The weather has warmed up, and both you and your pets are probably spending more time outside. The warmer weather also increases exposure to fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other parasites, which can cause problems ranging from annoying itching, all the way to potentially fatal conditions like Heartworm.
This spring promises to be even worse than normal due to the mild winter and early warm weather. We're already seeing an unusually high number of cases relating to fleas and ticks coming into the clinic.
Fortunately there are a few easy things you can do to help your pet:
- Bathing A good bath and brushing on at least a weekly basis not only keeps your pet clean, but it also kills fleas when you use a good quality flea shampoo. Bathing also removes pollen and other allergens from your pet's coat, which can irritate both them and the humans in your house.
- Flea and Tick Prevention Your pet can pick up fleas and ticks anytime, but they're especially active in Spring. A monthly Flea and Tick preventative like Frontline or NexGard make your pet an inhospitable environment for these pests. It's important to use these preventatives year-round to prevent infestation of your pet and their environment.
- Grooming Keeping your pet's hair short and manageable makes brushing and bathing easier, and gives fleas and ticks less shelter on your pet's body.
- Limit exposure to parasites Clean up accidents inside the house as soon as possible. Outside, keep feces cleaned off the lawn to prevent re-exposure to intestinal parasites for your pet and your family. Don't let children eat food that has fallen on the floor.
- Heartworm Prevention Heartworm exposure is generally less understood among pet owners than fleas and ticks, but is even more dangerous for your pet. Transmitted through mosquito bites, Heartworm is a potentially fatal disease that is difficult and expensive to treat. A simple monthly treatment like Heartgard will keep your pet safe all year long.
This may seem like a long list, but making these steps a regular part of your pet's care routine can help you both avoid the problems and expense caused by parasite infections.