Do I Really Need to Give My Pet Flea/Tick and Heartworm Preventatives?

Unfortunately, we live in dangerous times. Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes carry so many diseases that can harm our pets, our children and us. Some of those diseases are deadly. However, the good news is that we can protect our pets; which ultimately helps to protect our children and us. There are many different heartworm and flea/tick preventatives on the market and sometimes it can be overwhelming to make the right choices.

Heartworm protection can be achieved by  your veterinarian giving your dog a vaccination every 6 months  or by you giving your dog or cat  a monthly chewable or by you applying monthly topical drops. I recommend year-round heartworm prevention no matter what you use and where in the country you live because for the first time ever, we can no longer 100% prevent heartworm disease. This is because we now have some mosquitoes that carry heartworms which are resistant to all of the preventatives. In light of this new problem, I strongly recommend that the flea and tick preventative you choose for your pet also kills mosquitoes.

Look for a topical flea/tick/mosquito preventative that is not only effective, but also has the lowest toxicity level. As much as I don’t like  pesticides, I worry more about the horrible diseases our pets and we can get by not using them so choose wisely. Always wait at least 2 days before and 2 days after a bath before applying the topical preventatives. Make sure to apply it directly onto the skin and not the fur to ensure proper storage. The EPA-registered products stay on the skin layer only and do not penetrate into the body so it is very important to apply them properly. They stay stored in specialized glands that secrete oil onto the skin. This is how they last the whole month.

Always make sure that you are using the correct weight and species product. In other words, make sure that if you have a cat, you are using a cat product and if you have a dog, you are using a dog product. It is also important to know your pet’s weight and choose the appropriate weight category product. These 2 issues were the biggest problems seen by an EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) issued advisory.

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