You slather your kids with insect repellent before they go outside, but what about your pets? Dogs and cats can also get bug-borne diseases like Lyme and West Nile.
“For fleas and ticks, Advantage, Frontline and Revolution are the safest products for parasite control,” says Daniel O. Morris of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Always ask your vet first, but to shoo skeeters, treat dogs with products containing permethrin, such as K9 Advantix or the Buzz Off bandanna (amazon.com; $14.94). Don’t use permethrin on cats — it’s toxic to them. Other safeguards:
1. Remove standing water from around your home, where mosquitoes breed, and keep animals inside at dawn and dusk.
2. Mow your grass often to control ticks. If your pet goes into grassy or wooded areas, examine him closely, especially around the head and inside the ears, every day. If you find a tick, remove it and take it to your vet for analysis.
3. Never use bug sprays for humans on pets (these products are not formulated for animals).