A recent report from Bayer Animal Health has identified that up to 12 million dogs and cats across the UK could be infested with parasites.
Research carried out be the company across 2,000 pet owners and 150 vets found the majority of pets are not adequately protected, with 65 per cent of owners not regularly applying treatment to protect their animals against the likes of fleas, lice, ticks, mites and intestinal worms.
Some 59 per cent admitted to not knowing that these microscopic creatures can transmit potentially fatal diseases to their furry friends, while 70 per cent weren't aware of the threat posed to dogs by lungworm, contracted when canines eat slugs and snails.
“Understanding the risks parasites present is an important part of being a responsible pet owner, as is clearing up after your dog or cat and properly treating against parasites, "said parasite expert and vet Maggie Fisher from ESCCAP, the independent parasite control resource.
A wide variety of flea treatment and similar products for other parasites is available to owners.