Santa Clarita, Calif., March 29, 2019 — Spring is here and with it pesky pests. Excessive moisture and above-average rainfall predictions will cause an early spike in ticks and insects including fleas and mosquitoes, according to the National Pest Management Association’s (NPMA) Spring/Summer Bi-annual Bug Barometer®. More bugs mean pet owners should take action now to protect their four-legged companions from the health risks these pests inadvertently cause. And Animal Behavior College (ABC) offers three essential tips to keep cats and dogs healthy and safe.
“Tick, flea and mosquito bites can cause infection, transmit disease and can even lead to death,” said Michelle Metzger, Animal Behavior College Program Operations Manager and Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT). “In the spring, it’s critical that owners protect their pets by administering preventative treatment. Pets living in warmer climates need to be treated year-round since these particular pests don’t always go away when the temperature drops.”
The Bug Barometer is NPMA’s seasonal forecast of regional insect activity in the U.S. The report is based on entomologists’ predictions using weather patterns, past weather trends and insect biological behavior. Winter moisture, humidity, and a cold and rainy spring and summer have created ideal conditions for mosquitoes and ticks to multiply and thrive, especially in the Great Lakes, Midwest, Ohio Valley, North Central, Northeast and South Central regions of the U.S.
To keep pests at bay and protect pets, ABC recommends that pet owners do the following:
Be Proactive and Act Now. From sprays, topical treatments and chewable tablets, there is an assortment of preventative treatments available over-the-counter and by prescription. Some products are multifunctional and not only prevent heartworm (which is transmitted by mosquitoes) and intestinal parasites, but also inhibit fleas and ticks from reproducing or kill them when they bite. Consult your pet’s veterinarian to discuss product recommendations that are most effective for your pet’s specific need.
Be Attentive and Check Pets Regularly. Fleas can cause anemia and allergic dermatitis in some cats and dogs, and invade homes through untreated pets. Be vigilant and inspect your pet thoroughly and regularly especially after walks or playing outdoors. Use a flea comb to check for fleas while paying close attention to common areas, including your pet’s back, neck, throat, around the base of the tail and underbelly. If you notice debris on the flea comb, wipe it on a wet paper towel. Rust colored debris indicates the presence of flea dirt (flea feces) and signals the immediate need for a flea preventative. As an added measure, keep pet beds, toys and crates clean and floors vacuumed.
Be Careful When Removing Ticks. Ticks can transmit disease, such as Lyme disease, typhus and Rocky Mountain spotted fever in pets and people. These diseases can cause fatal complications. To check for ticks, gently move your fingers in the opposite direction of where your pet’s hair or fur grows. Check under the collar, the groin area, front legs and tail. Brush frequently to remove stray grass and other debris, and keep pets from weeded areas and bushes. The best method to remove a tick is to use tweezers or a tick-pulling device such as a tick key or tick twister. Do not squeeze the tick. Carefully pull the tick straight out of the skin, ensuring that the head does not break off. If you are not sure that the tick was entirely removed, immediately contact the veterinarian.
If ever in doubt, contact your pet’s veterinarian right away.
ABC offers four professional certifications in
cat training, dog trainer training, dog grooming and veterinary assisting. Specialized certificates of completion in seven short-term programs are also available on subjects, including doggie daycare, pet fostering, pet nutrition and training shelter dogs.
For more information, call 800-795-3294 or visit
Animal Behavior College.
About Animal Behavior College
Founded in 1998 by Steven Appelbaum, Animal Behavior College is a vocational school that trains professional dog trainers, cat trainers, veterinary assistants and pet groomers nationwide and in the 10 provinces of Canada. ABC has graduated more than 27,900 students from its four core programs combined. Students obtain practical hands-on experience applying what they learn by working side-by-side with a member of ABC’s expert mentors group. These mentors include thousands of professional dog trainers, veterinary hospitals and clinics and grooming salons from all across the U.S. and Canada who are dedicated to helping students succeed in the pet services industry.