Your beloved dog is at risk of contracting parasites as they are ever-present in our environment, but you can keep your pet safe by regularly providing them with tick, flea and worm treatment.
Ticks are related to spiders and have eight legs. There are several different ticks species, and they vary in size from about 1mm to 1cm long. They are common in grasslands and woodlands but can also be found in domestic gardens. They are in all areas of the United Kingdom.
You are most likely to come across ticks during the spring and autumn seasons, but they are active throughout the year. Unlike many other parasites, ticks do not fly or jump, but climb or drop on to your dog's coat when you enter their habitat, especially in long grass. Once on your dog, they screw themselves into the skin and feed on blood.
Ticks can irritate your dog and spread microbes that cause diseases such as Lyme disease and Babesiosis. As a dog owner, it is good to use a tick treatment to either repel ticks or neutralise them. Tablets, spot-on treatments, and collars are available to help fight ticks, and it is best to consult your vet about which is most suitable for your pet.
Fleas are small, dark brown insects that are prevalent across the United Kingdom. Fleas on dogs are more than just a summer problem as they can survive and bother your pet all year-round.
Dogs typically get infested with fleas through contact with other animals or fleas in their environment. This insect's robust back legs enable it to jump from a host or the surrounding environment onto your dog.
Fleas will make your pet uncomfortable and itchy; they can also pose a profoundly serious health risk. Severe flea infestations can cause anaemia due to blood loss caused by the parasites, and it can be fatal to puppies or immunocompromised dogs. Don't forget fleas feed on people too, and a flea infestation can easily get into your home.
There are numerous flea treatments on the market which provide year-round prevention. It is best to consult your vet to find the safest, most effective and most sustainable product for your dog. Spot on treatments and medication in tablets and injections are the preferred long-term flea control methods. Some products attack adult fleas, while others work by interrupting flea development – and some newer products on the market do both!
The thought of worms in our beloved dog can be very unpleasant. However, understanding prevention options for worms in dogs is an integral part of responsible dog ownership.
Every dog is at risk for worms, no matter where they live or how much time they spend outside. There are three types of worms we worry about – Roundworms, Tapeworms and Lungworms. Worms are usually transmitted through the faecal-oral method. That means that your pet may have come across microscopic parasitic eggs that are present in faecal material. Some worms, such as tapeworms, are transmitted via fleas. The parasite lives inside the flea, so when a dog accidentally eats fleas, they become infected. Some tapeworms can be transmitted when a dog eats raw meat. Lungworm is spread via foxes, slugs and snails and is a potentially fatal parasite for dogs.
For most dogs, it is recommended to take some type of worm prevention year-round. Your vet will let you know what the best product is, based on the worms found in your part of the United Kingdom, and your dog's lifestyle.
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If you join our Pet Health for Life or Plus plan, you will receive all the essential medication to keep your dog free from ticks, fleas, and worms alongside routine checks to make sure they are doing well. Ask a member of our team for details or sign up online today!