Parasites can be a pesky occurrence doomed to bother your pet every now and then. However, they can also prove to be more than just a thorn on the side as they eventually begin to have a negative impact on your pet’s health. They make themselves known in ways including mild irritation to a serious health condition. It is important to remember that a dog will be infected by a parasite at some point in their life.

There are three types of parasites that commonly affect dogs namely internal, external, and intestinal. Fleas,ticks, lice, and mice comprise external parasites, whereas heartworms affect dogs internally. Intestinal parasites include hookworms, ringworms, tapeworms, roundworms, whipworms, and even non-worm parasites like coccidia, giardia, and spirochetes. Although parasites can make your pet sick, there are some steps that you can take to prevent the occurence of a parasite infection in your canine friend.

Irrespective of whether you have a pet or not, it is important to keep your surroundings clean. Ensuring that your yard is feces-free can prevent your dog from coming into contact with the fecal matter of a possibly infected dog. However, your dog may try and consume feces in certain situations, which makes it all the more imperative to put them on a leash when out for walks at the dog park and outdoor exercise sessions.

Being a hands-on pet parent requires you to be more attentive towards your pet’s lifestyle and behaviour. If you notice any possible signs of a parasite infection including diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, weight loss, or bloody stools, you must take them to the veterinarian without delay. Having your veterinarian conduct an annual or half-yearly fecal examination coupled with regular health checks, can help prevent and enable the early detection of a possible infection(s). Additionally, you must ensure that your pet has access to fresh drinking water at all times and discourage them from drinking standing water.

You can also give your dog certain preventive medications at the advice of your veterinarian to prevent them from catching any internal parasite infections. You can consult with your veterinarian for more ways of protecting your beloved pet(s) from canine parasites.