I think we can all agree that dogs and cats make the best pets. They are loyal companions that keep everyone around them happy with their warm personalities and infinite cuddles. But just like with our human babies, our fur babies require regular health check updates . Unfortunately during their lifetime they may experience some unwanted and uninvited diseases.

Some significant health problems like intestinal inflammation and chronic diarrhea in pets occur due to various parasites including heartworms, ticks, fleas, and tapeworms. Pets can become infected by both internal and external parasites at some time in their lifetime. In some cases, dogs and cats can transmit these parasites even to humans, causing severe health problems.

External Parasites

Parasites can be present on the outer layer of the skin and coat of your pets. External parasites include ticks, mites, and fleas. They can lead to severe bacterial infection, pain, and skin inflammation in your pets. Since many cats and dogs have long or thick coats, the parasites might not be noticeable right away.

Internal Parasites

Internal parasites can critically affect the internal organs of your pets, including lungs, blood cells, and intestinal tracts. Internal parasites include heartworms, tapeworms, and roundworms. Like external parasites, these are not apparent to the human eye and can only be discovered by taking your pets for routine checkup.

The type of parasite that may affect your dogs and cats depends on different factors –- age, breed, environment condition, care needs, seasonality, and lifestyle. Some vets also believe that the spring season or humidity invites ticks in pets. Furthermore, pets who stay outdoors are more susceptible to getting parasites.

You can subscribe to a pet wellness insurance that keeps track of your pet’s overall health through routine checkups and veterinary screenings. This way pet parents can prevent health problems from occurring due to parasites in pets.

Below we have broadly discussed how parasites can affect both pets and humans, read to find out more.

How Can Parasites Affect Pets?

There are several reasons as to why your pet becomes infected by some kind of parasites, including mosquito transfer, stool exposure, genetically from their mother, and consuming something from an infected environment.

Some parasites like fleas are present in the environment and majorly affect pets that often go outdoors to parks with lots of bushes and greenery.

1) Common Symptoms

The common symptoms of your pets getting affected by any internal parasite include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abnormal discharge
  • Loss of appetite or weakness
  • Pale gums
  • Pot-bellied appearance
  • Mild to severe fever
  • Itchiness

2) Prevention and Treatment

The common way to prevent parasites in your dogs and cats is by using parasite control products, including medications, sprays, and collars. You should practice good hygiene by cleaning and sanitizing the places that your pet may use. Make sure your pets urinate and poop only on pee pads to avoid the spread of any harmful substance around in the home.

It is advisable to take your pets to only well-managed and cleaned parks or walking alleys to ensure they remain safe from any transmissible parasites. Pet parents should not miss any important vaccinations that their pets should get as they continue to grow. Vaccination strengthens the immunity of your furry friends to fight against different internal and external worms.

How Can Parasites Affect Humans?

In many circumstances pets can transmit parasites to humans, which means you can get health problems from your furry friends. When you allow your pet to lick your face or kiss you, you become more prone to getting infected by zoonotic parasites.

Zoonotic parasites are transmissible from pets to humans. Some common intestinal parasites like tapeworm and hookworm may cause eye infection or nerve damage in humans. Children and adults with weak immune systems are susceptible to such parasite infections.

1) Common Symptoms

If you find out some common symptoms as follows, it is time you need to see a doctor as these symptoms may cause due to parasite infection:

  • Itchiness
  • Abdominal Problems
  • Eye discharge
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever

2) Prevention and Treatment

The best way to prevent the parasite from spreading further is by removing them from your pets through veterinarian support and necessary care. Properly and promptly disposing of your pet's feces often may restrict the spread of parasites in their environment. Always practice good hygiene and maintain cleanliness in your home and surrounding areas.

If you have kids at home, make sure they are not walking barefoot in the garden or areas your pets may be going to the bathroom in. Do not handle your pet’s stool barehand and always use the proper method to dispose of it without delay.

In case you show any of the above symptoms, contact your doctor and start any prescribed  medication immediately. If you have weakened immunity, always follow the treatment prescribed by doctors properly to prevent further health conditions. Follow a proper diet and maintain a noticeable distance from your pets to curb the spread of the parasites.

How You Can Reduce Risks of Your Pets Picking Parasites?

Other than following necessary precautions like cleanliness and maintaining good hygiene, there are various ways to prevent the spread of parasites in your pets. The most ideal is to opt for a pet wellness insurance plan as it provides regular treatment and veterinarian checkups to your pets.

A pet wellness plan provides your pet to routine vet visits through which you diagnose whether your pet has parasites or not. A veterinarian may analyze the behavior and condition of your pet to determine symptoms of both internal and external parasites.

With pet wellness insurance, you also get services like grooming and behavioral training, which can help prevent the distribution of parasites in your pets.

As parasites can lead to serious health problems, a pet insurance plan may also prove helpful in such conditions. A pet insurance plan helps pet parents bear the cost of any unexpected injury, disease, or accident that may occur at any time.

Pet insurance for cats or dog insurance for routine care is the perfect way to provide your furry friends the care they demand as they grow old. It also connects you with specialized veterinarians and hospitals that understand your pet’s needs and work accordingly to boost their overall health.

Wagmo Pet Wellness Insurance

Wagmo provides pet insurance for cats and dogs, ensuring routine care to all pet parents who want to give their pets a little more than just love and care. We connect pet parents to different pet healthcare services to ensure they live longer and healthier. Our pet wellness plans are classified into 3-tiers – Value, Classic, and Deluxe to meet the needs of all pet parents.

You can visit our website and take a quiz to find out which pet insurance plan best suits your budget and pet care needs. You can also choose a licensed vet and service provider from the comfort of your couch through telemedicine.