As the weather warms up, we love spending more time outdoors with our pets. But when the temperature remains above freezing, insects like fleas, ticks and mosquitos start to circulate in higher numbers. Warmer weather is also a more hospitable environment for infectious viruses (like distemper and parvovirus), gastrointestinal worms (like hookworms and roundworms) and single celled parasites (like giardia and coccidia.)
So what can you do?
Here are some tips to help you keep your pet safe this season:
-Don’t forget your flea and tick prevention! Fleas and ticks can transmit diseases and can cause your pet to be very uncomfortable. They are typically easily prevented with a once a month product, like Vectra.
-Let’s stay heartworm free! Heartworms are a potentially fatal blood parasite that are transmitted by mosquitoes. They are easily prevented by a once a month tablet. These preventatives offer cross protection for most intestinal worms as well. Examples of commonly used products include Heartguard, Interceptor, or Trifexis.
-Say yes to vaccines! Now that you and your pet are spending more time outdoors, up-to-date vaccinations are a must! Warmer weather allows for infectious viruses to live longer in the environment and more time outdoors means more risk of exposure to these nasty viruses.
-Rinse off or wipe down. After coming inside from a long play session, consider rinsing off or wiping down to reduce the accumulation of dirt and allergens on your pet’s skin and coat. These can contribute to itchy skin conditions that are uncomfortable for us and for them. (Seasonal allergies blog, coming soon).
It’s very exciting to get outdoors during spring and summer. We want everyone to stay healthy and have lots of fun. If you have any questions about outdoor safety, parasite prevention or anything at all, please feel free to contact The Worth Street Veterinary Center at (212)257-6900.
Stay Safe and Have Fun!!
Jonathan S. Block, DVM, CVA