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Love your pet: Tips to prevent ticks and fleas

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Taking your dog for a walk comes with the added responsibility of checking for Lyme carrying ticks. You and your pet can also pick up fleas.

22News went to Dakin Humane Society in Springfield to learn the differences between a collar and a topical. Dakin’s Carmine DiCenso told 22News about how to properly protect pets against fleas and ticks.

“There are some that will keep ticks, fleas, even mosquitoes away from your animal,” said DiCenso. “Others don’t work until the flea or ticks bites your animal.”

There are several brands for both. Carmine DiCenso said most collars last up to eight months, while the oils last up to one month. 22News asked local residents how they treat their animals for fleas and ticks.

Anne Marie Swift of Chicopee told 22News that she sticks with oils when treating her pets.

“I usually don’t have any problems as long as I put it on faithfully once a month,” said Swift. Angie Brito of Springfield added that oils do a better job. “The process takes all the fleas out better than with a collar, faster and simpler.”

Deax Paterson of Springfield said while drops are good, but that collars are just as good too.

Paterson told 22News, “Sometimes I use the drops, but the flea collars are pretty good.”

DiCenso warned against grabbing the cheapest product, or one that looks good.

“Don’t just grab the cheapest product or the one that has the fanciest box. Really, look it up, look up reviews,” said DiCenso.

Most veterinarians will tell you it’s best to purchase these products from them, but those same products can be found over-the-counter in any pet store. DiCenso said it’s important to know your pet’s weight, that way you’re applying the proper dosage.

“So you’re going to be putting the product on your animal and not having the desired results of keeping those pests away,” said DiCenso. “And if your animal is smaller than the dosage then you are risking your animal’s health because you overdosing them with whatever medicine that is.”

It’s important to note that many flea and tick treatments use a form of insect control, which can be toxic. DiCenso told 22News you need to be careful, especially around children. Your best bet is to talk to your vet.

He or she can help you navigate the many products available, either at a pet store or through your vet

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