May 1, 2019
With Rise of Insect-Borne Diseases, PetSmart Veterinarian Shares Tips to Keep Pets Safe
PHOENIX – April 29, 2019 – Springtime means warmer weather which brings a rise in fleas, ticks and mosquitos. According to datafrom the Centers forDisease Control and Prevention, illnesses from fleas, ticks and mosquitos have tripled in the United States over the past 13 years spreading diseases like Lyme. These parasites are also problematic for dogs and cats as they spread diseases between animals, including heartworm. The best way to keep pets safe is to prevent infestation and insect bites from occurring in the first place.
Veterinarians at PetSmart, the leading pet specialty retailer in North America,urge pet parents to take precautions against insect-borne diseases with flea drops, spot-ons and other topical flea and tick treatments. Starting this month,pet parents can purchase any flea and tick treatment from PetSmart online or in store and then visit the PetSmart Grooming Salon to have the pet stylists apply it for free.*
“We already offer a flea and tick treatment in our grooming salons and with the rise of fleas and ticks, we wanted to expand this service to pet parents who purchase prevention products from us as well,” said Debbie Beisswanger, vice president, services. “Some pet parents are unsure about how to apply the treatment, that’s why our associates are trained to administer these treatments and are happy to take care of that for them.”
To take advantage of the “You Buy, We Apply” offer, pet parents need to bring their dog into the grooming salon along with the flea and tick treatment in its original packaging and the receipt. An appointment is not necessary, but pets need to be current on their rabies vaccination to have the treatment applied.
In addition, Jennifer Freeman, DVM, PetSmart’s resident veterinarian and pet care expert, offers the following tips to help keep pests off pets and keep them safe from harmful flea-borne and tick-borne illnesses.
Take preventative steps. Flea, tick and mosquito control is an important part of keeping pets healthy and happy. Year-round treatment is ideal and there are a variety of products that offer protection. Select a product that treats all infestation issues and prevents them from reoccurring. If your pet spends time outdoors or goes swimming, be sure to use a waterproof application.“Mosquitos are most active at dawn or dusk, so if you can avoid walking your dog during these hours, you can reduce the likelihood they will be bitten,” Freeman said. While a preventative treatment is an optimal way to keep pests at bay it can also kill any fleas that may have found their way onto your pet and repel new ones.
Use pet-formulated insect repellants. Never use human insect repellent on your pets. DEET, the active ingredient in many common bug sprays, can cause seizures, vomiting and irritation in dogs and cats. Likewise, if you are treating a cat for flea or tick prevention, ensure the repellant is specifically formulated for cats.
Look for clues that fleas or ticks have found their way onto your pet. Small, curly black droppings, known as flea dirt, can be found in the fur even when the fleas are not seen. To confirm if debris in a dog’s fur is flea droppings, Freeman recommends placing it on a white paper towel and adding a drop of water to it. If it turns red, your pet may have fleas. Ticks attach to the skin for feeding but can be found crawling on the fur when they first settle onto pets. Conduct a quick spot check on pets following walks or time spent outdoors by parting the fur with your hands to check the skin or by using a comb to brush through the fur.
Remove stagnant water around your home. Mosquitos need water to live and prefer to lay their eggs in stagnant water. Eliminate their breeding grounds by ensuring the area surrounding your home is free from standing water under bushes and behind structures like tool sheds and air conditioners, or in old tires or flower pots.
Treat the issue promptly. If you find fleas or ticks on your pet, there are several ways to get rid of an infestation:
- Bathe your dog using a specially formulated flea and tick shampoo that is designed to kill parasites.
- Take your pet to the groomer and let them administer a flea and tick treatment for you.
- Clean the house. Thoroughly vacuum your home and launder your dog’s bedding, blankets and soft toys in hot water. A carpet powder or fogger can also effectively treat the home.
- Use an on-premise insecticide listed as safe for use around pets for the house and the yard to prevent re-infestation.
- Ask your veterinarian for tips or treatments for infestation problems and possible testing for insect-borne diseases.
For additional tips and resources on how to keep pests off your pets, including a ful assortment of product solutions, visit petsmart.com or speak with an in-store PetSmart associate.
**For dogs only. In order to maintain a safe, comfortable environment, we require all pets to be current on their rabies vaccinations and to wait at least 48 hours after any vaccinations before checking in to the Grooming Salon. Not available for pets under five (5) pounds, puppies under 8 weeks old or in Grooming Salons located in NY, NJ or Canada. PetSmart® proof of purchase of flea & tick product is required for free application in the Grooming Salon by salon associate. Subject to availability. Regular price of flea & tick application in Grooming Salon is \$6.
PetSmart, Inc. is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. At PetSmart, we love pets, and we believe pets make us better people. Every day with every connection, PetSmart’s passionate associates help bring pet parents closer to their pets so they, together, can live more fulfilled lives. This vision impacts everything we do for our customers, the way we support our associates and how we give back to our communities. PetSmart employs approximately 55,000 associates and operates more than 1,650 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as more than 200 in-store PetSmart PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities. The retailer provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and products, as well as services such as dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day Camp™ and pet adoption. PetSmart, PetSmart Charities® and PetSmart Charities® of Canada work with more than 3,500 animal welfare organizations to bring adoptable pets into stores so they have the best chance possible of finding a forever home. Through this in-store adoption program and other signature events, PetSmart has facilitated more than 8 million adoptions, more than any other brick-and-mortar organization. In May 2017, PetSmart acquired Chewy.com, a leading online retailer of pet food and products in the U.S., which operates as an independent subsidiary.
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