It’s every pet owner’s desire to provide the best for their furry companion. Treating them for parasites and pests, such as fleas, is an extremely important part of pet care as well as home maintenance. However, we are constantly bombarded with information and advice on what’s the best thing to do about that. Some of it isn’t really true. Naturally, a healthy animal will have a strong immune system, but if they spend a lot of time outside, you’ll need to take a few extra precautions.
Below, the experts from Fantastic Pest Control share some common misconceptions and advice regarding pest and parasite control for your beloved furry friend, whether it’s feline or canine.
Don’t Leave Your Pet Untreated
The most effective way to keep your pet safe from pests and parasites is to treat them regularly with a quality product. Keep up with your pet’s grooming, vaccinations and regular treatment applications against fleas, ticks and other dangers to their health. Don’t postpone the matter until the very last moment.
Unfortunately, nature won’t take its course when it comes to pests and parasites. If you miss keeping up with regular treatments and vaccinations, the problem can get out of hand. The problem will only get worse if it isn’t treated quickly and effectively. Some pests may even take several weeks to vanish completely.
Don’t Think That “Indoors” Is Equal To “Safe”
Never miss treating your pet, even if it lives indoors. Keeping your pet indoors will undoubtedly reduce the risk of parasites and pests, but it doesn’t mean you should ignore the possibility as a whole. Fleas, in particular, can get into your home by being carried inside on clothing. Once these pests are in, they are very difficult to eliminate.
Don’t Use Human Pest Repellents On Your Pet
When your pet suffers from a parasitic infection, you may think the best solution is to apply the most potent treatment for quick results. However, something you’ve bought to keep yourself safe, such as a mosquito repellant, isn’t suitable for pet treatment. Many insect sprays contain DEET, which is a toxic chemical that could poison your pet or cause a neurological disorder. Another substance often used in repellents is citronella. If your pet breathes in its fumes, it’ll irritate them and cause lung damage.
The safest thing to do is ask your vet for a prescription. Trained professionals will always know what the best product for your pet is.
Don’t Use Human Medicine Without a Veterinarian’s Approval
Human medicine isn’t designed to be used on your pets. Human health products can harm and, in some cases, prove fatally toxic to pets. Even though there are some exceptions, always consult with your vet before giving your furry companion any kind of human medication or lotions.
Don’t Over- or Under-Do the Dosage
Spot-on treatments are best for fleas and ticks. However, these products are used in specific doses that depend on your pet’s weight and age. Treating your pet with a product that’s designed for an older and heavier animal doesn’t mean it’ll be more effective. It could actually poison or even kill your pet.
On the other hand, a dosage that’s too small won’t work at all. Instead, it may weaken their immune system and make them more susceptible to parasites.
Don’t Treat Your Pet Only When You See a Pest
A common mistake for pet owners is only to treat their pets if they find a pest or parasite. They’re just waiting until it’s time to hatch and start an infestation. If they’re no signs of fleas or ticks, the eggs could still lie dormant in your pet’s fur or bedding.
Keep your pet’s vaccinations up-to-date even if you can’t see any signs of parasites. Particularly during the summer, a dog can quickly become infected. Before you know it, your canine companion can become very ill.
Don’t Forget To Treat Your Pet’s Favourite Hangouts
When you discover that your pet has been infected with parasites, don’t only apply a treatment to its body but also its favourite hangout places. This especially applies to fleas. The spot-on treatment will only kill the adult specimens in your pet’s fur. However, they probably have many eggs laid inside your pet’s bedding. To successfully get rid of them, treat your entire home as well as your pet.
Don’t Assume That If It’s Holistic, It’s Safe
There are many alternative treatment methods, but you should always check with your veterinarian before using any of them on your pet. Essential oils, for example, can be harmful if an animal accidentally ingests them. Due to a cat’s grooming habits, they’re likely to lick and swallow the substance.
Don’t Treat Cats and Dogs the Same Way
Animal treatments aren’t universal and shouldn’t be used the same for all pets. Dogs and cats are different species, and different medications can have different results or be ineffective.
By following the above advice, you’ll keep pest and parasite infections to a minimum and control them more effectively when they appear. With regular check-ups, support and advice from your veterinarian, your furry companion will stay as healthy as possible.