How to deal with fleas and ticks

At Birch Bark Kennels in Vancouver, we like to keep pet owners informed about every way they can protect their pets. Two of the most common and nasty threats to your pets are fleas and ticks. When we take a pet into our kennels for boarding, we make sure to protect them from these dangerous threats whenever we take them out into the great outdoors. Just as we take steps to prevent fleas and ticks from feasting on your friends, you should keep an eye out for them as well when taking your dog for a walk around Vancouver.

What are fleas and ticks?

Although they're somewhat similar in that they're little bugs that attack our pets, ticks and fleas are actually quite different. Ticks are small arachnids, like spiders, and they live by feeding on the blood of other animals. As creepy as that sounds, they're very small so they're not always a huge threat. If they're identified and removed quickly enough, they don't do that much damage. One of the big problems is that ticks can also carry diseases such as Lyme disease along with them. If they become parasites on your dog, those diseases can easily be transferred to your furry friend.

Fleas, on the other hand, are insects, like flies and bees. Like ticks, they feed on the blood of a host and can carry diseases. In fact, although rats usually get blamed for spreading the bubonic plague in the fourteenth century that wiped out approximately a third of the people in Europe, we now suspect that is was actually the fleas on the rats that did it. Although it's extremely unlikely that any fleas or ticks in North America have the bubonic plague now, it's entirely possible that they carry some diseases.

Fleas in Vancouver

How can I keep my dog free of fleas and ticks?

Both ticks and fleas are extremely common and extremely good at surviving, so there’s little chance we can prevent our pets from coming into contact with them. Luckily, however, there are ways to protect our pets that don’t require us to continually spray our yards with pesticides. You can buy over-the-counter medicines from kennels and vets that you can give your dog during flea and tick season (in and around Vancouver that tends to be March and June, but it varies depending on the weather). Medicines come in a lot of forms, including shampoos, oral pills, spot-on treatments, and tick collars, to name a few. These medicines make your dog’s blood unpalatable to fleas and ticks so they won’t bother feeding.

At Birch Bark Kennels, every dog’s health and safety is important to us. We offer pet boarding at our kennels in Vancouver. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you keep your dog protected.