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If your pet is suffering from a parasite infestation, don't jump to the conclusion that the quickest and fastest treatment is the best course of action. Strong chemicals always pose a risk of accidental poisoning. Conversely, you might believe that your pet's immune system is enough to fend off any infection. Both the assumptions are ill-advised. Here are a few things you should avoid when choosing a pest protection treatment:
- Dogs and cats are different – Apart from their obvious differences in size, dogs and cats are essentially different species. The differences in their respective physiologies necessitate different treatment courses. Before you use any medication, consult with your vet to make sure that it is appropriate for your pet. This applies to both external and internal medications. Cats lick and ingest loose fur which puts them at a higher risk of accidental ingestion.
- Don't let the infestation get out of control – A lot of owners decide to wait it out when their pets have a pest infestation. They think that the problem will be easier to eradicate in the winter months. If you ignore a problem, you are basically making sure that you don't get rid of it. Ticks can thrive in wooded environments and getting rid of fleas can take several weeks. Winter is not going to solve the problem for you.
- Don't hang on to visible signs – Keep your pet up to date on vaccines and stay on the lookout for health hazards like water-borne bacteria, canine parvovirus (a particularly infectious virus that is transferred among canines, especially in summer) and ticks. Do not ignore symptoms just because there are no visible signs.
- Holistic products are not completely harmless – For combating pest problems, there are numerous alternative treatments that you can choose from. But check with the vet before you administer any holistic product, like essential oils. Like we said, cats can accidentally ingest harmful substances because of their risky grooming habits.
- Clean your pet's hangout spot – While a lot of owners immediately apply some sort of spot treatment on their pet when they contact parasites, they make the mistake of leaving their hangout untreated. A cleansing or spot-on treatment only kills the adult fleas on their body. The moment they go back to their infested hangout, it's back to square one all over again. Remember to treat your home along with your pet to get rid of pests.
- Indoors are not necessarily safer – If your pet likes staying indoors, you don't have to worry about heartworm carrying mosquitoes or ticks. But this does not mean that you ignore the possibility completely, especially if there are visible signs of an infestation like biting or chronic scratching. Although fleas do not infect humans, they have no qualms about hitching a ride. Once they get inside the home, you will find it quite difficult to get rid of them.