Don’t stop looking for signs of infestation throughout the winter

Continually checking your pet for fleas and ticks can prevent a more serious infestation

Pets and their owners can feel intimidated by fleas and ticks. The risks of a flea and tick infestation are well-documented, and there are constant reports of the rising numbers of infestations around the country. It's more important than ever to keep an eye on your dog or cat to check for the signs of a tick or flea problem. Even into the colder months, there are pests leftover from the summer that are active and looking for a host. 

Veterinarian Marie Gagnon recently told local Kentucky news source WDRB that the relatively wet summer has formed one of the worst years for pests she's seen in the last 20 years.

"People that have forgotten or just didn't think they would get that bad, or sometimes some indoor pets and people say, 'Oh, I didn't think my pet would get that, then they really can get out of control,'" Gagnon told WDRB.

The trickiest situation, said Gagnon, is when the pet infested with fleas or ticks isn't allergic to them, so the pet isn't constantly furiously scratching. This is why it's important to check your pets frequently for fleas and ticks either by giving them a thorough bath or going through their fur with a fine-toothed comb. 

Another method of checking if your dog or cat has fleas is the "white towel test." Have your pet stand on a white towel, or anything akin to a towel, and brush its coat while checking to see if there are black droppings falling on the white surface. 

Protection in a hostile environment
While an infestation of fleas is often associated with scratching and minor annoyance, the symptoms and dangers don't stop there. Blood loss from a flea infestation can result in severe anemia in your pet, which may require blood transfusions, Gagnon told WDRB. If left to fester long enough, the flea infestation could even result in death. 

Year-round treatment is the solution for preventing any possibly dire circumstances. Products like the Hartz® UltraGuard Plus® Flea & Tick Collar for Puppies can kill and repel ticks for up to seven months. It also kills any flea eggs in order to prevent the risk of reinfestation. The Flea & Tick Collar for Puppies is an especially valuable resource, as puppies are the most vulnerable to the effects of blood loss from a flea infestation. 

This content is provided by the flea treatment experts at Hartz. We offer flea sprays, shampoos and drops to keep your pets safe inside and outside your home.