Angie's List: Preventive care for pets during summer months

LEWISTON, ID - Now that summer has arrived, our pets are spending more time outdoors, which can put them at risk for fleas and other harmful parasites.

The good news is that pet owners can prevent these problems before they start. Your pet's health is the focus of today's Angie's List report.

"The summer is risky for fleas, ticks and heartworms because primarily in the spring when the weather warms up that's when these parasites start to come out of their hibernation from the winter," said Veterinarian Dr. Greg Magnusson.

"Especially during these summer months preventative care for your pets is important when it comes to parasites because it's very easy for them to pick up fleas, for example," said Angie's List Owner, Angie Hicks. "The treatment is much more expensive than the preventative maintenance is."

"For heartworm, each one of them get a pill," said pet owner Joe Kaiser. "And on the flea and tick we put it back here on their shoulder blades."

"It takes about three months for a flea egg to develop into a flea adult," said Dr. Magnusson. "So the adults that you're seeing on your pet today are laying eggs that aren't going to hatch for another three months."

"The important thing to keep in mind when it comes to pet and parasites is they don't just impact your pet," said Hicks. "For example, I recently heard from a woman who had an indoor cat and the cat got out one day and came back with fleas. So, not only did she have to treat the pet, but she also had to try to rid her home of fleas as well, which is not an easy task."

There are several effective products on the market today that protect against all three of these parasites. To ensure your pet's protection, experts suggest not skipping a dose. Talk to your veterinarian about the best prevention for you and your pet.