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Anthea Turner launches National Flea Week

Added: (Wed Apr 09 2008)

Pressbox (Press Release) -
19th-25th May 2008

Anthea Turner launches National Flea Week
Top Tips to keep pets and homes clean, fresh and flea-free

TV presenter and ‘Perfect Housewife’ Anthea Turner is calling on pet owners to step-up their housework to keep homes free from fleas and pets healthy as the warmer months approach.

Her advice comes as she launches this year’s National Flea Week (19th – 25th May), a campaign which highlights the constant threat fleas pose to cats and dogs, whilst encouraging owners to check their pets more regularly for fleas and adopt a more preventative approach to flea treatment.

Research* released today by the sponsors of National Flea Week, Merial Animal Health, manufacturers of FRONTLINE Combo® and FRONTLINE® Spot On, shows that while almost all cat and dog owners (96%) are aware that if their pet had fleas it is likely their homes would be infested, nearly a third (27%)** still don’t regularly treat their pet for fleas, while 25% vacuum their homes once a week or less, which may not be frequent enough to effectively combat fleas in the home. This is surprising considering that over half of cat and dog owners (53%) would think their homes were unclean if they found fleas – and would also find it embarrassing (56%).

Vacuuming is an important tactic for keeping fleas at bay as it helps remove flea eggs, larvae and pupae from the environment. Pupae can lie dormant in carpets, soft furnishings and bedding for months before hatching into new fleas and re-infesting pets. The research shows that 70% of pet owners vacuum their carpets every few days or less and soft furnishings every week or less. However, Rachel Ballantyne, veterinary technical manager at Merial Animal Health, advises pet owners vacuum at least every other day as 95% of the problem is caused by flea eggs, larvae and pupae throughout the home, whilst the adult fleas seen on the pet is only 5% of the problem. A warm house provides the perfect breeding environment so with summer approaching, pet owners are being advised to step up their housework and flea treatment for pets.

Anthea, who owns two golden retrievers said, “I’m really pleased to be supporting National Flea Week as like most pet owners I see my pets as part of the family and I want to make sure they are kept healthy and happy and flea free.

“While a home covered in pet hairs is really off putting, Buddy and Digger’s health is also really important to me so I make sure carpets and soft furnishings are vacuumed frequently and their bedding is washed regularly to help keep fleas at bay. Combined with a regular preventative flea treatment regime, this greatly reduces their chances of picking up fleas, keeps them healthy and ensures our home looks great, too.

“With smell (21%), hairs (15%), fleas (15%) and general messiness (14%) being the main reasons cat and dog owners are put off having their pets in the home, it makes sense to pick up the duster and vacuum cleaner and enjoy having your pets as part of your family.”

Anthea’s top tips for keeping pets and homes flea-free:
1 Vacuum carpets and soft furnishings at least every other day, paying particular attention to your pet’s favourite spots
2 Wash your pet’s bedding (and yours if they prefer it!) regularly. Experts recommend washing at 60°C for at least ten minutes to ensure eggs, larvae and pupae are removed.
3 Check your cats and dogs often for fleas and treat immediately. Gently part the fur and check for flea dirt (small black specks). Comb through your pet’s coat and collect any debris on a wet piece of white paper or cotton wool. If the dirt speck dissolves or makes red/brown patches, then your pet has fleas and requires treatment. Consult your vet
4 Once you have treated your pet, adopt a preventative approach by treating your pet regularly while keeping on top of the vacuuming!

To guide pet owners on flea prevention, vet practices all around the country are supporting National Flea Week by offering free flea checks to help owners recognise if their pet has fleas, and advise them on how to tackle the problem and prevent infestations. To find participating vets or for more information visit www.nationalfleaweek.com where visitors will have the chance to win £50 of shopping vouchers and also pledge to protect their pets from fleas.
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For further details, contact Karen Wright / Helen McCorry on 01603 621587 or karen.wright@foxmurphy.com / helen.mccorry@foxmurphy.com.

Notes to editors

*About the survey: All figures, unless otherwise stated are from YouGov plc. Total sample size of 2,053 adults of which 833 were cat and/or dog owners. Fieldwork was undertaken 6 – 8 February 2008. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18 and over).
**YouGov survey for Merial Animal Health, October 2007

About National Flea Week: Now in its third year, National Flea Week aims to raise awareness of the unnecessary suffering that pets face when infested with fleas, to advise pet owners about the importance of regularly check pets for fleas and encourage them to adopt a preventative approach to flea treatment. National Flea Week events take place at vet practices across the UK. The campaign is supported by Merial Animal Health, manufacturers of FRONTLINE Combo® and FRONTLINE® Spot On.

About Merial
Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,000 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2006 sales were nearly $2.2 billion. Merial Limited is a joint venture between Merck & Co. and sanofi-aventis. For more information, please see www.merial.com

FRONTLINE® Spot On contains fipronil NFA-VPS. FRONTLINE Combo® contains fipronil and (S)-methoprene POM-V. ® Registered Trademark. For further information contact Merial Animal Health Ltd CM19 5TG, UK. ©Merial Ltd 2008. All rights reserved.

Please be aware of the Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2007 which controls the promotion of POM-V medicines to consumers, and prohibits the advertisement of veterinary medicinal products that are available only on veterinary prescription to the general public. Please refer to the VMD Directive for full details of this legislation.

Submitted by:Karen Wright
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