Top Tips for Preventing and Treating Fleas

Fleas: those pesky little buggers that drive you and your dog crazy. They have the capability to jump a distance of two feet and can do so 10,000 times in a row. No wonder they can be a problem! Fleas are always looking for a host, and unfortunately dogs are some of their favorite targets. Here are a few tips and tricks every loving pet owner should know.

Prevention
The best way to deal with fleas is to take preventative steps so that they never become a problem in the first place.

  • Get rid of flea eggs indoors by religiously vacuuming in all rooms, especially under furniture and in corners. Seal the vacuum bag in a plastic bag and immediately get rid of it. Also, wash your dog’s bedding and give him a working over with a flea comb weekly.
  • Keep the yard outdoors free of debris, especially in damp areas. In addition, discourage rodents, which can be carriers, from entering the yard.

Detection
Keeping a sharp eye on your pet helps you catch a flea problem right away.

  • When using a flea comb, look for flea dirt or fleas in his coat.
  • Watch for skin irritation evidenced by unusual amounts of scratching and licking.
  • Search for fleas or flea eggs in the dog’s favorite haunts.

Treatment
Getting rid of fleas takes patience and persistence.

  • Treat the outdoor environment by especially paying attention to the moist, shady areas of your yard. After cleaning the yard thoroughly, apply insecticides or non-toxic nematodes.
  • Treat the indoor environment with both an insecticide and an insect growth regulator (IGR). The first kills the adults and the second inhibits the pupae and larvae from developing.
  • Treat your pet by using one or a combination of products including sprays, shampoos, oral products, and flea collars. It may take several treatments over a period of a couple of months to get rid of all of the fleas.

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