Preventing parasites in your pet is important for their health — and yours. There are a number of parasites that infect dogs and cats internally and externally, and they can infect you as well. Common external parasites include fleas, ticks, and mites. The most common internal parasites are heartworms and intestinal parasites such as Giardia and worms (e.g., roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms).
In most cases, intestinal parasites cannot be seen by the naked eye which is why laboratory testing is required for diagnosis and treatment. The Companion Animal Parasite Council recommends testing for intestinal parasites at least 4 times in the first year of life and every six months for adults. Click here for more information on the CAPC guidelines: http://www.petsandparasites.org/resources/capc-guidelines.