Fleas and ticks are life-threatening. It is never enough just to adopt preventive measures. Ensuring your pooch is tick free is a careful and meticulous task of prevention, checking, and treatment.
It becomes a lot more important if your fur buddy is either a puppy or a senior. In both stages, dogs tend to have a weak immune system, and they often react adversely to infection and heavy medication.
In this article, we are going to help you understand how to protect your senior dogs from fleas and ticks.
Keep in mind also, that sadly enough, humans can also get ticks. Be sure to read about tick prevention for humans.
How to Protect Senior Dogs from Fleas and Ticks
Harsh Chemical Treatments – A No-No
It’s important to understand that once a dog crosses the age of 8-9 years, they are past their prime. This means they not only need special treatment in terms of daily care, but their medication also needs to be suitable for their aging bodies. While a young 3-4-year-old pooch can handle the side effects of strong potent flea medication, a senior dog might fall prey to it and land up getting sick.
This is precisely why the market is laden with multiple natural dog flea and tick prevention options such as diatomaceous earth and herbal shampoos that control fleas and ticks without causing harm to your pooch. Check for products that use apple cider vinegar, lemongrass, and citronella as ingredients. They are safe for elderly dogs and are potent repellents of fleas and ticks.
Regular Blood Tests
Much like old humans, senior dogs need regular check-ups to ensure their health is fine. A lot of flea and tick-related diseases don’t show any symptoms until the last stage, and by then it’s almost the end, and nothing can be done.
Based on the life your dog has the lead, it’s important to understand their immune system. Because most senior dogs have compromised immune systems, they are often prone to vector-borne diseases such as Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis. Diagnosed at the right time, most tick-borne diseases can be fought off by administering pet medications.
Failing appetite, weakness, or disinterest to playful stimuli, demand an immediate blood work that specifically checks for flea and tick-borne diseases.
With age, much like people, dogs tend to lose their patience as well. Elderly dogs are often disinterested in a lot of cuddling or playing, and they prefer to spend time snoozing in a quiet corner. Please understand that this is normal with age. When applying flea and tick medication, try and respect your dog’s need for space.
Your pooch will give you enough warning if they don’t like something. Be gentle, assertive where required, and read the signs to make sure medication and bath time is not during an unwanted time of the day.
Try and Use Mild Shampoos
A lot of flea and tick shampoos are chemical laden and irritate your dog’s skin. If your dog is unnecessarily snapping during application of a particular shampoo, refrain from using it. That’s the only way they can tell you if something is wrong. To avoid situations like these, stick to shampoos and cleansers that use natural ingredients. Check out herbal and organic pet products and one with natural essential oils rather than their chemical counterparts.