a good idea to leave your dog in your car, even if you have the windows cracked. In a matter of minutes the temperature can skyrocket to dangerous temperatures. A pet or a human sitting in a car on a hot day with no air conditioning, is like having a belt of steel wrapped around them. And that same car, sitting on asphalt or concrete, gets even hotter. Dogs have a hard time keeping themselves cool- even with windows cracked, they can overheat and dehydrate in no time. Those of you that are new to Charlotte: you may have been able to do this in your cooler and less humid home states, but this is not something that you can do in the south! Please be mindful and help spread the word.

Plan Your Dog Walks in Early Mornings or Late Evenings

If you’re new to Charlotte, you’ll soon learn that you’ll hear a lot of summer weather reports regarding the daily temperature, the humidity level, and the heat index. For lack of better words, the heat index is basically the “feels like” temperature. For example, the temperature may be 95 degrees, which is already hot!…but with the humidity level factored in, the Heat Index, or “feels like” temperature may be 105 degrees! On these super hot days, it’s best to walk your dog in the early mornings or the late evenings. When you and your pet start walking down a concrete sidewalk or an asphalt road, that’s going to make that hot summer weather even hotter on delicate paws! So stay inside as much as you can, especially on those ultra-hot days. Save the dog walking activities for the cooler parts of the day.

Keep a Dog Travel Bag Packed

If you’re the type that frequently brings your dog around town on shopping trips or to one of the many beer gardens in Charlotte, it’s a good idea to have a dog travel bag with you. With all the pet-friendly stores and restaurants that welcome pets these days, it’s nice to be able to bring you best fur friend with you on those little excursions. But when you do, make sure you bring their personal supplies, such as a bowl for drinking, a bottle of water, and maybe a washcloth for cooling down their face.

It’s better to be safe than sorry! If you’re always prepared with your dog’s travel bag then you never have to waste time improvising; we all know what it’s like to have to scramble around and pinch off the top of a Styrofoam cup so your dog can have something to drink out of when you’re away from home. So be prepared with your dog travel bag!

Have Multiple Water Bowls

If you live in a house with a fenced yard, and your dog is primarily an outside dog, it’s also a good idea to have multiple water buckets in areas that stay shaded. One drinking bowl for your dog is never the safest or smartest thing to do; it could always get knocked over, or your dog could drink all the water. So having several big buckets of water in strategic places is the best route to go. The more water the better! Don’t forget to check those water bowls daily! If your dogs stay in at night but romp around in the yard all day, check those water bowls! Make sure they have clean, fresh drinking water. Dogs can spend a day without lunch, but it’s not the same for water, especially in the summer heat.

Make Use of Plastic Kiddie Pools and Shade

You can never go wrong with a hard plastic kiddie pool. When summer rolls around you can find these pools at most big box stores. Putting one of these little pools under a shade tree just gives your dog yet another way to stay cool during the summer heat. Little dogs aren’t always the fastest to jump in a pool, but the bigger breeds love them! For $10 bucks, you can’t go wrong! And in an emergency, it’s yet another drinking source for your dog.

Look for Pet Products Designed For Summer Weather

There are all sorts of specialty products designed for your pets to help tackle the summer heat. One product in particular is the Kool Collar. These cooling collars are filled with ice cubes. Another product that you can buy to help tackle summer humidity and heat is the Cooling Dog Collar Bandana. Remember though, none of this specialty dog cooling gear is intended to take the place of common sense and drinking water. They’re just a little something extra to help take the edge off on the super hot days.

Here at Little Friends Pet Sitting and Dog Walking, we wish you and your pet a safe and cool summer. We cannot stress enough to keep up with the daily summer weather forecast and have plenty of water available for your pets. Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions or concerns and keep us in mind for any of your pet sitting or dog walking needs.