If you are anything like me you love your pets as if they were your children. My three furries are just that, they are part of our big decisions and they get lots of love. Unconditionally. A part of this love and care comes responsibility, as with anything, and we make sure that the dogs and cat get the appropriate medical care to ensure they are protected against parasites. Those nasty parasites can make it onto furniture around the home and onto us humans. Yuck!
Some of you may remember a year or so ago little Noah had a family of ticks attached to his scalp. They were hidden in the back of his hair. Our wiry haired Jack Russell Rambo also had ticks, they seem to love him! He had them up his front paws and chest, he looked like an old tree trunk covered in fungi. It was not nice. I felt disgusting for Rambo and for Noah too. I had to take Noah to the doctors to make sure they came out properly, as ticks need to be removed with precision. Otherwise the heads stay embodied in the skin and obviously that can become infected. Not only that, ticks can carry diseases (Lyme Disease) which are not what you want circulating around the home.
Fleas are another popular family invader. They spread so quickly and are an absolute nightmare to contain. Before you know it you’re spraying, hot washing, cleaning and hoovering everything to make sure they have all gone. It’s always when the warmer weather approaches that they start jumping around! A survey of over 1000 dog owners nationwide carried out by Pet Parasite Action has found that while 85% of us happily hug our dogs, nearly a third have also found pet parasites on ourselves or our children and most of us don’t know which parasites are the most risky for our pets or our families.
Have you stopped itching yet? Talking about ticks and fleas makes me itch. I think it’s a natural reaction. It’s that reaction that makes me so vigilant about keeping parasites at bay.
Here are some top tips to help protect your pets from parasites:
- Take your pets to the vet to get a check over and advice on what is the best protection against parasites.
- Groom your pets regularly, this will be a good way of you noticing if something isn’t right. A bump or something moving for example.
- When returning from a dog walk, especially in long grass, make sure you check over your pet to make sure there are no ticks hitching a ride. Ticks can be deadly to dogs as they can carry diseases. You need to make sure they are fully removed.
- Buy a tick remover, or a plastic pair of tweezers, to ensure you get the ticks out in the point above correctly.
- Regularly use flea, tick, roundworm and lungworm treatment on your pets. Most products recommend a dosage every month
- If you spot a flea on your pet, wash their bedding immediately and anywhere the pet sleeps, use household flea spray too.
- If you let your pet sleep on your pet, or sit on your sofas, use a throw and wash it regularly.
- Make sure to clean up after your pets, even if it’s the back garden. Roundworms lay eggs. These eggs can exist in your pet’s poop and if small children play in those areas it can be passed to them – even causing blindness!
- Obvious you might say, and important, set a calendar appointment each month to remind you that the treatments need administering. You can’t forget then.
- Finally, give those pets of yours a big hug. Feel confident that you have done everything in your power to help protect them and your family too.
You can read more advice on the Pet Parasite Action website and see a clear breakdown for both cats and dogs. They also have a great guide for families with small children. If you haven’t got your pet registered with a vet already, you can even find a local vets on the site.