Parasites are small organisms that can cause your dog discomfort, sickness and even death. Fleas, lice, mites and ticks live in a dogs fur, feeding on blood and skin; making the dog and itchy and increasing the risk of infection. Internal parasites are typically worms that grow and reproduce inside the dog’s organs, ultimately leading to death if left untreated.
Dogs that spend large amounts of time outside are more likely to get parasites than dogs kept inside. Most parasites come from interacting with other animals (not necessarily dogs) that are already infected. Parasite eggs can be transmitted through fur, feces and on the clothing of people.
Parasites don’t just harm your pet; they can also affect the health of your family. While very few will activity bite or attack humans, they can spread other harmful infections and diseases in the home. Removing an established infestation can be expensive, time consuming and require the use of harmful pesticides and poisons.
Facts about parasites
- Ear mites are very contagious and spread quickly to other pets.
- Fleas can lay 2,000 eggs in their lives and can survive for months without food. A flea can consume 15 times their own weight in blood every single day and transmit tapeworm infections.
- Lice can feed on blood and skin.
- Ticks are known to transmit Lyme’s disease.
- Heartworms can live for 7 years and spread by Mosquitoes.
- Hookworms can produce 10,000 eggs a day.
- Tapeworms can grow to be 15 feet long.
Preventing parasites from affecting your pet is much easier than removing them. Make sure your pet is routinely wormed, per the instructions of your chosen product. Throw in an occasional bath with a flea controlling shampoo and an annual visit to the vet, and your pet should stay parasite free.