Every pet owner wants to do the best by their pet. Treating them for parasites and pests, for example fleas, is a very important part of that care, along with your home. However we are bombarded with information and advice on what’s the best course of action so we thought it’s about time we set the record straight. A healthy animal will of course have an excellent immune system but if they spend a lot of time outside you’ll need to take extra precautions. Here are some common misconceptions that need to be put right, regarding pest and parasite control for your beloved four legged friend, whether feline or canine.
Don’t make the mistake of not treating them
The most effective way to keep your pet safe from pests and parasites is to treat them with an efficient product. Keep on top of your pet’s grooming, vaccinations and regularly apply products to fight fleas, ticks and other dangers to their health. You won’t find yourself looking for a solution at the last minute.
Don’t use human repellents
Don’t be tempted to try something you’ve bought for yourself such as your own mosquito repellent. Many of these insect sprays contain DEET. A very nasty chemical that could at worst poison your pet. At best it could cause neurological damage. Another substance often used in these kinds of products is citronella. If you pet breathes in the fumes it irritates and cause damage to their lungs. Ask your vet for the best mosquito and heartworm repellent to use.
Get your vet’s approval before using human medicine
Human medicine is not designed for use on your pet but there are some exceptions to this rule. Always check with your vet before administering any kind of human medication or lotions.
Get the dosage right
Spot on remedies are the best treatment for fleas and ticks. But this kind of product is used in doses specific to the weight of your pet. Treating your pet with a product that’s designed for one that is bigger and heavier won’t mean it’ll be more effective. On the contrary. It could poison or even kill your pet. On the opposite side, too little won’t work the same as the correct dose.
Being indoors won’t mean they’re safe
Keeping your pet indoors all the time will certainly reduce the risk but it doesn’t mean you should just forget to treat them. Fleas in particular are still likely to hitch a ride on the back of someone else who enters your home.
Treat their favourite spots too
A common mistake is for pet owners to only treat their pet if they find a pest or parasite. The eggs from the infesting adults could lie dormant in your pets bedding too. Waiting until the time is right to hatch and start the infestation all over again.
Holistic products – don’t assume they’re OK
There are many alternative products or recipes to choose from but check with your vet before applying any of them. Essential oils can be harmful if accidentally ingested and due to a cat’s grooming habits they’re likely to lick them and take them in while cleaning.
Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat them
Keep your vaccinations up to date even if you can’t see any signs of an infestation. Particularly during the summer months a dog can quickly become infected and before you know it they’ve become very ill.
Don’t let the problem get out of hand
Unfortunately nature will not take its course when it comes to pests and parasites. The problem will only get worse if not treated quickly and effectively. Some pests can take several weeks to eradicate completely.
Don’t treat cats and dogs the same
Animal medication should not be used for all your pets. Dogs and cats are quite different and so any medication will be different too.
Hopefully by following our advice you’ll keep any pest or parasite infections to a minimum and with regular check-ups and support and advice from your veterinarian your best friend will stay healthy, as this is the first line of defence.