by Cyndie Anderson, owner of Pooch Pros Pet Care Services
Summer means hotter temps, longer days and of course BUGS! Yes, lots of ’em. Even as summer draws to a close, it’s crucial that you protect your pets from pesky seasonal pests (try saying that five times fast!). There are several different kinds to be concerned with but luckily – various ways to protect your dog or cat from the risks!
I’ll begin with everyone’s number one pest fear: fleas. Fleas are notoriously difficult to stamp out. This is because of their various life stages that can last for months or even up to a year. 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 pets as well as various diseases to humans, including 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 on to your pet. Brushing up against shrubbery or walking under low hanging trees puts your pet at high risk for ticks. The most dangerous among them are deer ticks that spread crippling Lyme disease. While Lyme disease is treatable, it is most often not caught until symptoms appear and by then the treatment may not be effective. Ticks can also carry bacterial illnesses like Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Fortunately, there are multiple ways to protect your pet from pests. Most popular these days are topical or oral preventatives. Topical preventatives are usually applied monthly between your pet’s shoulder blades. Oral preventatives are also an option, usually given once a month by mouth and designed to seem like tasty treats to pets. Your vet can recommend and prescribe the appropriate product and dosage for your pet.
Some folks are using more natural remedies these days – including essential oils and diatomaceous earth. There is always the long-standing flea and tick collar. All these methods repel pests before they infest your pet and home.
Make sure your pets are protected this pest season and consider preventative measures to keep them safe!
About the Author:
Originally from the Shenandoah Valley, I have been in Northern Virginia for 21 years. I left the corporate world in 2000 to stay at home with my two stepdaughters. Having gone back to work part-time after becoming an empty nester, I finally felt like I wanted to do something different. There are two things I am really passionate about: music and dogs. I decided to take my love for dogs and start Pooch Pros Pet Care Services. Having previously worked for a pet sitting service, I knew this would be a perfect fit for me. Currently, I am mama of two fur babies: Target, a 14-year-old mixed breed and Jeeves, a 9-year-old Maltese.