Happy summer, hoomans! Boy, I don’t know about you, but I just love the summer. George and I get to splash around in the water. We see our hooman brother and sister more. We go camping in the woods. Sometimes we even get to go on a boat ride!
Yes, summer is the best time of year. Well, except for a few minor…we’ll call them inconveniences. First, there’s the heat. For HugeHounds, the heat can be pretty rough, especially with all of our fur. Then, there are bugs. Ugh. Fleas, mosquitoes, mites, and ticks can be a real downer for us when the weather starts heating up.
It’s not just the itching and the scratching, either. Some of these bugs can cause serious illnesses. Fleas can lead to anemia, hot spots on the skin, tapeworms, allergic reactions, and skin infections. Ticks are even scarier! They can lead to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, canine hepatozoonosis (which could include kidney failure), tick paralysis, and Lyme disease. Mosquitoes are perhaps the worst. Their bites could lead to a host of viruses and the dreaded heartworm.
Now, your best bet to protect your fur-ever friends from these scary situations is to prevent these bugs from ever bothering us. Let’s start with fleas and ticks.
For a long time, the best flea and tick prevention—or at least the most popular—was a topical medicine applied to the fur. You might think of Revolution or Frontline Plus. A dog collar with this “adulticide” infused into the material can also help with prevention. It’s called “adulticide” because the medicine kills adult fleas and ticks, which in turn prevents eggs from being laid or hatched to restart the cycle.
A lot of vets have also discovered that chewable tablets can work from the inside out to prevent fleas and ticks. Bravecto is a popular one, and also Nexgard chewables, but not with George and me! We hate pills, even the chewable ones. Our mom and dad give us the Revolution, and we’re just fine.
When you get an itchy mosquito bite, that’s usually the worst that happens. It’s annoying, but unless that mosquito is carrying a rare disease like West Nile Virus or Zika, you can just put some calamine lotion on it and keep going.
For us dogs, however, the story is very different. Dogs can very easily contract heartworms from a single mosquito bite. That’s why it’s so important to never, ever let our preventive medication lapse!
As with the flea and tick prevention, heartworm medicine can be applied in several different ways. The Revolution medicine George and I use has that heartworm prevention mixed right in. Some dogs require something a little different, like chewable tablets. There’s Heartgard, which comes in a beefy-type tablet that’s really easy to chew—for some dogs, I mean. George and I still don’t like them. Then there’s Tri-Heart, which is also chewable, but not as soft or beefy.
If your dogs aren’t fooled by these beefy or chewable tablets, stick to the topical solutions. Some of us are just too smart to be tricked into chewing up our medicine.
Now, remember: I’m Mozart—a dog. I can tell you what George and I like, but you shouldn’t consider that medical advice for your own HugeHounds. No way! Be sure to ask your vet which is the best option for your pupper, because we all have different reactions to medications.
Feel free to share your favorites in our private Facebook group, but keep in mind that we’re just sharing opinions there, too. Research on your own because your best friend deserves the best option for his or her specific needs.
Without the worries of summer pests like fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, we can all run free together in the yard and swim in the creeks and ponds to our heart’s content.
Expect big things!