The official first day of summer is just days away, and many of us are looking forward to getting outside, traveling a bit, and indulging in some fun summer activities after stressful months of staying home. As we start venturing out with our loyal Corgis in tow, we should keep in mind that with warmer weather comes more pests. Start planning now to help your Corgi avoid these four summer pests to stay healthy and comfortable all summer long.
- Fleas. Flea prevention should be used year-round but is especially important during warm weather months. Fleas can lay up to 50 eggs a day, and the more they can feed (by biting your Corgi and ingesting its blood), the longer they can go on laying. In allergic dogs, even one flea bite can lead to a host of problems. Don’t let your Corgi become a host for these vampiric pests. Make sure your Corgi is on a flea prevention protocol recommended by your vet, and be disciplined about giving it on time, every time.
- Mosquitos. The stealthy enemy of outdoor revelers everywhere, if you’re a human magnet for mosquitos, you know how insidious these little monsters can be. Responsible for a host of human diseases: malaria, dengue fever, West Nile virus, encephalitis, Chikungunya virus, and Zika, mosquitos can also pose a risk to your pets. In addition to the skin irritation caused by a mosquito bite, it can also cause heartworm disease, a potentially fatal condition. Since heartworm preventatives are by prescription only, it is critical that you speak to your vet about the best choice of medication for your Corgi. Additionally, you can mosquito-proof your yard by removing any standing water (some mosquitos can breed in an amount as small as a capful of water) and urging your neighbors to do the same. You can also plant dog-safe, mosquito-repellant plants that will beautify your yard while discouraging mosquitos and other pests from hanging around.
- Ticks can be found in every part of the United States, and although they can bite year-round, they are most active during warmer months. While Lyme disease is the illness most associated with ticks, they can also transmit a laundry list of other illnesses to both humans and dogs. Many of these illnesses are not easily detectible if no tick is found, and since ticks are small it’s not uncommon to miss them. The best defense is not to get a tick in the first place. You can avoid them in some cases by staying out of heavily wooded areas and tall grass, but this is not always feasible. Your safest bet is to check all over your Corgi’s body after being out of doors where he brushed up against vegetation. Keep in mind he can even get ticks at the dog park, so you’re not necessarily exempt if you live in urban or suburban areas. This is why it’s imperative to keep your Corgi on a prevention protocol that kills ticks immediately. Ask your vet about a combo medication that prevents fleas and ticks. (Note, flea/tick combo medications are over-the-counter and do not prevent heartworm – you must get a separate prescription heartworm medication from your vet.)
- Foxtails. Not an insect, but a grave danger to your Corgi, foxtails are found mostly in the Western United States but increasingly seen further east. Foxtails are a grass-like weed with spiky, barbed seed heads that fall off and lodge in whatever is handy. Because of the sharp barbs on the end of the seeds, the foxtails can easily burrow wherever they land and will continue to work their way forward. This poses a serious risk as dogs can sniff, step on, or potty in an area where foxtails grow. If sniffed, a foxtail can burrow into a dog’s nose and work its way to the brain. If sat on, the foxtail can work its way up the urinary tract. Simply stepping on a foxtail can cause it to burrow into your dog’s foot and abscess, or worse. You get the idea. This time of year, foxtails are everywhere. Growing in people’s yards, along sidewalks, in dog parks…anywhere a seed can carry on the wind, it can flourish and develop into a dangerous menace waiting for your Corgi. The best way to deal with foxtails is to avoid them. Be sure you know what foxtails look like, and if you see them, steer clear. If you have them on your property, eradicate them immediately.
We hope this list of summer pests to avoid helps you have safe adventures with your Corgi! What outings are you planning with your Corgi this summer? Let us know in the comments!
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