Owning a dog has great rewards but what most pet owners dread is dog fleas. These tiny little parasites can literally give your dog a “Dogs life”.
Flea bites can cause nasty itching for your pet but if your dog is sensitive or allergic to fleas then the itching can get quite severe and leads to skin infections and hair-loss.
In fact some pets can be so hypersensitive to the flea’s saliva they will itch and itch all over from just a single flea bite.
How do dogs get fleas
Dogs will often get the fleas through contact with other animals which are then brought back to your home and once in your home they will multiply at an alarming rate, just one flea can lay hundreds of eggs which is why you should act quickly as soon as you believe you have a flea problem.
Fleas don’t have wings so they cant fly onto your dog or into your home, what they do have is very powerful legs that let them jump vast distances and its these legs that enable them to jump from one host to another or from an environment which is flea infested to a host and if that host happens to be your dog then you will need to treat it as soon as possible.
Treating dog fleas
Before you begin to treat your dog for fleas its important that you realise that treating just your dog may not always cure the problem.
If your dog has fleas and has brought them into your home its likely your home is now infested which also needs to be treated.
Not only will you find adult fleas on your pets you will probably find their eggs, pupae and larvae in your carpets and furniture. With just one flea able to lay hundreds of eggs you can see how quickly your home could become infested.
With that being said there are many treatments available for your dog and home that will get rid of fleas for good.
These topical medications are readily available on the market are usually applied just once a month to a small area on your dogs back. Be careful to read the label since there are products that are also suitable for ticks. These medications are very easy to use and also last the longest.
Flea sprays can be bought in aerosols or pumps and when choosing one of these products make sure you buy one that contains adulticide and an insect growth regulator. Read and follow the directions supplied from the manufacturer on how often to spray or ask your vet for advice.
Shampoos for fleas aren’t used as often as other flea treatments but they are an effective and quick way of getting rid of a serious flea attack on your dog and which will help stop the irritation. Look for shampoos that contain Pyretherin and ensure the shampoo stays on your dog for about 10 minutes for it to work before rinsing it off with clean water.
A flea collar is another effective way to treat fleas. Make sure it is fitted properly and find out the duration of how long the effectiveness of the collar will last. Once the duration is up you need to buy a new one, if your dog gets irritated by the collar you could try a different brand to see if its more suitable.
At the same time as treating your dog for fleas you should also be treating your home to well and truly get rid of the fleas for good
Home Flea Control
According to research 50% of flea eggs can be removed by simply vacuuming your carpets, curtains, furniture near to your dogs favourite sleeping area on a daily basis. The rest of the home can be done weekly but you need to seal the dust bag after every use and throw it away in a bin outside of your home. If you have a bagless vacuum pour the dirt into a plastic bag and seal it before disposing it.
Using flea products with adulticide and insect growth regulator will kill any remaining adult fleas in your home and will help stop the development of any eggs that are present. There are plenty of products available including sprays. powders and foggers. As with all products read the information leaflet and use as specified.
Other areas that will need to be considered in your fight against fleas include you car, dog carrier, outdoors and any other area that your pet likes to hang out.
To sum up you not only need to treat your dog for fleas but also your home. Its not an easy task and it does take time to completely eradicate all traces of fleas but the results can be very rewarding. Choose the right flea control products and apply them as directed and your pet and home will be flea free but remember although you might have got rid of these nasty blood sucking parasites they can return at ant time so keep alert.