Protecting Your Pets When Spending More Time Outdoors
Understandably during these uncertain times, many people are also taking comfort in daily walks with their four-legged friends. But pet owners do need to heed certain warnings and advice when it comes to their pets now and throughout the warmer months.
Spending quality time outside with pets is a great way to be refreshed and experience companionship during this unprecedented time. Many are also adopting or fostering shelter pets as a way to connect. While people are doing all they can to preserve the health and safety of their communities through social distancing, working from home and other actions, pet owners also face the unique responsibility of maintaining their pet’s health and safety when choosing outdoor activities over social gatherings.
Spending time in nature on long walks, taking hikes or even playing in the backyard with your pets is important to their physical health. At the same time, this gives fleas and ticks the opportunity to pounce on dogs and cats and spread serious diseases. Lyme disease is the most common illness caused by tick bites, representing 72% of the tick-borne diseases reported in humans, according to recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data. It can also be fatal if left untreated in both dogs and humans.
Lyme disease has been found in every state in the U.S. According to the CDC, approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease occur in the U.S. each year. While dogs and cats cannot spread the disease directly to humans, pets can bring infected ticks into your house from the outdoors.
Pet parents should take measures to protect their four-legged friends, such as checking fur for ticks and having pets protected with a parasite preventative year-round. Long-lasting preventative treatments can help keep your pet safe from these creepy crawlers and your home free from infestation.
Dan Markwalder, DVM and leading expert in Lyme disease and prevention, joined me to share advice that will help keep your dog safe outside this summer, with a special emphasis on protecting pets from fleas, ticks and Lyme disease. He also outlined the signs and symptoms associated with Lyme disease in pets.
About our Guest:
Dr. Dan Markwalder is a founding partner of Companion Animal Hospital in Chicago. Prior to founding this animal hospital in 2014, he established Animal Care Clinic in Algonquin, Illinois in March 1994 to offer his patients an environment for high quality care.
Dr. Markwalder is a graduate of Purdue University, School of Veterinary Medicine. He has a passion for partnering with pet parents to provide the best care available for their pets and attends more than 80 hours of continuing education each year to educate himself on the latest treatments.
He currently lives in the Chicago area with his wife, four sons and mini golden doodle.