Opening your home and your heart to a pet—be it a cat, dog, or an animal more exotic—constitutes taking on new jobs and a fair amount of responsibility. One of the most important jobs is monitoring your animal friend’s health. To that end, it’s essential to know which pests are most attracted to your pet and the major problems they can cause. In this article, we take a look at the most common pests that can harm your pet.
Of all the pests that plague our pets, ticks are probably the most well-known and chances are you’re already accustomed to scanning your pet’s coat for them after being outdoors. Tick bites can lead to serious diseases in both pets and humans including Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis.
Fleas are another familiar nuisance. As with ticks, fleas can affect people and their furry friends. One female flea can produce as many as 20 eggs per day; that’s 20,000 adult fleas in just two months. That, along with the fact that they don’t actually bite victims but instead ingest their blood, makes them especially vexing for young puppies and kittens. A flea-infested puppy or kitten can lose so much blood that they can become anemic.
Another problem that fleas present is that they can transmit tapeworms, which happens when itchy pets bite at their skin and ingest fleas in the process. Luckily, there’s a variety of effective flea treatments on the market to keep your home and furry friends flea-free, including many all-natural products. Talk with your vet about which products are right for your pet and home.
Mosquitoes are yet another pest that can bother everyone in your home. Their buzzing is aggravating, their bites are intensely itchy, and they can transmit diseases such as heartworm and West Nile virus.
Heartworm is a serious disease for pets. It’s caused by worms that live in the heart, lungs, and associated blood vessels of affected pets. If left untreated, their numbers can increase, causing severe lung disease, heart failure, and even death.
Heartworm disease is very different for cats when compared to dogs. In dogs, heartworms can grow and mature, completing their entire lifecycle. In cats, most worms do not survive to adulthood and heartworm disease often goes undiagnosed until it’s too late. Moreover, the medication used to treat heartworm infections in dogs cannot be used in cats, so prevention is the only means of protecting cats from the effects of heartworm disease.
Worms are a commonplace woe in domestic animals, and there are a variety of them your pet can become infested with. Worms can be a serious threat to your pet’s health. These wiggly parasites can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. If left untreated, worms can make your pet miserable and sometimes hospitalize them. So, don’t skip out on preventative worm treatment.
Bees & Wasps
Dogs and cats may chase and try to play with these buzzing bugs, but their curiosity can quickly result in a painful sting. Stinging pests like bees, wasps, hornets, and yellowjackets can cause severe allergic reactions, which can be life-threatening to pets.
Your pet’s affinity for smelly food (and non-food items, like your old sneakers, your cat’s litter box, or even their own poop) is well documented, so it’s not out of the question that they might snack on the occasional stink bug. No serious harm will come to a pet if they ingest one of these odiferous insects. However, upset stomachs, vomiting, and diarrhea may result.
Your Pets are our Priority!
And there you have it! The NASC ultimate guide to the essential cat travel accessories. At the National Animal Supplement Council, our number one priority is to promote the health and well-being of your pets. That is why we created the NASC Audit Program and the Quality Seal, which helps you identify animal health and nutritional supplements that come from responsible suppliers committed to producing the highest quality, most consistent products available. Visit our website to learn more and to see a list of NASC members that have earned the Quality Seal.