5 Reasons Why Your Pet Needs Flea and Tick Prevention This Summer


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It is getting warmer, the sun is staying out a little longer and most of us want to enjoy the outdoors. For pet owners that means being outdoors with your furry family member. Pets love the summer months as much as we do, but for some pets the summer means a season-long battle with fleas and ticks. Some pet owners are reluctant to apply flea and tick preventatives fearing the chemicals that they contain. However, most of the new flea and tick products available at your veterinarian’s office have chemicals that remain in the hair follicles and are not absorbed into the blood stream. This means that there is less chance for your pet to have an adverse reaction to the product. Topical flea and tick preventatives recommended by veterinarians are typically more effective and, in the end, more cost efficient than frequently using flea shampoos or flea collars you can purchase direct from a store. The products that are recommended by veterinarians are also safer for your pet because they will not enter your pet’s blood stream. For those that are still on the fence as to whether or not they should use a veterinarian recommended flea and tick preventative on your pet this summer, here are 5 reasons why you should!

1. Fleas and ticks bite your pet because blood is their food

It’s a virtual All-You-Can-Eat buffet if your pet is not protected. Fleas and ticks bite the skin of your pet for a fulfilling blood meal. This bite leaves a wound on the skin that becomes itchy and sometimes even infected. When your pet scratches the affected area it becomes further damaged, itchier, and more infected. Some animals are allergic to the fl ea saliva making things even worse. When the skin becomes infected the animal may lose hair and/or develop a systemic infection as the problem progresses.

2. Fleas and ticks are nasty little creatures that can transmit all kinds of diseases

Fleas and ticks carry many diseases. They can harbor a wide-range of microscopic parasites that live on the blood cells of your pet, destroying their blood cells. Ticks carry Lyme disease and other related diseases that can cause arthritis and damage to internal organs in dogs. Fleas carry the eggs for tapeworms, so when your pet grooms off a flea and swallows it you may start to see small worms in the stool.

3. Fleas and ticks can make your pet anemic

Fleas and ticks feed off of an animal’s blood; they have the potential to cause anemia (low blood volume). Some animals become so infested with fleas and ticks that they develop life-threatening anemia which may require hospitalization and a blood transfusion. In even more extreme cases, the fleas consume so much blood that the animal becomes severely anemic which can be fatal to puppies, kittens, and adults of very small breeds.

4. Fleas and ticks can make your pet’s life itchy and just miserable

As a pet owner, the happiness and comfort of you furry family member is important. We can all relate to being outside and getting a few (or several) mosquito bites. The agitation, misery and constant itching that accompanies those bites make you just plain miserable. Now imagine having those same mosquitoes that brought you such grief living under your clothes right on your skin and there is nothing you can do about it! That’s how your pet feels with fleas and ticks.

5. Fleas and ticks can make YOUR life itchy and just miserable

If the comfort of your pet isn’t reason enough for you to get on the fl ea and tick preventative bandwagon, how about preventing fleas and ticks on yourself? If your pet has fleas, guess what, you have fl ea eggs and larvae living in your carpet, rugs and in the fabric of furniture in your home. Once you have a flea infestation in your home, it is not easy to remedy the situation. Fleas have a 4-stage life cycle-egg, larva, pupa and adult and each stage presents its own extermination challenges. Not to mention you’re likely to have fl ea bites yourself and all the itchiness and risk of disease that goes along with having them.

“But flea and tick preventatives are expensive”, you say. Well, they’re a lot less expensive than treating a skin infection, Lyme disease, or calling an exterminator to de-flea your house. So do your pet a favor (and yourself) and get a good quality fl ea and tick preventative this summer and use it year round.