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Keep Your Cats and Dogs Safe from Fleas, Ticks and Heartworm

One of the jobs of a responsible pet owner is to keep their pet healthy. At its core, this means keeping them well fed, well exercised and free from diseases and conditions. Three of the most common issues that both dogs and cats have to deal with are fleas, ticks and heartworm.

Preventing each of these issues occurs in different ways. Fleas and Ticks are external bloodsuckers, whereas heartworm is an internal parasite. What’s similar with every condition is that your pet will feel happier if it does not have to deal with these pests. So will you! Prevention is possible and helps avoid expensive treatments and extra vet trips.

Preventing Fleas

When your pet is suddenly scratching and biting at their fur, it’s often a sign that they have fleas. These little pests will bite and leave eggs throughout the fur against the skin of animals. Fleas can infest in different life stages, from eggs to fully grown. The key to preventing fleas is to make sure that they can’t be productive in any of these stages.

The first thing is to perform regular checks on your pets for signs of fleas. In addition, ideally, each cat or dog should get a flea prevention treatment. This typically takes the form of monthly pills. The use of collars isn’t as common anymore. From there, make sure you are washing pet bedding at regular intervals. It’s also important to vacuum your home as well as wash your bedding too.

Preventing Ticks

Tick season lasts from spring through to the fall. Ticks are blood sucking creatures which attach to a pet and then gorge themselves on the blood. Ticks do not come off easily. They need to be removed, which can be difficult to do and painful to your dog or cat.

Prevention of ticks starts with maintaining a clean yard and home. Ticks most commonly will jump from long grasses and unkempt brush on to a pet. From there, they will latch on. Keeping a clean and tidy yard will help reduce the area ticks live and reduce the overall number of ticks which may be nearby. Outdoor cats can be tough to reign in when they ramble, so regular checks should be made to determine if a tick has attached itself. Another option to prevent ticks on dogs is to change the paths they walk. If the dog is used to travelling through fields and trails while walking, tick prevention would suggest trying areas with less undergrowth for them to run through.

Preventing Heartworm

Preventing heartworm is one of the easier options when it comes to your cats and dogs. Heartworm is usually passed on from mosquitos that have bitten an infected dog and in turn infects another dog. Curing heartworm takes a long time and is rather expensive.The good news is that it can be prevented.

There are vaccines available which will allow people to keep their dogs safe from heartworm for 12 months at a time. There are also oral treatment options which can instead be used on a monthly or quarterly basis. If you see any of the signs of heartworm in your dog, it’s crucial to get them to a vet quickly for testing. Heartworm can often be fatal, which is why prevention is so important!