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It’s Flea and Tick Prevention Month – and time to protect your pet

Plan now to protect your dogs and cats from fleas and ticks this summer.

Michelle Martin
for Premier Pet Supply
Keep your pet safe from fleas and ticks this summer.

Fleas and ticks can live in southeast Michigan all yearlong, but they’re most active during the warm-weather months.

May is Flea and Tick Prevention Month – the perfect time to stock up on flea and tick preventatives, and brush up on your understanding of how to keep them from feeding off your pets this summer.

Are your pets properly protected from fleas and ticks? Here’s what to know.

Know where they live

It’s a common misconception that fleas and ticks only live in the woods. But they can live anywhere – including in your backyard and in your house.

Outdoors, fleas and ticks especially like tall grasses, so be sure to keep your lawn cut short. These pests also like moist, shady areas, so don’t forget to rake your leaves frequently. Indoors, fleas prefer to live in bedding, on carpets and on your pets. And ticks, which are less likely to come inside, still can make their way indoors – but don’t give them an opportunity to do that.

Home and yard treatments, such as Wondercide Flea, Tick and Mosquito Control, can be used indoors and out. The product is naturally derived and stops the life cycle of fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. You also might consider planting flea- and tick-repelling plants around your backyard. Lavender, lemongrass, chamomile and peppermint are a few plants that fleas and ticks hate. 

Use preventatives

The best way to deal with fleas and ticks is to keep them away in the first place. That means using a flea and tick preventative that’s either applied onto the skin or taken by mouth.

Veterinarians recommend using preventatives year-round, although it’s critically important for Michigan pets to be protected between April and October.

Spot treatments, such as PetLock Plus Flea & Tick Treatment and Prevention, is given as a topical liquid for dogs. Likewise, Advantage II’s flea treatment for cats is given in monthly topical doses.

Oral flea and tick preventatives, like Capstar Flea Treatment, can be taken by cats and dogs. And collars, such as PetLock’s six-month flea and tick dog collar, also can keep pests away.

Check your pet regularly

Check your pet for fleas and ticks when they return from playing outside.

Even with preventative treatments, fleas and ticks can still make their way onto your pet. That’s why it is important to check your dog or cat regularly.

Run a comb, such as the Safari double-sided flea comb, through your pet’s fur. Put a white towel underneath to check for any black specs that fall off. These specs could be flea dirt – the fecal matter from fleas.

If you suspect flea dirt, check your pet closely in the areas where fleas like to hide, including the back, neck and undersides of dogs and cats.

Ticks like dark, moist areas, such as under the arms and under the tail. Check carefully in these areas, and across the rest of your pet’s body, by running your hands across your pet to feel for small bumps. If you find a tick, don’t panic. Carefully pull it out with tweezers and watch your pet for any unusual changes in behavior.

Use shampoos and powders

Flea and tick treatments help protect your pet.

If you do find a flea or tick on your pet, it’s important to be sure they’re off your pet and out of your house. Start by bathing your pet with flea and tick shampoo. Then, follow up with a flea powder from UrthPet, which can be used on your dog or cat and in and around his bedding. 

Because fleas and ticks can be hiding in your pet’s bedding or in carpeted areas, be sure to thoroughly vacuum your home. And don’t forget to throw away the vacuum bag when you’re finished. Follow up by sprinkling a flea powder, such as the one by UrthPet. 

To learn more about how to keep your pets properly protected from fleas and ticks this summer, visit

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