Year-round pet parasite prevention is key to pet health and should be discussed with a veterinarian.A lot of things in life aren’t simple – long commutes, finding a bathing suit that actually fits, dealing with coworkers who like to eat tuna fish at their desks. However, while life can be full of challenges, protecting your pet from parasites doesn’t have to be one of them.

Parasite prevention, however, is a year-round matter. No longer is this an issue that’s restricted to summer months; unfortunately, these pests hang around 365 days a year. Let’s take a look at why these foes are so formidable and some easy ways to keep them at bay.

What’s All the Fuss About Fleas?

Fleas may seem like an annoyance at worst, especially if you’ve experienced a flea infestation at home. However, fleas can cause far worse problems for pets (and people) because they carry several diseases, such as cat scratch disease, tapeworms, typhus, and plague.

An individual flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day (yikes!), and their life cycle (from egg to larva to pupa to adult) is very rapid. Each adult can live up to one year, which amounts to a lot of eggs!

Signs of fleas include: droppings on skin and hair (small, dark flecks), excessive biting or scratching, hair loss, and hot spots/inflammation.

The Trouble with Ticks

Most people associate ticks with Lyme disease, but did you know that Rocky Mountain spotted fever, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichiosis can harm your pet, as well?

Ticks go through similar life cycles as fleas, and they feed on a wide range of species. Like many parasites, they must attach to a host in order to perpetuate the next lifecycle.

Ticks are typically felt or seen by the naked eye, but can sometimes go unnoticed if under the tail or in the armpits.

The Case for Year-Round Parasite Prevention

Given the number of illnesses that are carried by parasites, protecting your pets this summer is probably already on your radar. But did you know this isn’t just a seasonal concern? Particularly in warm regions, parasites can thrive year-round. Given our erratic and warmer than average winters of late, it’s no surprise that fleas and ticks remain active throughout the year in all regions.

It only takes one bite from an infected parasite to threaten the health and safety of your pet and your family. Here are some parasite prevention tips to help protect your loved ones:

  • Keep your pet on a year-round parasite preventive.   
  • Check your pet thoroughly after being outdoors; pay close attention to hidden spots, like the armpits, tail, and ears.
  • Cut back tall weeds and grasses in the yard, which can harbor parasites.
  • Discourage parasite-laden wildlife from hanging out around your home. Be sure to store your trash securely, never leave pet food outside, and close up any openings in sheds, fences, etc.
  • Groom your pet regularly to keep their skin and coat healthy. This also gives professionals a chance to inspect for fleas and ticks.

Is your pet in need of parasite prevention? We can help determine the best product for your furry loved one. Just give us a call to schedule an appointment!