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With spring in full swing and summer coming on fast, it is important to keep your pets safe from the health risks often found in the great outdoors. More than just irritants, mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks can pose serious health risks to your beloved cat or dog. Luckily, a little common sense and a routine course of preventatives can go a long way toward protecting your pet’s health in the months ahead.

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are more than just the highly annoying pests that plague our patios with the sounds of buzzing, slapping, and scratching. Not only are mosquitoes carriers for West Nile, a serious heath condition for both humans and animals alike, but they are also the carriers of heartworm.

For cats, heartworm is a fatal disease and for dogs, the prognosis isn’t much better. 

Thankfully, there are routine screenings and preventatives to help protect your pet against heartworm. These preventatives are prescribed by your veterinarian and have proven to be extremely effective in protecting your pet against this potentially fatal disease.

If your pet isn’t current on his or her heartworm preventative, please contact us immediately. With mosquito season just around the corner, time is of the essence if your pet is to be fully protected in the months ahead.

Fleas

Who doesn’t hate fleas? Not only are they irritating, but they are also the cause of a wide range of dermatology conditions (including hot spots). As if that’s not bad enough, they also are carriers for tapeworm and can cause anemia in your pet.

When it comes to fleas, prevention is the best protection. Keeping your pet on a consistent regimen of preventatives is a must. And don’t waste time with over-the-counter products, they seldom work and often cause more problems than they’re worth. Instead, consult with your vet on the best course of treatment and follow through with it consistently.

Beyond that, stay vigilant for any signs of an infestation and take care of the problem immediately, should one arise. Treating an infected pet is virtually useless if the environment remains contaminated.

Ticks

Tick season is coming on fast, and knowing how to protect your pet from these bloodsucking parasites is pretty important. Ticks can carry diseases ranging from Lyme disease to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and they can cause serious distress to your pet should he or she get bitten.

While there are some preventative treatments for keeping ticks at bay, the best prevention, in this case, is constant vigilance.

If you are outdoors, keep your pet in control at all times. This means keeping your dog on-leash, fenced in, and well protected from any wildlife that may enter your yard. Ticks are natural born hitchhikers and will catch a lift with whatever warm-blooded ride it can find.

Check your pets for ticks during the spring and summer months, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors. And if a tick is discovered, remove it immediately and monitor your pet’s behavior for changes in energy, mood, or behavior as that may indicate a tick-borne illness. If you suspect your pet may be infected, call us immediately.

Home Sweet Home

While there are many excellent preventatives and treatments available to keep your pet safe from these nasty pests, the best prevention can often be creating an environment that is inhospitable to these nasty little buggers.

To keep mosquitoes at bay, be sure to drain any standing water from the yard, bird baths, tire swings, or anything similar. Keep woodpiles clean and your grass cut to reduce the chances of fleas and ticks finding refuge in your pet’s yard.

By working together, keeping your pet safe throughout the coming months should be a simple, straightforward, and successful endeavor.  Consider investing in a pet insurance policy to keep your pet family healthy and happy.  Or, if you have a dog, consider a dog health insurance policy. 

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.