If you have a pet, such as a dog or cat, that goes outside, you need to make sure that you protect your pet against ticks and fleas. Here are some tips that will help you use your flea and tick products safely.
#1 Always Read The Label
Before you use any flea or tick products on your pet, it is vitally important that you take the time to properly read the label. The label should tell you how to properly apply the treatment, how often to apply the treatment, as well as any side effects or risk of the treatment. It is easy to assume that you know how to use particular products and overlook this important step; however, you can learn important information by taking this step when using any product or medication on your pet.
#2 Make Sure The Product Is For Your Type Of Pet
Not all flea and tick products are designed to be used on multiple types of animals. Some flea and tick products are only designed for cats and others only for dogs because they contain specific pesticides that are harmful when applied to animals that the products were not intended for.
If you have a kitten or a puppy, it is important that any flea or tick product you use is not just designed for cats or dogs, but is designed for use on kittens or puppies. Many products have a minimum age that is required before they are safe to use.
For your kitten or puppy, you may need to get their flea and tick treatment directly from their vet, such as Loving Care Animal Hospital.
#3 Watch Out For Side Effects
Whenever you use a new flea or tick product on your pet for the first time, you should monitor your pet and see if they experience any side effects from using the product. Read over the label again and pay attention to any potential side effects, and then keep an eye out for those side effects appearing in your pet. This will help you more easily spot if your pet is suffering from side effects and get them treatment if they do suffer from side effects. You should always monitor the effect of new medical products on your pet.
It is a good idea to not throw away the packaging after you use a new flea and tick product, so that you can refer to the labeling and packaging if your pet has an adverse effect to the product.
Common side effects for flea and tick products include vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, weakness, trembling, drooling, foaming at the mouth and even depression. If your dog experiences these side effects, call your vet for assistance. You should also report what medication you used as your vet. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a mechanism for veterinarian to report flea and tick products that produce adverse reactions in pets; they are trying to track this information and use it to improve those products. You can also report adverse side effects to the company that made the product.
#4 Use One Product At A Time
You should only use one flea and tick prevention product on your pet at a time. So if you give your pet an oral medication, you should not also apply a topical flea and tick medication as well. One product should get the job done. Using one product at a time also allows you to more accurately monitor the effectiveness and safety of the product that you are using on your pet.
#5 Be Careful With Application
If you are applying a topical flea and tick product, make sure that you wear gloves so that you don't get the product on your own skin. If you own multiple pets, keep them away from one another until the product has dried on their skin so that they don't rub their topical flea and tick product off on one another.