Warmer weather means many people are preparing for travel (our recent summer pet travel survey found that nearly half of pet owners will travel with pets in the next few weeks), so it's important to keep pets fit, healthy, and parasite-free.
It's not the most fun thing to think about but it's certainly a reality of owning a pet -- there are lots of creepy crawlies out there that can make life pretty annoying for everyone, and learning to keep fleas, ticks, and other bugs under control is just another part of the pet-owning skill set.
Whether you're getting ready to travel or just getting ready to enjoy a fun summer, here are a few tips for how to battle fleas effectively.
-Find out when peak flea season starts in your area so that you can begin preparing before things get bad. Weather.com has a handy tool to show you what you're dealing with based on humidity and temperature.
-Talk to your vet about options for treatment and, more importantly, prevention. Many people give their pets combination drugs on a monthly basis that prevent heartworms and other parasites, including fleas, and some natural flea remedies may work for you.
-Look around the house and treat more than just your pet. Fleas live in bedding and furniture, too, so take care to wash what you can and vacuum often.
-There are many flea killers available but that doesn't mean you should use ALL of them. Foggers, shampoos, sprays and powders may interact with bad results or may exceed safety levels. Check chemical ingredients and -- once again -- talk to your vet to make sure you're not overdoing it.
-Be consistent to avoid reinfestations and don't forget to check the yard if you have outdoor pets. Shady areas are danger zones (sunlight kills fleas), so either hire a professional exterminator or do some research in order to safely keep your outside areas as parasite-free as possible.