Animal owners have been urged by vets to take care when picking a flea treatment to avoid harming their pets this summer.

The arrival of warm weather reminds millions of people to purchase preventive products. Most of these are safe and effective, but the BVA has warned not all flea treatments are appropriate for every animal.

The BVA wants vets to speak about different options with owners before treating their pet to ensure they are able to choose the best and safest option available. Products used inappropriately or those intended for other species can seriously harm or even kill an animal.

BVA president Robin Hargreaves said: “As the weather gets warmer many owners will be stepping up their efforts to keep their pets and homes flea and tick-free.

“It’s understandable people might be tempted to reach for the cheapest option or to use up products they purchased last year, but these can be ineffective or even dangerous to your pet.

“I can easily understand how the wide range of available flea treatment products, of varying efficacy, could be confusing for owners. Dog treatments containing permethrin pose a particular danger if used on cats and can cause serious health problems or even death.

“I’ve seen first hand the tragic results that can occur and my advice would always be to speak with your vets before making a purchase. They 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 its potential exposure to other pests, such as ticks.

“They will then advise you on the most effective treatment for your pet.”

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