Protecting Household Pets from Parasites

by April Reinhardt
(last updated May 1, 2012)

When a pet owner thinks of parasites in relation to their pet, most typically think of external parasites such as fleas and ticks, since they can actually see them on their pet. Yet, the parasites that are the most destructive to your pet's health are the ones that you cannot see—internal parasites. Some internal parasites include hookworm, whipworm, tapeworm, roundworm, and heartworm.

What can you do to protect your household pets from parasites? Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Rid your pet of external parasites by washing them with flea and tick preparations.
  • Remove the fleas and ticks manually.
  • Regularly clean your pet's bedding.
  • Keep your home clean and neat, making it less hospitable to parasites.
  • Use powders, dips, sprays, collars, and prescriptions according to your vet's directions to fend off parasite attacks.
  • Take your pet to the vet regularly for checkups and discuss any concerns. If you pet eats well, yet loses weight, vomits, or has diarrhea, those may be symptoms of internal parasites.
  • Have your vet administer monthly heartworm treatments to your pet.
  • Have your vet examine your pet's fecal samples for internal parasites every year.
  • Keep your pet inside, and away from stray animals.
  • Never feed your pet raw meat.
  • Do not allow your pet to eat rodents or birds, since they may contain parasites.

If you decide to treat your pet with over-the-counter wormers, make sure that you follow the direction label on the product, and make certain that you tell your vet of the medicines you have administered to your pet. Overmedicating your pet—or worming too often, with several different products—can prove fatal.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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