*This is a collaborative post
Like many pet owners, our pets are such an important part of our family but I was still surprised to see that a new survey from Pet Parasite Action shows that pet owners might be putting their pet’s health and those of their human families at risk from parasites.
The survey of over a thousand dog owners nationwide has found that while 85% of us happily cuddle our dogs, nearly a third have found pet parasites on ourselves or our children after those cuddles! Plus, most of us don’t know which parasites are the most risky for our pets or our families. I hold my hands up to knowing very little about the different types of pet parasites – and I rely on regular trips to the vet to keep our pets in the best of health.
TV presenter Jenni Falconer is backing a campaign which aims to raise awareness of the need to treat pets for parasites. She says:
“As a dog owner and a mum I want to be sure I do the best thing for my pet and my family. During the Pet Parasite Action campaign I’m encouraging all pet owners to visit their vet for a simple way to help protect their pet against parasites inside and out, including those that might be harmful to rest of the family. Let’s act now to protect all the members of our family, furry or otherwise.”
The survey also found that the majority of people let their pet sleep on their bed, sit on their sofa or lap and even lick their faces and give them kisses. A few even go one step further by letting their pet lick the family’s plates and sit at the dinner table. Over a third of people say they never think about the parasites their pet might be harbouring, despite the associated risks.
Out of the range of parasites, 82% of dog owners know that lungworm could be fatal to their pets but nearly half said that they think dog lungworm is the parasite that poses the greatest risk to human health – when actually it’s harmless to people. Whenever I think of parasites I always presume that they could harm the health of not just our pets but the health of our family too.
The most common parasite in our lives at the moment is ticks, with our family dog – Jasmine – often picking them up when she runs through long grass. Like the majority of survey respondents, I wasn’t aware that ticks can cause fatalities in dogs because of the diseases they transmit. I really just thought they would make a dog sick – not that they could die from it. But, I was aware that ticks can transmit Lyme disease, making them a risk to human health.
One in four people don’t realise their pet could have parasites that might not be visible, as is often the case with lungworms, hard to find ticks, roundworms and the microscopic eggs they produce and nearly a quarter of owners say that they don’t know when their pet was last treated for lungworm.
We all love our pets – and the survey showed that as well as loving our pets we find them a sense of comfort and they help us to stay active too. But, as well as loving them, they also need to be cared for in every way possible – All dog owners should visit their vet for a simple treatment against parasites inside and out, to help keep them as healthy and happy as possible.
I would hate for Jasmine to get poorly because she’d missed a parasite treatment – and so she is taken to the vet regularly for check ups and treatments. We also have a tick removal tool that is taken with her on many of her adventures.
If there’s one thing you do to prepare for the summer, and to help keep your dog as healthy as possible over the coming months, take them to the vet for a check up and parasite treatment.
*This is a collaborative post