Shana Bohac is a local veterinarian who writes a column about animal issues.

You and your fur baby may be able to spend a little more time together outside now that the weather is nice and warm.

This is also the time that the pesky little fleas like to make their presence known. You may have already started to notice your pets beginning to itch. Right now is the perfect time to get your pet started on flea prevention. This will help to avoid a big flea burden throughout the rest of spring and summer.

A lot of different approaches are available to battling a flea infestation. Most people start with protecting their animal. When it comes to treating your pet, ask your veterinarian which flea preventative is best for your pet. A lot of choices are available and it can be overwhelming.

Flea prevention from your veterinarian is going to be the most bang for you buck. Over-the-counter flea/tick preventatives are typically ineffective and have potential harmful side effects. You may spend a little more money at your vet’s office, but the products are much more effective and have better safety margins. Not to mention, a vet bill from OTC flea medication toxicity can be pretty pricey. It is not worth your pet’s safety to save a few bucks.

It is great for you to protect your pet first; however, the problem may be much bigger. You are only seeing the fleas that end up on your pet, not the ones hiding elsewhere. This could include your house, yard, stray pets hanging around your house and even your neighbor’s yard.

The next step in flea control is having your yard and house sprayed before you even suspect a flea problem. You can call your local bug man to spray for you that way you know they will pick the right chemicals for your problem and chemicals that will not harm your pets.

If you choose to do the spraying yourself, make sure you pick products that have quick dry times and are safe for pets after they are dry. Chemicals that are safe for your pet are usually marked that way.

When treating your yard, make sure they/you spray a couple of feet up the fence line, in the flower beds, and on/around porches. Ticks and fleas are notorious for hiding in those places.

When spraying inside your home get the tough spots, under the couch, in closets, behind furniture, and along baseboards. Using a spray with a growth regulator is also very helpful to prevent flea eggs from hatching.

If your pet is having flea issues already this season, contact your local veterinarian. They can help you pick the best product for your fur baby.

Dr. Shana Bohac is a veterinarian and the owner of Navarro Small Animal Clinic.

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