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Minnesota Veterinary Hospital Blog

Tips for a Fun, Parasite-Free Summer

2015-06-25

Dogs, and some cats, love spending time outside in the warm weather. What's not to love when there are new areas to explore and holes to dig? Your pet isn't aware of the many parasites that lurk in the grass and on other animals that would love to feast on his fur and inside of his body. Fortunately, you can do several things as a pet owner to prevent these annoying critters from putting a damper on summer fun.

Make Lawn Care and Maintenance a Top Priority

Fleas, ticks, and other parasites that survive on animal hosts thrive in thick, uncut grass and large piles of leaves. The best way to eliminate them is to cut your grass at least once a week and keep lawn clippings and leaf piles to a minimum. If you own a dog, make it a point to clean up her outdoor waste every day. Parasites can live in piles of feces, which dogs sometimes unknowingly eat.

Bathe Your Pet Frequently During the Summer

To keep parasites at bay, give your dog a bath more often in the summer than you do during the other seasons. Cats who are allowed outdoors should also get a sponge bath with soap and water. They might not like it, but you can train them to tolerate it by offering a treat and speaking in a soothing voice.

Keep Laundry Fresh and Carpets Vacuumed

Because fleas, ticks, and intestinal worms are so tiny, you aren't likely to spot them if your pet brings them inside of your home. That's why it's essential to vacuum all carpeted floors and upholstered furniture regularly. You should also wash your pet's bedding frequently as well as any clothing he may have touched in hot water. This kills parasites on contact.

Keep Up with Preventive Medication and Vaccinations

As important as the above tips are, you must commit to bringing your pet in for routine vaccinations and ensure that you provide monthly treatments to prevent fleas, ticks, heartworm, and other common parasites. The online store at Minnesota Veterinary Hospital makes it easy for you to order the supplies you need. We even offer the Easy Dose It program so you receive the exact dosage of preventive medication your pet needs each month.