Rising temperatures are a double-edged sword for pet lovers. Warmer days create the perfect setting for a run through the park or a game of fetch. But these warm days also provide an ideal environment for pests that can have a serious impact on your pet’s health.

Tiny but mighty

Both fleas and ticks are small but dangerous. Fleas are ravenous and can consume 15 times their own body weight in your pet’s blood. A serious infestation can cause your pet to become anemic. It is common for pets to have sensitivity to flea saliva and just one bite can cause a severe allergic reaction, leading to painful and intense itching. Fleas also transmit a variety of diseases such as bartonella and typhus, as well as tapeworms.

Female ticks can consume more than 100 times their body weight in your dog’s blood, which can lead to anemia. Their bites may trigger allergic reactions, but even more dangerous are the diseases they can transmit, such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which can also be transmitted to humans.

Treat and prevent pests

The best way to protect your pet and your family is to manage exposure to pests and take monthly, preventive measures to keep them at bay. They are many different preventatives you can treat your pets with that kill fleas, flea eggs, flea larvae, ticks and chewing lice. Many are fast acting, long lasting and help stop the re-infestation cycle.

Protecting against infestations

When you see fleas or ticks on your pet, there is a good chance that they are in your home as well. Simply treating your pet won’t rid the problem entirely, because you risk re-infestation until pests are fully eradicated.

Household sprays, carpet powders and foggers kill fleas nesting in the home. Thoroughly vacuum and wash any carpeting, furniture or linens, including beds and pillows that your pet may have come into contact with.

Although you won’t be able to control the outdoor environment as easily as the home, you should also treat your yard so that pests aren’t reintroduced every time your dog or cat ventures outside. Prevent fleas and ticks from jumping onto pets when outside by spraying the yard and treating around the home’s foundation to kill any potential flea populations. In addition to using a pet-safe insect repellant, cut down tall brush and grasses near the house or pet runs to reduce a pet’s exposure to fleas and ticks.