With spring comes warm, breezy weather. Prepare for trips with your furry friends to the beach, dog park, hiking trails, and other fun destinations! Unfortunately, spring also means fleas, ticks, and allergens. When you begin to sneeze, you may also find your dog and cat licking their paws. Thankfully, there are also ways to fight against these pests and uncomfortable allergies, keeping your Charlotte pet happy and healthy.
Fleas and Ticks in North Carolina
No one wants to deal with fleas and ticks. They’re uncomfortable for your pet and can spread throughout your home. Here are some things that you should know about these pests if you live in Charlotte:
- You’re most likely to have issues with ticks in the spring, summer or fall. Some are also active during the winter. When it comes to the types of ticks in North Carolina, you’ll find the American dog tick, the brown dog tick, the lone star tick, and the black-legged tick.
- Fleas, like ticks, can also strike at any time of the year in North Carolina. However, you’re more likely to spend extended periods of time outdoors when the weather is warmer, which will make your pet susceptible to these pests.
Symptoms of Fleas and Ticks in Dogs and Cats
Here are some of the signs that you should look out for when inspecting for fleas:
- Flea droppings, which look like very small, dark grains (will be in your dog’s or cat’s fur)
- Flea eggs, which are small, white grains (also found in the fur)
- Licking and scratching the skin excessively
- Hair loss
- Hot spots and redness
And for ticks:
- These can be spotted by sight and will look like a dark, raised bump
- They can cause skin irritation
- Your pet should be checked regularly for ticks if they spend a lot of time outdoors, especially near the head and feet
How to Get Rid of Fleas and Ticks
- There are several preventative treatments available that will keep your pet free of ticks and fleas. These include oral medications, spot-on treatments, shampoos, dips, collars, sprays, and powders.
- If one pet has fleas or ticks, then you should treat all of your pets with preventative treatments. This will keep your other pets from getting them, which is known as cross-infestation.
- Keep in mind that when dealing with a flea or tick infestation that you should also clean your home. This includes your bedding (including pet bedding), carpets and upholstery. These surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned.
- Learn how to remove ticks properly with a pair of tweezers. If you struggle to do this, then contact your vet.
Signs of Spring Allergies in Dogs and Cats
Just like yourself, your pet can also get allergies in the spring. This can be due to common allergens such as pollen, mold spores, and dust. Itching is a common sign among dogs and cats. Cats will lick to the extent that their skin is reddened and dogs will lick similarly, developing swollen, irritated skin.
How to Avoid Spring Allergens
If you’re looking to avoid the effects of spring allergens, then consider these tips:
- Levels of pollen are highest early in the morning and in the late afternoon. Consider walking your dog at different times.
- Clean your dog’s paws, legs, and body directly after their walks or your cat’s paws if they spend time outdoors. You can also put booties on your dog when walking them.
- Change your air filters regularly. This will cut down on the allergens that come in through the windows or the door when it’s opened throughout the day.
- If your cat isn’t already indoors-only, then consider making the change.
- Keep up with your cleaning. Many surfaces – such as your rugs, carpet, and curtains – can pick up pollen and dust.
Overall, the spring is a beautiful time in Charlotte but it’s important to take preventative measures against fleas, ticks, and allergens. If you’re looking for a pet sitter or dog walker this spring, contact Little Friends Pet Sitting & Dog Walking. To schedule a service or register as a new client, you can look for your location here.