Are you excited that spring is beginning? And that soon you will be able to go outside with your pet? Maybe you like to hike or walk or are getting ready to go camping with your four legged family member. Spending time outdoors on your nature adventures is wonderful, but with the warmer weather comes exposure to fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.
Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes carry a number of diseases and parasites. Some of these are not only dangerous to your pets, but also to you and your family. The most common consequence of flea, tick and mosquito bites include Heartworm disease (from mosquitoes), Bartonella/Cat Scratch Fever (from fleas and ticks) Tapeworms (from fleas) and Lyme disease (from ticks). These parasites are present across much of the United States and around the world and are found in many different environments and climates. Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes can survive throughout the year, despite changes in the seasons.
Below are some suggestions on how to keep your pet safe:
1) What is your and your pet’s lifestyle? Do you take your pet to a park, lake, pond or the ocean? Do you go hiking, fishing or camping with your pet? Do you take your pet hunting? Is your dog a working dog? Do you go on walks or runs with your pet? Do you have a fenced in yard so your pet rarely leaves your home or the house? Does your pet need protection? The simple answer is yes.
2) Another aspect to consider is your pet’s overall health and the type of skin they have. Does your pet have a shiny coat and no health concerns? If so, most preventatives will work. However, if your pet has dry skin, flea allergies, or another underlying health concern then you must take all this into account when choosing a preventative.
3) Cats: Most of my clients and friends that have indoor cats do not feel that they need to protect their feline companions from these diseases. However, please note that if fleas infest your home, your cats are at risk. Also, if your dog is exposed to ticks and you have a cat in your home, your cat is also susceptible. If one pet is outside and becomes infected, it may be no fault of their own that they “share the love” and pass it on to other pets in the home.
With the ever-changing weather patterns, every pet in your home should be examined for fleas and ticks regularly. Where I live, I see fleas and ticks year-round and believe it is safer to offer my pets protection all year.
Please monitor your home and area and become knowledgeable about any risks to you or your pet. Consult your local veterinarian for additional information. Additionally, there are a number of natural remedies such as pure essential oils, electromagnetic frequencies, and herbs which can be used in conjunction with traditional veterinary medical preventatives.