Spring is here! This Winter season set new records for cold, ice, and bizarre weather patterns all across the nation. Although we are thrilled to see the snow and ice disappear, it’s important to consider preventative care for our furry friends as soon as warmer weather comes! Critters like fleas, ticks, mosquitoes are ready and waiting for you and your pet to step outside!

Pets and Pests

Fleas and ticks are potential concerns if we don’t properly protect our pets. Even though fleas and ticks can survive year-round, they are more active in warmer weathers. In addition, mosquitoes arrive in warmer weather, and can also become a concern for our pets’ health.

What Is the Danger?

Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes represent threats to our pets. These pests, plus intestinal parasites, can cause serious illnesses, diseases, and even death if we don’t properly protect our pets with preventative care.

According to Dr. Perzak, DVM, these pests and parasites can cause the following problems for our cats and dogs:

  • Fleas: Allergic skin disease or dermatitis, anemia, tapeworms, and other increasingly serious diseases.
  • Mosquitoes: Heartworms.
  • Ticks: Painful reactions to the tick bite itself at the site of attachment; and more serious diseases and reactions, such as Ehrlichia, often co-existing with Lyme disease; Lyme disease; and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

How Do We Protect Our Pets?

Veterinarians recommend preventative care to best protect our pets from pests. Using high quality products to deter or kill these pests and their eggs will  protect your pet from diseases that could be life threatening.  Groom your pet regularly and check for bites, fleas or any skin irritations that may have been caused by a pest. In addition, vets also recommend washing pet bedding weekly, and routine vacuuming of rugs or mats.

While some vets recommend standard flea and tick protection in popular approved brand names, they caution against “copy cat” inferior brands that are potentially dangerous for our pets.

Other vets, such as Dr. Becker, DVM, recommend natural, non-toxic protection for our pets.

Flea and Tick Protection Options

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) states that it is a personal decision as a pet owner to choose the best preventative care or product to use with your pet. Based on your vet’s recommendations and how well you know your pet, there are options to protect your pet from fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. Each option comes with important considerations for their use.

Flea and Tick Products with Chemicals

Some of the most popular products include Frontline and Advantage. In any case, make sure the brand you choose is either EPA-registered or FDA-approved.

Pay attention to the following warnings:

  • Don’t interchange products on dogs and cats.
  • Use the proper dosage for your pet’s weight.
  • Don’t split or combine dosages.
  • Watch for signs of poisoning in your pet: salivating, skin irritation, dilated pupils, shivering or tremors, or vomiting.

Preventative Care

Preventative measures incorporated in an overall “pet protection program” against pests include the following:

  • Provide your pet with a balanced diet of appropriate food to ensure optimal health and prevent weakened, more susceptible conditions.
  • Bathe, groom, and brush your pet regularly; use a flea comb, if necessary.
  • Keep the indoor environment clean and pest-free: wash pet bedding, vacuum drapes and rugs, and change vacuum bags frequently.
  • Maintain the outdoor environment: keep grass cut, rake and dispose of leaves, and remove standing water.

About The Author K'Lee Banks

K. Lee Banks has a Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in Instructional Technology, as well as a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology. She is a dog lover who has written many popular articles about dog training, supplies, and behavior. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family working on quilts.

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