Now that summer has arrived, our pets are spending more time outdoors, which can put them at risk for fleas and other harmful parasites. The good news is that pet owners can prevent these problems before they start. Your pet’s health is the focus of this Angie’s List report.
“For heartworm, each one of them get a pill," says pet owner Joe Kaiser. "And on the flea and tick we put it back here on their shoulder blades.”
Kaiser says he knows firsthand the important of protecting his two dogs each month.
There are three common parasites pet owners should be aware of. Fleas are the most common.“It takes about three months for a flea egg to develop into a flea adult so the adults that you’re seeing on your pet today are laying eggs that aren’t going to hatch for another three months,” says Veterinarian Dr. Greg Magnusson.
And heads up indoor-cat owners, even if your feline friend never takes a single step outdoors, humans can easily track fleas in from outdoors.“The important thing to keep in mind when it comes to pet and parasites is they don’t just impact your pet," says Hicks. "For example, recently heard from a woman who had an indoor cat and the cat got out one day and came back with fleas. So, not only did she have to treat the pet, but she also had to try to rid her home of fleas as well, which is not an easy task.”
Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes.“A mosquito will suck blood out of an infected dog or cat and fly over to a neighbor’s house and then take a second blood meal off that dog or cat and inject the worms into that pet,” says Dr. Magnusson.
Another parasite a pet can pick up from the outdoors is ticks. Vets suggest checking your dog regularly for ticks since they can transmit Lyme disease.
“Most of our ticks we find from dogs that aren’t necessarily hiking in wooded areas, but are just in their backyard,” says Dr. Magnusson.
There are several effective products on the market today that protect against all three of these parasites. To ensure your pet’s protection, experts suggest not skipping a dose. Talk to your veterinarian about the best prevention for you and your pet.