Don’t let parasite myths worm their way into your brain! Read on to find out about the top 6 dog parasite myths.
Myth: Fleas and ticks are only a risk in summer
Fact: While fleas and ticks thrive in warmer environments, this doesn’t mean they go away in winter. In fact, fleas and ticks can be present all year round and even if adult fleas aren’t visible, their eggs and larva may be hiding dormant in the environment just waiting to hatch! Unfortunately parasites can survive all year, especially when we heat our homes in winter. The risk can be higher depending where you live, but prevention measures should be taken no matter the season. Chat to your local Greencross Vets team to learn about what parasites are common in your area.
Myth: I can’t see worms, so my pets mustn’t have any
Truth: Worms live in your dog’s intestines and your pet will most likely only have worm eggs in their faeces if they are already contaminated. These are often too small for the naked human eye to see, so even if you can’t detect physical evidence of worms, your dog may still be infected.
Myth: My puppy is too young to have contracted a parasite
Truth: Newborn puppies have a weaker immune system than adult dogs and can actually contract worms = when suckling their mother’s milk so it’s important that you provide your dog with parasite prevention starting from when they’re young. Learn more about protecting your puppy from fleas, ticks and worms here.
Myth: My dog never leaves the garden, so they can’t contract parasites
Truth: Just because your dog prefers the comforts of your home, doesn’t mean they’re not at risk. Simply eating contaminated grass or licking shoes can cause contamination. Furthermore, we as humans can unknowingly bring parasites who’ve hitched a ride on our clothing into our homes. Parasites like fleas are very resilient, and can lay dormant in our carpet and furniture for months before jumping onto a passing pet. Safeguard your dog’s health by ensuring that they’re always protected against the parasites in your area.
Myth: Humans can’t contract parasites from dogs
Truth: Most commonly, humans will unknowingly contract parasites from their dogs through contact with contaminated faeces, which seems unlikely but happens more often than we think! Infections can also be transmitted through saliva, coming in contact with areas that pets relieve themselves in, or something as harmless as getting close for a snuggle.
To avoid contamination, wash your hands often, particularly after gardening or playing with your dog. Pick up your dog’s faeces daily and avoid going barefoot in the garden. Supervise children sitting on the ground or floor. Keep all surfaces and bathrooms clean, and change bed linen regularly.
Now that you know the truth…
Whether they’re an indoor or outdoor pet or whether it’s summer or winter, the best way to avoid your dog contracting parasites is to regularly provide them with a combination of flea, tick and worming treatments for complete protection.
Treating your dog for parasites keeps every member of your family healthy and safe from an infection so stay on top of their prevention routine with products recommended by your Greencross Vets Clinic.