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What parasites are lurking in dog parks

March 10, 2021
Every morning, rain, shine or snow, people eagerly travel to dog parks to allow their dogs to chase, run and mingle. It has become a rewarding social activity for owners and dogs alike. But before you and your pet head out for some fun, consider these health concerns.
INTESTINAL PARASITES – Eggs passed in dog stools are resistant to most environmental conditions and with adequate moisture can survive for years in the soil. A recent study took samples from over 3000 dogs visiting 288 dog parks and found 20.8% of those dogs had intestinal parasites and parasites were found in 85% of the dog parks included in this study. Not only can your dog become infected and shed parasites that contaminate their home environment many intestinal parasites are zoonotic and can cause health concerns for humans, especially children.
FLEAS AND TICKS- Dogs playing together can also pass fleas and ticks or pick them up from the grass and other foliage as the weather warms up. They can carry them home to infest your car, home, and yard.
WHAT CAN YOU DO – The veterinarians at Ingersoll Animal Hospital want you to enjoy the outdoors with your four-legged friend and recommend:
  1. Administer year-round broad spectrum intestinal parasiticides. Most oral heartworm preventatives also contain these products.
  2. Pick up all stool material from your dog immediately to prevent contamination of the soil. Please wash your hands.
  3. Have frequent fecal examinations performed by your veterinarian.
  4. Provide monthly oral or topical flea and tick preventative to your dog. Several options are available.
  5. After each visit to the dog park, do a flea and tick check so your dog doesn’t bring any of these disease-spreading bugs home. 
If you have more questions about parasites please contact Ingersoll Animal Hospital @ 515-274-3555.
Becky Nichols 

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