Rugby legend Gordon D’Arcy has come on board MSD Animal Health’s Parasite Awareness Campaign as an ambassador, calling on dog owners to ‘Pawse and Protect’ their dogs and their families from common parasites like ticks and fleas.
Research recently commissioned by leading animal health specialists MSD revealed that whilst local dog owners like to get ‘up close and personal’ with their pets, many are also risking getting too close to their parasites by failing to embrace year-round treatment against fleas and ticks.
The Ireland wide research surveyed 540 dog owners about their behaviour with their pets as well as their awareness, attitudes and actions around flea and tick treatment.
The findings show that many dogs are treated as one of the family, with 63 per cent saying that their dog often lies on the sofa at home, and 37 per cent said their dog sleeps on their bed.
Eighty per cent say hello to their dog when they come home, and a third said that they often danced with their dog, while 40 per cent of dog owners let their dog lick their face, and 44 per cent said they wouldn’t routinely wash their hands after petting their dog.
Gordon commented: “I know that our Leonberger, Albert, is treated like one of the family in our house. We have young children who absolutely adore him and love to cuddle and play with him.
“We don’t take any chances when it comes to parasite protection for this reason, and we take our vet’s advice on treating against parasites throughout the year.
“It’s not worth taking the risk as humans can pick up nasty diseases from pet parasites. I feel passionately about my dog’s health and wellbeing, so I’m glad to be part of this awareness raising campaign which will hopefully encourage others to act and ask their vet about longer lasting treatment options.”
The majority of those surveyed (62 per cent) weren’t aware that 95 per cent of a flea infestation (flea eggs, larvae and pupae) is in the home, with only five per cent is visible on the affected pet.
Kevin Whelan, from MSD Animal Health, commented: “Whenever we share so much with our pets, it is imperative that we understand the risks associated with fleas and ticks and how they can impact on your home and family.
“Dog fleas can also bite humans, ticks can be passed on from dogs, and some dog worms can also affect people, so failing to protect your pets is effectively leaving the door open to these unpleasant pests.”
Kevin continued: “We recommend that pet owners ask their vet for advice on longer lasting treatment options against common parasites, as this means that your pet will be protected for longer and it’s one less thing to think about.”