2001-Sun Feb 18 21:24:49 EST 2018
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With the return of warmer weather comes flea season, a time when flea populations rise dramatically in many areas of the United States. However, this is not the only time you need to worry about flea control. It’s important to remember that fleas have been found in all 50 states, and they can be a persistent threat to your pet indoors. No matter where you live, conditions inside are perfect for fleas to thrive and multiply, even in the dead of winter. And once fleas get a foothold in your home, it can be a challenge to get rid of the unwelcome guests.
The bottom line is that it is essential that all pets — even those who stay strictly indoors — need protection against fleas at all times. “Why should we let animals suffer from flea infestations year to year? Dogs and cats should be on a year-round, lifelong preventive treatment regimen,”Dr. Dryden says.
The good news is that there are now many excellent flea control products available. It’s easier than ever to protect your pet and your household from being taken over by these pests. In addition to being safe and effective, many flea preventives are designed to be convenient for owners struggling to keep up with today’s busy lifestyle.
But with so many choices, how can you know which one is right for you and your pet? Not all flea control products are equal; they work in different ways, and some work much better than others. That’s why it’s important that you talk with your veterinarian. In fact, the best products on the market can be obtained only at your veterinary clinic. Several of these products need to be used only once a month, making it easy to fit into even the busiest schedule.
As Dr. Dryden sums it up: “With the safety and ease of the products currently available to consumers, the most important thing is not which of the many effective products you and your veterinarian choose, it’s getting your pet started on a preventive regimen.” Together, you and your veterinarian can develop a flea control program that’s best for your pet, your household and your lifestyle.
Many of us share our beds with our pets. If you have not yet started your pet on a flea control program, should you be worried about fleas biting you? Though fleas can and do bite people, a flea will choose a meal from a cat or dog before he’ll view you as a more tempting entrée. As a concerned pet owner, though, you need to get hopping on flea control measures to make sure your pet stops serving as flea bait.
Though there are some illnesses associated with fleas, you shouldn’t worry too much about catching a flea-related disease from your pet. According to Dr. Dryden, “With all of the problems that fleas cause, disease transmission to people is generally not an issue.” However, he does point out that for individuals with impaired immune systems, the threat of contracting disorders like cat scratch disease should be taken much more seriously. If you have questions or concerns regarding specific risks to you or your family members, be sure to discuss them with the two individuals who can advise you best on this topic: your veterinarian and your personal health care provider.
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