Most dog and cat owners understand the importance of keeping their pets safe from parasites such as ticks, fleas and intestinal worms. Here’s a few common parasite control mistakes all pet owners should avoid to ensure their pets stay protected and safe!
#1 Don’t Administer the Same Parasite Products to Cats and Dogs
Besides the obvious difference, you’ll find in size, cats and dogs are two different species. Their differing physiology means, among other things, that medications you use on your dog should not be used on your cat unless specifically instructed to by a veterinarian. This goes not only for internal medications, but external ones as well. Cats groom themselves by licking and ingesting loose fur; this puts felines at higher risk to accidentally ingest a poisonous product.
#2 Don’t Over or Under Treat Your Pet
If you discover your pets have fleas or ticks, one of the best methods to quickly eradicate them is to treat the infestation with a spot-on remedy. While this is a very effective treatment, the wrong dosage can lead to continued parasite problems or adverse reactions that can be harmful or even fatal.
#3 No Visible Parasite Problem? No Problem!
Since intestinal parasites live in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract, they are usually hidden from view. Unlike external parasites like fleas and ticks, most intestinal parasites are never seen. The only way to detect and identify intestinal parasites is by doing a fecal flotation. Fecals enable veterinarians to determine if your pet has intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms and whipworms. Fecals are an important tool to ensure that your pet and your family members are not exposed or infected by intestinal parasites.
#4 Don’t Mistake “indoor” for Safe
If you have a pet that mostly stays indoors, you may not have to worry as much about fleas, but this doesn’t mean you should ignore the possibility altogether, especially if your pet starts to show signs of infestation, such as chronic scratching or biting. After all, even though fleas don’t stay on humans, they can still hitch a ride. Once these parasites are inside your home, they are very difficult to get rid of.
#5 When Treating your Pet, Don’t Ignore Their Favourite Hangout
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they discover their pet has contracted parasites is to immediately apply a spot treatment on their pet, but then ignore their pets’ favourite hangouts. This is especially true when it comes to fleas. If the spot-on or cleansing treatment you apply to your pet only kills adult fleas, guess what happens when they lay down in a flea egg -infested pet bed? Treat your entire home as well as your pet for pests to successfully get rid of them.
#6 Don’t Let a Parasite Infestation Become Intolerable Before Treating It
Some simply decide to “wait out” a parasite infestation and hope that the cooler months will serve to eradicate the problem in and around the home. By choosing to ignore a parasite problem, you’ll only ensure that you won’t get rid of it. Cooler weather will not take care of the problem for you.
#7 Don’t Assume a Holistic Product Won’t Harm Your Pet
When it comes to combating parasite infestations, there are a lot of alternative methods to choose from. But you should always check with a veterinarian before administering holistic products, such as essentials oils, on your pet. Cats are especially prone to accidentally ingesting potentially harmful substances due to their grooming habits.