As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, we all start spending more time outside enjoying the summer.
Unfortunately, this also means that we're more likely to come into contact with summer pests like ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes. These pests aren’t just a nuisance, they can also pose a serious threat to our pets.
Here's what you need to know about summer pests and how to protect your furry friends:
Fleas are always a concern for pet owners, but they can be especially problematic in the summer months.
These blood-sucking parasites won’t just make your pet miserable, they can also transmit diseases like tapeworms and Lyme disease.
Be sure to keep your pet on a monthly flea preventative, and check them regularly for any signs of these pests.
Ticks are small, blood-sucking parasites that are most active in warm weather. They attach themselves to their host, usually a dog or cat, and feed on their blood.
Like fleas, ticks can transmit diseases to their host, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis.
Ticks are most commonly found in tall grasses and woods, so it's important to be cognizant of letting your pet roam in these areas. Check your pet for ticks after they've been outside, and remove any that you find promptly.
There are also a variety of tick preventatives available from your veterinarian, and using one of these products can help keep your pet safe from ticks and the diseases they carry.
Mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance — they can also transmit heartworm disease to dogs and cats, a serious and potentially fatal condition. If your pet isn’t on a monthly heartworm preventative, you may want to speak with your veterinarian.
Another mosquito-borne disease to be aware of is West Nile Virus. This disease can infect both people and animals, and while symptoms are often mild, it can lead to fever, loss of appetite, impaired vision, and even seizures.
There is no vaccine or cure for West Nile Virus, so the best way to protect your pet is to prevent them from being bitten in the first place.
Scabies mites are tiny, eight-legged parasites that burrow into the skin to lay their eggs. They cause intense itching and irritation, and can even lead to secondary infections.
Luckily, there are a few ways to prevent your pet from getting scabies mites. First, keep them away from areas where other animals have been known to have them, like dog parks or boarding kennels.
Second, regularly groom your pet and check for signs of irritation. If you see any, contact your veterinarian right away. With a little vigilance, you can enjoy a summer free of scabies mites — and all the other pests that come out to play when the weather gets warm!
We all know what ants are: those annoying little creatures that seem to appear out of nowhere and invade our homes, especially in the summer.
Some ants are beneficial to have around, like the ones that help aerate the soil and recycle nutrients. But most ants are considered pests, especially when they invade our homes in search of food.
So how do you prevent your pet from becoming a victim of an ant invasion? Here are a few tips:
- Keep your pet's food and water bowls clean and free of crumbs. Ants are attracted to food, so if there are crumbs around, they'll be sure to find them
- Regularly vacuum and mop your floors to remove any food or water that ants might be attracted to
- If you have an outdoor pet, make sure their food and water bowls are placed away from the house
- Keep your yard free of debris and trash that might attract ants
And that’s it! Although many pests are more active in the summer, there are steps you can take to protect your pets from them. Be sure to keep an eye out for fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, and consult your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns.