Have you ever found an insect crawling or stuck on your pet and wondered if it was something serious? You aren't alone!
For many pet owners, the warm seasons are perfect for enjoying dog parks, playdates, and exploring the great outdoors. Your pet may thrive in these environments, but it comes with a risk — exposing your beloved pet to those dreaded tiny bugs: fleas and ticks.
What to know about fleas
Fleas are active outdoors in late spring through early fall. Even if your pet doesn’t interact with other animals while outside, they can pick up fleas simply by enjoying the backyard — grassy areas can contain fleas left behind by birds, squirrels, and other wildlife. Fleas can also live indoors during cold months if your home has become infested. They use many avenues to find a way into homes; infesting pets, hitching a ride on humans, and living on used furniture are just some ways these determined parasites can invade your space. Unfortunately, this means that even your indoor cat is at risk of getting fleas. These pests are not only a nuisance causing irritating bites; they can also transmit other parasites, like tapeworm.
What to know about ticks
If you see non-deer ticks, that means there are deer ticks around too, Dr. Graham Brayshaw, Director of Veterinary Medicine at Animal Humane Society, noted. Ticks become active in early spring through late fall or as soon as it's no longer freezing. In Minnesota, tick populations are high every year. We're noticing them more as we spend more time in tick-infested areas with our pets. Deer ticks carry different diseases that can be harmful to pets. Two common diseases found in Minnesota are Lyme disease — which 25% of deer ticks carry — and anaplasmosis.
Keep your pet protected year-round
Prevent the chance of your pet suffering flea and tick bites and illness by following a preventative treatment plan. AHS partners with Boehringer Ingelheim — the makers of Frontline, NexGard, and HeartGard — to treat the animals in our shelters. These preventative treatments are a key part of maintaining the overall health of your pet. Sign up to receive discounts on Frontline, NexGard, and HeartGard products.
Concerned your pet may have a tick-borne illness? Get in touch with your veterinarian. Or see if you qualify for Animal Humane Society Veterinary Centers where we provide high-quality care for pets and people in need.
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