Fleas and ticks may be small, but both can pose real health threats to your pet. Ticks, for example, can transmit a variety of diseases to dogs and cats, including but not limited to Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and anaplasmosis.
As for fleas, these little insects can suck up to 15 times their own weight in blood. They are also prolific. In fact, experts on pests will tell you that for every adult flea you see, there are at least 100 more nearby that you don't see. Flea bites can cause severe itching and skin infections in cats and dogs. Even worse, pets that are infested with these parasites can develop anemia.
The importance of flea and tick preventatives
Protecting your pets against fleas and ticks is important for several reasons. For example, if you don't address a flea issue immediately, these parasites can quickly overrun your home. Female fleas can lay up to 40 eggs a day or more than 1,000 over their lifetime.
Another reason why flea and tick preventatives are so important? Studies have shown that many tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme, are on the rise in the United States. That's not just a problem for your pets, but also for you, since any ticks your dog brings home could decide to latch onto you. Ticks are responsible for transmitting more pathogens from animals to people than any other creature.
Fortunately, tick and flea preventatives are very effective at ridding your dogs and cats of these parasites. They come in a variety of forms, including oral medications, topical drops, and collars, and most are applied or given to a pet on a once-a-month basis.
Does pet insurance cover flea and tick preventatives?
The answer to this question depends on the insurance policy you choose. In general, pet insurance plans are designed to provide you coverage for unexpected illnesses and accidents, such as a pet being hit by a car. Most standard plans do not, however, pay for routine or preventative care, such as annual exams, teeth cleaning, or flea and tick preventatives.
That said, some pet insurance companies do offer wellness coverage in addition to their standard policies at an additional cost. These add-on plans will cover a portion of the cost of your pet's wellness needs, including flea and tick preventatives.
If you are interested in obtaining coverage for your pet's routine healthcare needs, make sure that the policy you select offers this option. With or without a wellness add-on, though, having pet insurance coverage for your dog or cat makes sense in light of the rising cost of veterinary care today.
Lizz Caputo is a Content Strategist at Figo, animal enthusiast, and owner of a rescued senior American Bully. Her hobbies include checking out new restaurants in her area, boxing, and petting dogs of all shapes and sizes.