As veterinarians and parasitologists, we delve into the scientific details regarding when, where and how pets become infected with gastrointestinal parasites and other internal parasites such as heartworm and lungworm that can cause serious health issues in pets and/or people. We examine the incidence and prevalence of infections and the methods by which parasites are spread to new hosts and cause disease. We weigh many factors when deciding which animals to treat for parasitic infections, what to deworm them with and how often to do so. Organizations like the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) and the European Scientific Counsel Companion Animal Parasites (ESCCAP) create guidelines and recommendations for diagnosis, deworming and other control methods.
This collection of manuscripts, based upon a survey of over 5000 pet owners from five European countries, looks at current behaviors and lifestyles that may expose pets to risks of becoming infected with parasites or spreading parasitic infections to people. This collection of manuscripts also examines the frequencies that pet owners reported deworming their pets and compares them to the reported risks to evaluate whether people deworm pets in higher risk situations more frequently than pets with lower parasitic risks.
The article processing charges (APC) for the articles in this series were funded by Elanco. All articles in this series have undergone the journal’s standard peer-review process overseen by the Editors, and each article can also be found individually in the journal. The Editors declare no competing interests.