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5 Common mistakes when using flea and tick collars on dogs

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Home » Blog » 5 Common mistakes when using flea and tick collars on dogs

Common mistakes include: not ensuring the collar fits snugly, ignoring the dog’s potential allergies, using expired collars, not adhering to weight-specific guidelines, and improperly storing the collar, reducing its effectiveness.

Improper Fit

It is important that a flea and tick collar fit properly. A collar that is too tight can cause skin irritation, hurt the dog, and in extreme cases can strangle it. A loose collar, in turn, can simply fall off or not have that contact with the dog’s skin, which is necessary to repel insects and pests. They say that the product is of the correct size if two fingers stick between the collar and the dog’s neck. A minimum of gorgets is designed for two sizes. For example, if your pet’s neck is 35 cm in volume, and the collar is adjustable up to 40 cm, then everything is in order. The upper limit is the correct size, and if the dog’s neck is as thin as possible, then adjust the fastener on the collar so that it sits as tight as possible without causing inconvenience.

Someone might think that is the end of it, but that is not the case. It is necessary to adjust the collar from time to time if the dog is thickening or, conversely, losing weight. Unfortunately, many dog owners rarely check the size: approximately 40% of them do not change the original size of the product. This can be a serious problem if the pooch grows and starts to feel uncomfortable in an even slightly compressed collar. Do not forget about regular monthly inspections, in the process of which you can detect wear and tear in time.

Finally, the quality of the collar itself is the most important factor that plays the most important role in this matter. The material from which the accessory is made plays a crucial role not only in the effectiveness of the product but also in the comfort of its use. It is not only resistant to various climatic conditions and natural wear but also does not cause allergies. For the convenience of the pet, there are now many comfortable products made of high-quality nylon, on which greasy marks do not appear, unlike rubberized ones.

Not Checking Regularly

It is important to regularly inspect a flea and tick collar to make sure that it is still useful for preventing the pests. This would involve looking at it physically to ensure that it is not broken or worn out, which would make its medicinal ingredients to leak out or become largely ineffective. Regular collars do not have these qualities, and they can still be useful even if they are somewhat damaged. Checking would involve looking at it with your eyes, which could be done every month. Additionally, you should check to ensure that it is not too tight or loose, and it should be adjusted as necessary, and the dog’s weight and coat changes seasonally. For example, the dog may gain weight during winter, and the collar should be loosened slightly. After three to eight months, the collar should be replaced because it would have lost most of its effectiveness.

Despite clear instructions provided by manufacturers of the above information, a survey conducted in 2006 of about 1500 dog owners found that 30% of them continued to use flea and tick collars beyond the recommended period. Additionally, some people apply human pest repellent on the dog even while they have the collars on. Dog owners should check on their dogs every month or time, to identify any signs of a rash on their skin around the neck. The odor should also be used to determine if the collar has become ineffective. If there is a rash, red skin or hair loss in that area, the collar should be removed and another one bought or a different brand used.

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Using Old or Expired Collars

Using an old flea and tick collar is a common oversight that will make the collar extremely less effective. The chemicals that are responsible for repelling and killing fleas and ticks degrade over time. When the collar “expires”, the concentration of these chemicals will be too low to provide an adequate level of protection for your pet. Every collar has a specific lifespan, which depends on the brand and typically ranges from 3 to 8 months. The brand you are using might guarantee 8 months of protection, while the no-name flea collar you bought in pet store lets you down after just 3 months. It is essential to check the expiration date and the recommended time of use on the packaging. As a study shows, if the flea collar is used after the “valid until” date has passed, it will be 40% less effective. By not replacing the collar at the appropriate time, dog owners cause a significant increase in the chance for their pet to get infected with a flea or a tick-borne disease.

Dog owners should put the date of the next flea and tick collar replacement in their calendar or set a reminder from the get-go, to avoid the problem. Purchasing a number of flea and tick collars at once is one measure that can be taken, to make sure the owners do not forget the purchase. Make sure to always check the production date and valid until date, to take all the necessary steps to ensure maximum effectiveness of the product. Store the collar in its original packaging to keep its properties, stock it in room temperature and away from direct sunlight .

Using on Puppies Too Young

One of the most crucial mistakes dog owners might make is using flea and tick collars on puppies that are too young. Most of these collars are made of chemicals that are too harsh for the puppies, and these pets often experience side effects. Manufacturers are well-aware of this fact and list the age at which the use of their products might be safe, which is usually not less than 8 weeks. For example, a specific brand of flea collar for dogs might be made of chemicals that are only safe for puppies over 12 weeks old. Therefore, applying this device might result in health issues that are not limited to but include skin burns, excessive salivation, as well as more severe neurological problems, which can be dangerous to a puppy’s development.

The best way to protect a young puppy from fleas and ticks is to consult a veterinarian to determine the safe options. If the pet is not old enough, these professionals can suggest safe options that were created specifically for puppies’ sensitive systems. In particular, most veterinarians advise not using essential oils for young or small dogs, which means finding another solution if one is not convinced that the collar would be the perfect fit instead of testing it on the puppy.

To conclude, flea and tick collars are often too harsh for young puppies, and this is something many dog owners are unaware of. Hence it is essential to contact the veterinarian to find a more suitable alternative to protect the pet from these parasites.

Failure to Monitor for Reactions

One of the most substantial oversights when it comes to using flea and tick collars is the fact that many dog owners would apply the new accessory and not check the dog for a reaction. As it was mentioned in the product description with the list of pros and cons, dogs may show different levels of sensitivity to the chemicals used in those collars. One of the frequent yet critical errors when it comes to flea and tick collars is failing to check the dog in the following days. Some symptoms of a negative reaction would be redness, itching, hair loss around the neck, and other signs of frequent discomfort like whining or excessive clawing. A study suggests that 10% of the cases are mild, while less than 1% of cases cause adverse symptoms that need professional medical attention. It is important to note that while the sensitivity is a common issue, it can often go unnoticed after developing. Thus, staying in denial over a minor hair loss problem might lead to a systemic health issue.

There are several steps to avoid the problem or at least minimize the damage. Firstly, when you first apply the collar, be sure to check the dog’s state in the following 48 hours. If the condition of your pet worsens, it is in your best interest to contact a vet immediately. The first priority is to remove the collar and wash the affected area with some cold water and mild soap. Finally, in order to avoid any crisis, be sure to follow up on your pet and consult a veterinarian after removing the collar anyway as there might be better options available.

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