Fleas, ticks, mosquitos, and other annoying pests are an everyday fact of life. Unfortunately, these parasites pose a serious risk to our pets all year long, and the protection of your whole family (two- and four-legged members), as well as the surrounding community, depend on year-round pet parasite prevention.
The Trouble with Parasites
Anyone who has had an encounter with a parasite can attest to what bothersome critters they are. However, dealing with an itchy bite pales in comparison to the diseases that some parasites carry and pass along to pets and people.
Fleas – Fleas thrive in the warm, humid environments of our homes and can make life miserable for everyone in the family. Besides transmitting tapeworm and Bartonellosis (cat scratch fever), some pets are allergic to flea saliva, and even one bite can trigger severe itching, hot spots, and infection.
Ticks – Ticks are capable of transmitting some pretty serious diseases to your pet, and you, such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and tick-born encephalitis.
Heartworm – Heartworm is an extremely dangerous parasite transmitted by mosquitoes. The disease is expensive and difficult to treat in dogs, and is almost always fatal in cats.
Practical Pet Parasite Prevention
Parasite prevention is an important component of your pet’s wellness program. When determining the appropriate pet parasite prevention plan, we consider many factors, including lifestyle, overall health, and exposure risk. Most medications that protect against fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and intestinal parasites are relatively inexpensive and easy to administer to your pet on a monthly basis.
Besides starting and keeping your pet on a year-round parasite preventive, there are other measures you can take to reduce the family’s exposure to pests:
- Keep your yard trimmed and free of weeds, as these offer good breeding grounds for bugs.
- Remove any stagnant water around your home. Even a little bit of water in the bottom of a watering can is a place for mosquitos to proliferate.
- Pests are most active between dusk and dawn, so try to keep your outdoor activities limited to daytime hours.
- Keep your pet groomed and check him or her for ticks after being outdoors.
- Raccoons, rodents, and other wildlife are notorious carriers of fleas and other parasites. Keep them away from your property with fencing, not feeding pets outdoors, and keeping trash bins tightly covered.
If you haven’t started your pet on a parasite prevention plan yet, now is the time! Please call your team at Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital to set up an appointment or to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about pet parasite prevention.