Taking your pets out into the countryside is a wonderful way to help them exercise and have fun. If you live in the countryside, they can enjoy roaming much more freely than in an urban space – but there is a downside. Out in the country where there are many more wild animals, there are many more pests. This means that you’ll have to take extra care to keep your pets healthy and comfortable.
When you think about pests that bother pets, the chances are that the first to come to mind are fleas. They’re not just itchy and unpleasant for affected animals, they can also carry diseases. The best way to keep them away is to brush your pets thoroughly after any trip into the countryside and to give them regular baths with a pest-killing shampoo. Hoover your house frequently and keep your pet’s bed, toys and other possessions clean. If they still show signs of irritation or if you suffer any flea bites yourself, take your pet to a vet as soon as possible to have them checked out. Some vets also offer helpful advice on home care – check out Bob Martin’s new website to find out more.
Ticks present similar symptoms to fleas, but they can carry much more dangerous diseases, notably Lyme disease, which has recently taken hold in Britain and that represents a potential risk to owners as well as pets. You should check your pets for ticks when they come in and – if you remove one – be careful to extract its mouthparts too so that the wound doesn’t get infected. A good way to do this is to dab it with vinegar, which will make it withdraw from the skin before you kill it. There are sprays you can use on your pets to make them less attractive to ticks. If your pet shows signs of tiredness or weakness, go to the vet just in case.
Midges and mosquitoes
In most parts of Britain, mosquitoes don’t carry the most dangerous diseases and midges are more common, but both can still irritate pets a great deal. Again, using a protective spray can reduce the risk of bites occurring and careful grooming can extract from fur any insects that haven’t yet got around to biting. Stroking can also help to soothe pets who have been bitten and make them less likely to hurt themselves with repeated scratching.
Creating a safe space
Many types of pest are more of a problem if they have the chance to breed once your pet gets home. Grooming and washing reduce the risk of this, but it also helps to pay attention to their home environment. If possible, keep your garden free of standing water and use anti-pest treatments when gardening. Be careful to clean any indoor soft furnishings your pet uses, including things like your sofa and your own bedcovers, as often as you can. This will give your furry friends a better chance of fighting off any pests that do bother them, and staying in great health so that they can enjoy the countryside all the more.