fleas on dog.

As the weather heats up, it’s important to be aware that your furry friend is at an increased risk of encountering pesky parasites. These tiny creatures can cause a range of health issues for your pet, from skin irritation and allergic reactions to the transmission of dangerous diseases. 

It’s essential to take steps to protect your pet from parasites. This post will cover what you need to know to keep your furry friend safe and healthy.

Types of Parasites That Can Affect Your Pet

What parasites should you be on the lookout for? 

Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are the most common culprits that can affect your pet during the summer months. These little buggers can cause a lot of discomfort for your pet and sometimes even be life-threatening. 

Fleas are notorious for causing itching and skin irritation, while ticks can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. And if your pet contracts heartworm disease from a mosquito bite, it can lead to serious respiratory and heart problems.

Preventing Parasites in Your Pet

Parasites can cause serious harm to your pet’s health, so taking preventive measures is essential. Here are two key strategies to prevent parasites from infesting your pet and your home.

Use parasite prevention. Flea and tick preventives, heartworm preventives, and other parasite preventives are available in various forms, including topical treatments and oral medications. Talk to your veterinarian to determine the best parasite prevention for your pet.

Keep your home and yard clean. In addition to using preventives, keeping your home and yard clean is important. Vacuum your home regularly and wash your pet’s bedding to remove fleas and flea eggs. Keep your yard clean and free of debris to minimize tick habitat. 

Checking Your Pet for Parasites

Checking your pet for parasites is a simple process that can go a long way in keeping them healthy. 

Check for fleas. Check your pet’s fur for small, brown insects that move quickly. Flea dirt, which looks like black pepper, is another sign of fleas.

Check for ticks. Ticks are small and difficult to find, especially in areas with thick fur, so be sure to check thoroughly. Run your hands over your pet’s skin to feel bumps or lumps. Promptly remove ticks using tweezers, grasping the tick as close to the skin as possible and pulling it straight out.

Check for heartworm. Heartworm disease can be diagnosed through a blood test. Regular veterinary check ups can help detect heartworm disease early and prevent complications.

Check for other parasites. Regularly inspect your pet’s ears for signs of parasites such as ear mites. If you notice white, rice-like segments in your pet’s feces—it could be a sign of tapeworms. 

Keeping Your Pets Safe and Healthy All Summer

Preventing parasites in your pet is essential to their overall health and well-being. Parasite preventives, environmental control, and regular veterinary check ups can help keep your pet safe and healthy during the summer months. 

If you have additional questions or concerns about parasite prevention, please reach out to us at  (540) 951-1002. Our team is happy to help at Main Street Veterinary Clinic.