1. Check with your vet before you use any flea or tick product. This is key if your dog is:
- Taking other drugs
- A puppy
- Pregnant or nursing
- Allergic to flea products
In these cases, the vet might suggest you use a special comb to pick up fleas, eggs, and ticks. Then drown the pests in hot, soapy water.
2. Follow instructions. Don’t use dog products on a cat, as this could be deadly. Only apply the amount needed for the size of your pet. Never double up on products. There’s no need to pair a powder with a spot-on treatment.
3. Wear gloves, or wash your hands with soap and water after you apply the drug. Follow the instructions for proper storage and disposal of packaging.
4. Keep pets separated while the product dries. You don’t want them to groom each other and swallow the chemicals.
5. Watch for signs of a reaction, especially if it’s the first time you’re using the product. Call your vet if your dog has symptoms like:
- Poor appetite
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- A lot of drooling
If your dog has a bad reaction, bathe him right
away with soap and water. Follow any instructions from the package insert. Call your vet and report problems to the National Pesticide Information Center at 1-800-858-7378.
Carpets, Floors, and Yards
You have to control pests in and out of your home. If you treat your house with an insecticide, ask your vet which ones are safe around pets and children.
Take these extra steps to manage fleas inside:
- Vacuum daily -- that includes carpets, cushioned furniture, baseboards, and the basement. Throw away the vacuum bag or thoroughly wash the canister after each use.
- Steam-clean regularly, especially areas where your dog sleeps.
- Wash pet and human bedding at least every 2 to 3 weeks.
Here are tips to control pests in your yard:
- Regularly remove leaf litter, tall grasses, and brush.
- Get rid of plants that attract deer, since deer carry ticks.
- Cover garbage and store it out of reach of raccoons and rodents, which host ticks and fleas.
- Trade chemicals for nematodes. These microscopic worms kill flea larvae and cocoons. Ask your pet or garden store for details.
WebMD Veterinary Reference