Almost all dogs will suffer with fleas at some point during their lives. Back in the good old days they were most at risk during the warmer summer months but these days we have central heating which means your dog can have fleas at any type of year.
Did you know that most fleas found on your dog are cat fleas? Funny huh?
The length of a flea cycle is determined by the temperature and humidity. With the ideal conditions the average cycle length is 21 days.
Be careful. Some dogs may develop a hypersensitivity to the fleas saliva which can lead to an itchy reaction. If your dog does develop a reaction you will be able to see the evidence on the lower back area.
Fleas spend most of their life cycle in the home environment, only adult fleas will live on your GSD. This means fleas could be everywhere in your home; your carpet, his/her bed, even your bed! Adult fleas do not live for long, only 7-14 days and they are then replaced by the developing ones in your environment. The fleas live by ingesting blood from your dog several times a day. Disgusting right?
Fleas are hosts of our good friend the tapeworm. When treating for fleas it is very important to treat for tapeworm too. When treating your GSD you need to treat your home too or you're just wasting money.
Fleat treatments come in all forms; aerosols, powders, pump action sprays, flea collars, spot-ons, oral tablets and shampoos.
When treating your home use an aerosol and vacuum regularly. Don't forget to vacuum under skirting boards, under sofa cushions and your GSDs bed.
I remember finding a tick on Sky. I was fascinated yet disgusted with it at the same time. It was massive, about the size of my little finger nail. I grabbed it at the base with a pair of tweezers, twisted it very gently and pulled it out. If you do this and do not get its head out you could harm your dog so always go to a vet if you're unsure.
Ticks thrive in long grassland so always check your GSD over after a day out in the fields. They feed off your dog's blood and swell. They will eventually fall off but they can pass on diseases to your GSD so remove them as soon as possible.