Animal owners must take care when choosing a flea treatment, to avoid harming their pets this summer.

The arrival of warm weather prompts many people up and down the country to purchase preventative products at this time of year. Many of these are safe and effective but not all flea treatments are appropriate for every animal. Some may be ineffective at tackling the problem and, worse still, some can be downright dangerous.

It is vital to take advice from your vet about different options before treating your pet to ensure you choose the best and safest option available. Products used inappropriately or those intended for other species can seriously harm or even kill an animal.

While it is understandable that people may be tempted to reach for the cheapest option or to use up products that they purchased last year, these can be ineffective or even dangerous to your pet.

There are a bewildering range of products available and the wide range of available flea treatment products, of varying efficacy, can be confusing for owners. At Donaldson’s Vets, we stock several products, all of which are very safe but, because they all work in slightly different ways, there is no single product that fits every scenario. The treatment must be tailored to the individual scenario.

There are some treatments, available from a variety of outlets that can have very serious consequences if used inappropriately. Dog treatments containing permethrin pose a particular danger if used inadvertently on cats and can cause serious health problems or even death. Any cat suspected of having exposure to a permethrin product should seek Veterinary advice immediately.

I have certainly seen, firsthand, the tragic results that can occur when products are not used appropriately and my advice would always be to speak with your vet before making a purchase. Your Vet can take into account your individual circumstances and consider factors such as the number and range of animals in your home, your pet’s temperament and their potential exposure to other pests, such as ticks, lice, and mites. They will then advise you on the most appropriate treatment for your pet.