2012-07-12 / Family

Protect Your Pets From Summer Pests

Summertime promises easy living, but for our furry friends, warmer weather poses serious health risks. And this summer, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting weather conditions that could set the stage for larger than normal flea and tick infestations all over the U.S.

While it’s vital to treat pets year-round, take extra steps in warmer months -- both indoors and outside -- to ensure a safe season.

Fight fleas

During its two to three week average life, a single flea will lay hundreds of eggs. Failing to stop the re-infestation cycle could make eliminating the problem nearly impossible. When fleas strike, nip the problem in the bud immediately. Keep your pet groomed and use a topical treatment monthly. Wash pet bedding, vacuum rugs and carpets, and spray your yard.

The good news is that keeping pets flea-free no longer needs to cost a fortune. New generic treatments on the market are affordable alternatives to popular veterinary brands like Frontline and Parastar. For example, Fiproguard Max contains fipronil, a veterinarian recommended active ingredient, and this new formula has been shown to kill fleas and ticks quickly. Just be sure to weigh your pet carefully to ensure the correct dosage. Don’t guess your pet’s weight!

War on worms

Did you know almost all puppies under three months old have roundworms? It’s no wonder why – a female can shed up to 100,000 eggs every day! Unfortunately worms are common and there are multiple species to guard against.

A pot-bellied appearance, weight loss, listlessness and vomiting are signs of infection. To ensure your pet’s safety, prevent worms before they start. Monthly deworming products like WormX Plus can treat any existing problem and also act as a preventative to keep puppies and adult dogs safe.

Take on ticks

You may think of ticks as a concern reserved for camping trips and treks through the woods, but these creepy crawlers live in suburban yards and urban parks too. A tick bite is not just an annoyance; it can lead to inflammation of the joints, lack of appetite, depression, kidney damage and Lyme disease.

Be sure to spot check your pooch (and yourself) after spending time in potentially tick-infested areas. Never try to remove a tick yourself. If the head or pincers remain under the skin, you’ll increase the chance of disease transmission.

Apply a topical treatment that kills and repels ticks. If you prefer avoiding chemicals, try a combination of botanical oils that is deadly to ticks and insects but safe for pets and people. For example the natural ingredients in Sentry Natural Defense are peppermint oil, cinnamon oil, lemon grass oil and thyme oil. More information on a natural approach to flea and tick safety can be found at www.sentrynatural.com.

Don’t let pests get the best of your pet. Taking action now will keep your cats and dogs content all season long.

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