Even the cleanest, most well-cared-for pets can pick up parasites!
The most common places pets come into contact with parasites are our gardens and outside spaces, rather than direct contact with other animals. You’re unlikely to see the parasites themselves but you may see evidence of them on your pet’s skin, in your home or changes in your pet’s behaviour. Although parasites are often invisible to us, fleas, ticks and worms can affect our pets’ health - and our own health too.
Zoonosis is a technical term for an infectious disease which can be transmitted from animals to humans. There are a number of different zoonoses all around us, including some parasites that pets can carry.
Our top tips for preventing parasites…
- Routinely treat pets for fleas to make sure any fleas pets pick up don’t survive for long enough to become established in our homes.
- Worm your pet regularly to reduce the number of worm eggs being shed into the environment.
- Vacuum regularly and thoroughly, especially below curtains, under furniture edges and where pets sleep as it’s estimated that vacuuming can remove up to 50% of flea eggs. Treating your home with a household flea spray will prevent flea eggs from developing in your home.
- Clean up pet faeces regularly to reduce environmental contamination with infective parasite stages.
- Reduce the temptation for rodents to come into gardens and spread parasites by keeping them clear of rubbish and food waste.
- Muddy shoes and wheels can harbour parasite eggs so keep them clean too.
- Always wash pet bedding on hot washes 60°C+.
Always wash your hands after gardening as soil can be contaminated by worm eggs.