Warm Weather = Wildlife = Worms!
Keeping our pets protected against parasites is a year round job but it is particularly important in the summer and autumn! A combination of getting out and about more, traveling on holiday and an abundance of wildlife all mean infection rates can go up.
First, let’s talk about that wildlife!
It would be very lovely if our cats could leave the birds alone and stop bringing half eaten mice into the house but unfortunately many have strong hunting instinct. Most prey animals will be infected with worms and fleas and these will easy move to your moggy when they get up close and personal with the fauna!
Consider it the mouse’s revenge from beyond the grave.
You can try to limit your pet’s hunting by using a (quick release) collar with a bell and providing other garden entertainment, such as flowers that attract insects, cat nip plants and raised observation posts from which they can look down on you (even more than normal!)
Encourage play inside with a wide variety of toys that are regularly changed and consider keeping them indoors at dawn and dusk, when wildlife are at their most active.
However, it’s important to be prepared and, as with most things, prevention is better than cure!
Using a monthly flea protection will ensure any insects that jump ship from prey to predator will not survive and for regular hunters, monthly worm protection is a must.
Dog’s aren’t immune to the wildlife wrigglers either! For example, who hasn’t had their dog roll in fox poo? The smell is disgusting but so are the millions of worm eggs in it! And if you enjoy walks in the countryside, many a proud furry friend has returned from the undergrowth with a dead rabbit in their jaws! (or is that just mine?!) But the fur and muscles will carry fleas and worms, even if the poor creature is long dead!
Sheep farming areas are a particular risk for the tapeworm Echinococcus. Dogs are infected if they manage to chow down on an infected sheep carcass and it is of particular concern because they can pass to people via infected faeces and it has the potential to cause extremely serious disease.
It’s not just sheep either! Any infected offal or raw food that hasn’t been properly treated can represent a risk
Of course the other thing we do in the summer (because we all know how reliable the weather in this country is!) is go on holiday abroad and while it is lovely to take our pets with us, it is not so lovely if they bring little friends back with them!
It is a legal requirement to treat them for worms just before you come home but it is also vital to protect them against ticks and other parasites while you are away. Speak to your vet about the best products to do this.
Look, you have better things to think about when the weather is lovely than worming and de-fleaing your pets! Protecting them is easy, and effective, with prescription strength medication from your vets and spending just a few minutes once a month giving them their treatment means you have plenty of time to enjoy the Great British Summer while it lasts!