We love our pets but we don’t love the little critters that might be sharing them. Not only are they unappealing but they can also cause health problems for our pets and their people. This is why it is so important to keep our pets free from parasites.
In outdoor cats, we mainly see fleas, ticks, ear mites, and tapeworms. Although, indoor cats can also pick up fleas (and fleas transmit tapeworm!). Check out this great site for more information on cats and fleas.
Since our dogs tend to be outside more often and, in many different locations – local park, dog park, daycare, hiking trails, etc – they tend to pick up a wider variety of parasites. Fleas are common on dogs, and ticks are becoming more common, even in downtown Toronto! Dogs frequently pick up intestinal parasites such as roundworms and giardia here as well. And of course, we can’t forget heartworms which your dog can pick up from infected mosquitoes.
As the weather gets warmer, parasite populations begin to increase in number. Therefore, it is very important to have your dog checked in spring for previous exposure to heartworms and tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease. Seasonal preventive medications can be dispensed to protect your dogs and cats from parasites.
We’ve come a long way from the time that flea baths and dusting powders were the state-of-the-art pest control. There are several safe and more convenient options available now. Preventatives come in both oral and topical formats. Topical drops are easy to apply on your pet’s skin and oral medications come in tasty chewable tablet form. It’s important to speak with your vet about the best option for your pets.