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Protecting your pets from fleas and ticks is a year-round effort

By Chelsea Humphrey, chumphrey@ktxs.com
Published On: Apr 29 2013 08:15:42 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 29 2013 08:19:29 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

With the warmer weather, fleas and ticks are becoming more active, but they're a problem that exists all year.

When the temperatures reach extremes, the tick and flea population will head into houses, garages, and back porches.

Don't be fooled, pets that spend all their time indoors aren't immune from the threat. "You can still bring ticks and fleas on your clothing, ticks and fleas will use us as taxi cabs to get to our pets, nobody's safe," says Dr. Janice Price with the Windmill Animal Hospital.

This problem is extremely contagious so if you have more than one pet, you'll need to treat everyone. If one animal goes untreated, pests will feed on that one and lay eggs, repeating the life cycle.

While there are several treatment options, Dr. Price recommends oral medications like Frontline or Revolution. These are the best because they can't wash off and will stay in the animals system for a full 30 days.

Big Country pet owners don't stop there when it comes to defending their pets, though. For his pet, Robert Thresher uses Frontline and frequent baths, usually once a week.

"We treat our yard twice a year, once at the beginning of summer and once at the end of summertime. It just creates a rolling deathbed for fleas and ticks," says C.J. Oakley, owner of two dogs.

Flea collars, while not the most effective thing you can put on your pet, can play a big role off of them. Just cut it into four pieces and place it in your vacuum's bag or canister. When you vacuum, you pick up about 25% of the flea population. The collar will kill what you pick up and prevent them from crawling out and reinfesting your home.

No matter what you use, take Dr. Price's advice, "You have to treat every month, religiously, continuously, or you're gonna have a problem."