Flea Prevention for Happy Dogs
When it comes to your dog’s happiness, there are few steps you won’t take! Who doesn’t want to raise their little fur-children in the best environment they can, so that little pup can blossom into something truly great?
Fleas just won’t do. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘blood sucking parasite’. For our pets, the phrase can be a very real, and painful, problem.
Flea and Tick Prevention
When it comes to flea prevention, the trick is in the phrase- prevention. Once they are allowed to breed, your irritating flea problem can become a very real infestation surprisingly fast!
A female flea can produce 600 offspring in one month, and there can be countless females. Taking as short as 12 days for these up to 600 (for every female) larvae to mature, you could be looking at hundreds of thousands very quickly if measures aren’t taken!
- It is usually pretty easy to tell if your dog has fleas. Intense itching and biting isn’t normal, and is a very clear sign something is amiss.
Dangers of Dog Fleas
Normally, the fleas themselves pose nothing more than an irritation for your furry friends. Fleas are extremely common, and it is rare for adult dogs to die from flea bites alone.
- Flea saliva can cause more of a complication for dogs with flea allergies (one of the most common forms of dog allergies).
That is just what you see on the surface. Yes, a flea problem can easily turn into a life threatening condition if left untreated indefinitely! But- I just made two conflicting statements; what’s going on?
Though flea bites themselves aren’t the biggest problem, dogs can easily develop secondary (and potentially lethal) bacterial infections from the many open wounds all over their skin left from intense scratching. Our, and our dog’s, skin is one of the first and best layers of defense against these microscopic invaders, but once that defense is gone and that doorway open…
That being said, it is pretty safe to say dogs can easily pick up bacteria from anywhere, much easier than people.
- Though fleas themselves don’t usually present more than an irritation for adult dogs, they can become a life threatening problem to small puppies!
How to Stop Dog Fleas
Throughout the ages, many forms of treatment have been developed for dog fleas. Let it be said that some work better than others.
A shampoo, or “flea bath” is a good first attack on fleas for the pet that has large numbers of fleas visible on its body. Cats can be difficult to bathe. It is important to realize that a flea shampoo is not intended for lasting control. Many people are surprised when they see fleas and it was “only a week ago” that the pet had a flea bath. Shampoos are only effective for a day or less. They leave little residual chemical on the animal when properly used
Dog flea collars can be a useful as a preventative tool in the fight against fleas and ticks. However, they’re not appropriate for every pet in every situation. There are times when flea and tick collars for dogs can be a very valuable tool, especially for pets spending most of their time outdoors.
Many flea collars are most effective in the local area (head and neck), which is little help since most fleas prefer the bottom or back end of the pet.
Topical Ointments and Oral Medications
Though these do often require a prescription from your veterinarian, they are fear better treatments for dog fleas! Administering a medication that is absorbed in the skin, topical ointments not only kill any existing flea that attempts to bite (so- any existing flea), they prevent eggs from hatching. These are some of the best treatments in your ‘tool bag’ of flea defense!
Vacuum, Wash, Vacuum some More!
Fleas love dark, shaded areas away from the sunlight, and will lay their eggs about anywhere that falls under that description (not simply your dog)! Your carpeting, couch cushions, bedding (both yours and your dog’s), clothing; absolutely anything made of fabric is susceptible.
Any vet will tell you to become great friends with your vacuum cleaner, as there are probably hundreds of little eggs lurking amongst your carpeting. You’ll want to wash all of your clothing and bedding, too. It isn’t a bad idea to invest in spray for things you can’t wash, like your Box Spring.
The problem can get to the point where no amount of cleaning will cure it, and you may need to look into wide-scale pesticides. Since you’ll have to vacate your home for a day or more, this isn’t ideal.
The best way to combat the problem is to eliminate the food source by treating your animals. Though it will take time, eventually your