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To Flea Or Not To Flea -- We Have The Answers

With the coming of summer it's more important than ever for pet parents to learn how to keep their furry family members safe from the microscopic pests that could make the summer an unpleasant one at best.
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Eek -- Fleas!

It's flea season again! With the coming of summer it's more important than ever for pet parents to learn how to keep their furry family members safe from the microscopic pests that could make the summer an unpleasant one at best.

Even if your cat or dog is a house pet most of the time, it's important to protect them from these creepy, crawly pests. Even the cleanest home can sometimes be invaded by the stray mosquito, which can transmit terrible heartworms commonly found in dogs and cats. Heartworms are long worms that grow in the dog or cat's heart and can cause serious problems. Treatment is available yet very toxic and can make your beloved pet feel even sicker than usual -- and in some animals may prove to be fatal. It is much easier and safer to visit the vet and have your pet vaccinated properly against this horrible parasite! Remember, preventing heartworms is safe with the proper guidance and medicine.

It's not just heartworms pet parents need to watch out for as the weather starts to warm up. Everyone knows how maddening it is to have fleas invade your home! Not only do they make your pet itch -- they can make you itch too! Pet parents may not think seeing one or two fleas is a bad sign, but as Banfield Animal Hospital's Dr. Klausner explains, "for every flea that's on the dog, there's about ten thousand sitting on the rugs and living in the environment in the house." Also, fleas don't spend a lot of time on the dog or cat, instead they simply feed on a pet before jumping off to live in another environment and start reproducing. Eek!


How do you know if your dog or cat is infected with these nasty pests? One way to check is to see if your dog or cat starts itching excessively, experiences hair loss or if their gums become pale (this only happens in exceedingly bad cases). It is especially important to protect your pets from fleas since they are able to eat up to fifteen times their own body weight -- meaning that if a dog or cat goes untreated they could suffer from loss of blood if not properly looked after. Yikes!

Most homes don't start out with fleas, yet when your pet is around other animals they are more susceptible to becoming infected. Before fleas overrun your home, or you think your pet may have fleas, check with your veterinarian about safe preventive manners and treatments to keep fleas from biting your beloved four legged family member. There are many different options available and your vet will know which method will work best for you and your furry friend!

Yikes -- Ticks!

There are many medicines out there that can protect your pets from not only fleas, but ticks as well. Ticks too are able to infect dogs any time of the year. Ticks tend to jump on dogs or cats as they walk by and dig their head into the animals skin. There they feast on the animal's blood until they are removed or killed by medicine. It is very important to be sure to get the head of a tick when removing it from your pet, otherwise the tick may resurface.

Protect Your Pet

To keep your pet flea and tick free it is best to keep up with the preventive medicine suggested by your veterinaraian. In addition to the formidable brand Frontline, PetArmor a new over the counter less expensive flea medicine was recently released. PetArmor contains the same active ingredient (fiponil) as Frontline and costs less -- this helps all pet parents to provide suitable health care for their pets at a lower rate. Now it's easier than ever to keep your nearest and dearest four legged friend safe and healthy!

"We want to do everything we can to not only keep pets healthy, but people healthy too", Dr. Klausner explains. Many of the pests our pets are confronted with can harm us as well. The key to a healthy pet is to take your pet in at least once a year for a full check up as it's easier to treat a problem or disease the sooner it's spotted. Unlike people, however, dogs and cats can't tell their parents when they're not feeling so good, so it's up to us to keep our eyes open and pay attention to whenever our pets may not be acting like their normal selves.

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