dog aggressively scratching itself behind ear.

We know that you’re busy. While caring for your pet might seem to add even more to your to-do list,it doesn’t have to! With a little bit of planning, and some help from your friends at The Vet Gal and Guys, you can take care of parasite prevention in a flash. Here are our top tips on protecting your pets from fleas, ticks, and heartworms:

Tip #1: Year-Round Parasite Prevention 

The guidelines set by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommend that pets receive year-round parasite control. Because we don’t have harsh winters that kill parasites, their life cycles carry on with little interference. 

With a broad-spectrum parasite prevention medication, we can stop fleas, ticks, and heartworm-carrying mosquitos in their tracks. The best thing pet owners can do to prevent health problems related to these parasites is establish and maintain a regular, year-round preventive approach to medication. 

Tip #2: Reduce Parasite Habitat

Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes enter our homes and gardens without invitations, often on the backs of other hosts. Raccoons, rodents, opossums, deer, coyotes, and more can harbor these parasites and drop them off in your own backyard. Be sure to:

  • Secure trash, recycling, compost, and clippings piles. 
  • Pick up pet waste every day.
  • Eliminate standing water (mosquitoes love to lay their eggs on still puddles, fountains or ponds).
  • Check and/or reinforce fencing and gate systems to keep animals out.
  • Apply a pet-safe insecticide on the grass.
  • Remove or reduce wood piles, tall grass, low-hanging branches, and leaf piles (ticks and fleas can’t get enough of this habitat!).
  • Check crawl space entries, attic access, and beneath the deck/porch for any signs of rodents.

Tip# 3: Check Your Pet’s Skin and Coat Every Day

Your pet will benefit from a daily check of their ears, neck, chest, back, abdomen, and legs for any signs of ticks or fleas. 

  • A fine-tooth comb can show flea dirt, or feces, and may even reveal a feeding tick. 
  • Keep their fur coat trim and tidy to reduce the chances of picking up a tick, as they lie in wait for prey to walk by. 
  • If you see a tick embedded in your pet’s skin, you have to remove it immediately, but extremely carefully. You can prevent the spread of diseases like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Ehrlichiosis, and Babesiosis, if you catch the tick within a small window of 36-48 hours.
  • If you need help to safely extract the entire tick (especially the head!), please let us know. 

Tip #4: Insect Repellent

If mosquitoes are out and about in full force, use citronella products outside to repel them. We also recommend applying a pet-safe mosquito repellent to keep them off your sweet boy or girl. Naturally repellent plants include rosemary, lavender, catnip, and basil. 

Tip #5: Lifestyle-Appropriate Vaccinations

Many pets are at higher risk for contracting Lyme disease due to their lifestyle. If your pet spends the majority of their time in or around prime tick habitat, the Lyme disease vaccination can contribute to parasite prevention tactics. 

We Are Here to Help!

The Vet Gal and Guys look forward to helping your pet stay safe from parasites. Please text or call us at (817) 733‑3011 or email us with any questions at