The weather might be winding down into autumn, but the UK still looks set for a few more sunny days to come. For dog owners, you will have to take your pet outside whatever the weather, as they will need walking and exercising throughout the year. However, the rain and cold are far from the only problem your dog might encounter.

Parasites and pests like ticks and fleas are all too easy to pick up if your dog encounters long grass or other animals on your walk. These can cause your dog no end of discomfort, as well as potentially leading to a number of serious illnesses. Here are a few tips on avoiding these bothersome bugs.

Fleas

If your dog starts scratching much more than usual, check their fur: they may well have fleas. If this is the case, you can buy a large number of flea treatments and collars from most pet shops. However, these are mainly preventative. You can go one step further.

First give your dog a nice bath, using a natural insecticide like eucalyptus oil to kill off the fleas. You should wash their bedding, and see if you can purchase anything else to help you kill off any fleas in your carpets or upholstery. Treat your entire house, not just your dog, as fleas can spread surprisingly easily and it won't be long before you start itching.

Ticks

These can be much more serious, as these little arachnids are carriers for a whole range of nasty diseases. Luckily, these usually take a day or two to spread from the tick to your dog, so as long as you check your pet's fur regularly they should be fine.

If you find a tick, use a pair of tweezers to pluck it off your pet. Grip as close to your dog's skin as possible so you get all the mouthparts, as they can remain in your pet and cause infection. Disinfect the bite with an antiseptic wipe.

Many people also recommend preserving the tick's body in alcohol and keeping it for a fortnight or so. This is as a safety precaution; if your dog does become ill, you can take the tick body to show the vet and it might help them come up with a quick diagnosis.

Written by: Hannah