Updated: May 21, 2020
Each year when the temperatures begin to indicate that winter has receded and spring is fully in swing, I check the closet for my supply of flea and tick prevention topical solution.
Depending on your individual situation, your routine may not mimic mine. And since vaccines are not available for every type of disease your pet could contract from a tick bite, it is important to take some type of action to prevent Lyme or other tick-related diseases or a flea infestation.
My vet advises that I keep my dog, Ginger, on a year-round schedule for flea and tick prevention. She cautioned me at our last annual exam that there is always a possibility if the temperatures get above freezing that a tick could become active and my little ninja dog could get a tick bite in her own backyard without some type of protection.
I fall on the spectrum between crazy dog lady and generally concerned pet parent. Yet, I know that Ginger has never, ever gotten a tick bite in our back yard. In her grandpa’s back yard in West Virginia, where people and pets alike fight off ticks with frequency, she has had them crawl on her.
I use a standard over-the-counter topical solution (mainly because when we are in West Virginia Ginger sleeps in the bed with me and I want no part of a tick moving from her fluffy body onto mine). You, however, might be concerned about their safety. In fact, the FDA issued a warning in 2018 regarding flea and tick solutions that contain isoxazoline .
There are alternative options, including natural remedies that you can explore with a holistic veterinarian or at your local pet supply shop. No matter what method you prefer, please be sure to give your pet a thorough look over after any time spent where ticks could have been picked up and remove them as quickly as possible.
Enjoy the great outdoors with your pets, but be sure to take precautions so that you or you pet don’t contract a tick-borne disease this summer.