Parasites are a fact of life and they can range from annoying (fleas) to deadly (heartworm), and everything in between. These tiny creatures can create a world of misery for both pets and their owners, making pet parasite prevention a vitally important part of your pet care plan.
As with any aspect of your pet’s well-being, it’s important to do your research and figure out what will work best for your pet, and you. Here are a few things you may not know about pet parasite prevention.
5 Things to Know About Pet Parasite Prevention
- Pet parasite prevention should be year-round – Don’t make the mistake of letting your pet’s parasite preventive medications slack off in the fall and winter. Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes do not go dormant, especially with our mild Texas winters, and your pet needs year-round protection to stay safe and healthy.
- Don’t mix products – If you have more than one pet at home, be sure not to mingle their parasite prevention medications unless directed to do so by your veterinarian. Dosage levels differ between pets and some medications that are safe for one species can be toxic to another (for example, dog flea preventive should never be used on cats).
- Home remedies don’t cut it – Avoid the use of essential oils, garlic, vinegar, diatomaceous earth, or any other natural product or home remedy to treat or prevent pet parasites. Many of these products can put pets at risk of injury or poisoning, and will delay or prevent them from getting the treatment and protection they need against parasites.
- Not all products are created equal – One size does not fit all when it comes to human medications, and the same can be said for pet parasite prevention. Your veterinarian will help you to determine the best product for your pet based on lifestyle, budget, and sensitivity to other medications.
- You still need to monitor your pet – Although most parasite preventives on the market today provide nearly full protection for your pet against fleas, ticks, heartworm, and intestinal parasites, no medication is 100% effective all the time. Take a few moments to read up on the signs and symptoms of various pet parasites, and bring your pet in to see us if you suspect parasites or any other health problem.
Your team at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital wants you to make an informed decision when it comes to your pet’s parasite prevention plan. Please contact us at any time with your questions and concerns, or to make an appointment for your pet.