Spring Pests! How to protect your pet from fleas and ticks

Spring means warmer weather, longer days and of course BUGS! Yes, bugs are back. Now is the time to start protecting your pet from these pests and parasites. There are several different pests and parasites to be concerned with and various ways to protect your dog or cat from these risks.

Everyone’s number one pest fear is fleas.  Fleas are notoriously difficult to stamp out.  This is because of the various life stages that can last for months and even up to a year or more. Flea larvae and pupae sit around just waiting for the right conditions to hatch into the next life stage which eventually results in a new generation of fleas. Fleas can transmit tapeworms to your pet as well as various diseases to humans, including plague and typhus. They can also carry cat scratch disease and feline anemia.

A close second are ticks. Ticks tend to drop off of plants and trees onto your pet. Brushing up against shrubbery or walking under low hanging trees puts your pet at high risk for ticks.  The most dangerous being deer ticks that spread crippling Lyme disease.  While Lyme disease is treatable it is most often not caught until symptoms show up and by then the treatment may not be effective.  Ticks can also carry Erlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Fortunately, there are multiple ways to protect your pet for these pests.  Most popular these days are topical or oral preventatives. Topical preventatives are usually applied monthly between your pets shoulder blades. Oral preventatives are also usually given once a month by mouth and are generally designed to seem like a tasty treat to your pet.  Your vet can recommend and subscribe the appropriate product and dosage for your pet.  Some folks are using more natural remedies including essential oils and diatomaceous earth.  Then there is always the long-standing flea and tick collar.  All these methods repel pests before they infest your pet and home.

So make sure your pets are protected this pest season!!

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