We are in the middle of a beautiful summer. The weather in Washington is wonderful during this time and that means lots of outdoor activities like taking your dog to the park or barbequing in the backyard. That also means that you need to be more concerned about the risk that fleas and ticks pose for your pet and your family. The warm weather and the increased amount of time spent outside makes it much more likely that your pet’s fur may become home to fleas or ticks. While fleas and ticks can be a problem at anytime throughout the year, the most common times are during spring and summer when it is warm and humid.

Fleas can be a concern for a number of reasons. Fleas tend to infest their host and bites can lead to various problems such as allergic skin reactions and anemia. Fleas are also vectors that can carry infectious agents that lead to diseases such as plague and tularemia. Further, fleas are the vector that lead to tapeworms. These issues are not limited to your pet. Many of these infectious agents are zoonotic, meaning they can affect humans as well.

Unlike fleas, ticks latch onto the skin, often burrowed down beneath the fur so they can be hard to spot. They thrive in heavily wooded areas so they are a concern in places like Western Washington. Ticks pose a similar concern to fleas, as they also carry a number of infectious agents that cause diseases such as Lyme disease, which can affect both pets and humans.

Fortunately, this is a concern that is easily remedied through the use of once-monthly or once-quarterly flea control treatments. We carry a number of different options, suited for your pet’s individual lifestyle. Some products need to be given monthly and can be available in tablet form or topical. Other products can be given once every 12 weeks. They can work for fleas, ticks, internal parasites, or some combination of the three.

If you have any further questions, feel free to give us a call or stop in to discuss the various options that work best for you and your family.