Everything You Need To Know About Treating Your Dog Against Fleas
Health and Wellbeing
Pet owners are all too aware of the importance of keeping up to date with flea & worm treatments. After all prevention is better than cure, especially when it comes to parasites. And contrary to popular belief these parasites are not only seasonal, they need to be treated against all year around! Lucky for us pet owner there are a range of flea treatments on the market to make it easy to keep your pet free from fleas such as flea collars, spot on flea treatments, oral flea tablets, spray on flea products or all natural flea repellents. Find out everything you need to know below so you can ensure you select the treatment best suited to your dog.
What are fleas?
Fleas are parasites known for ingesting the blood of pets. Bites feel extremely itchy and for some cats and dogs, this itchiness can move beyond an irritation to a more serious allergy-like reaction caused by the saliva in the flea bite. Pets with flea infestations can also contract diseases such as tapeworm and flea allergy dermatitis, and if left with untreated fleas for an extended period of time it can cause your dog to become anaemic.
The most common signs of fleas in dogs are:
- Excessive itching, scratching or biting the skin
- Hair loss
- Visible eggs on the fur
- Flea dirt in the coat (small black or red/brown specs on your pets body
Fast fact #1
Fleas multiple fast! It only takes as little as 21 days for 1 flea to become over 100!
Fast fact #2
The most common way that pets catch fleas is from the environment. Fleas rarely jump from pet to pet.
Fast fact #3
Research different treatments as there are some differences between brands, so reading the product information is highly recommended.
If you're seeing fleas in your home after treating you pets, these fleas will be hatching from eggs that were laid in the previous 6-8 weeks. Long before you realised there was a problem! This tends to happen when you do not treat you pet as often as required or if you do not treat your environment and your pet will offer the best defence against fleas.
Getting rid of fleas can be a real hassle and very time consuming. Make sure it's never a problem by protecting your pet before they get fleas. The important thing to remember is that it is far easier to prevent your dog or cat from getting fleas than it is to remove the fleas once your pet and home has them. But if it is too late for prevention here are some tips about different ways to treat your dog against fleas.
There are many different sorts of flea control products on the market, it can be confusing to know what product to pick to best suit your dog's needs. Although when selecting a product it is good to consider the age and weight of your pet, as products are designed and dosed based on your pets weight. It is also helpful to know here in the life-cycle are the fleas? E.g. flea eggs, larvae, adult fleas, as this helps you to ensure you select a product that will be effective. Also consider how severe the infestation is, and if your pet has any medical conditions that may prevent you from using certain treatments and medications.
Spot on flea treatments
The majority of flea treatments on the market are spot on products! These products are medications that you apply to your dog's skin between their shoulder blades on the back of their neck. These products are an easy way to protect your pet against flea infestations as they do not require your pet to swallow tablets. Spot on flea treatments contain ingredients that repel and kill fleas these products work by depositing into your dog's sweat glands and releasing the active ingredient over several weeks. Although once applied, spot on products may take several hours to dry. During this time, it may rinse off in water, and the residue may transfer to other pets, furniture or humans, so this may not be the best option if you have a pet that loves swimming! Spot on products like Advantage Flea Treatment For Dogs are a safe once a month treatment against fleas.
Flea collars use a concentrated chemical to repel fleas (and ticks) from an animal. The chemical will disperse all over the animal’s body and can last for several months. Flea and tick collars are relatively inexpensive and can provide some protection to your cat or dog.These products can work out to be very cost effective as some even last for as long as eight months like the Seresto Flea Collar For Dogs. But because collars are fastened around the neck, they are more concentrated around the face and neck area, but this is where a lot of fleas are often located.
Oral flea treatments
If you don't like the idea of using a topical flea treatment on your dog due to allergies or having a pet that frequently swims. An oral flea treatment may be the best option for you, there are a range of oral flea treatments on the market for dogs some that treat fleas alone and even some that offer full parasite protection against internal and external parasites such as roundworms and hookworms. Treatments such as Comfortis Chewable Tablets are highly successful at fighting off parasites infestations as the medication travels through your dog's bloodstream and to the skin's surface, helping to kill biting fleas.
Flea treatment sprays
Spray on flea treatments are a relatively effective way to treat your pet against fleas. These treatments offer long-lasting, effective control of fleas and ticks on your dog. They are a fast acting way to deal with a dog with a flea infestation as they can kill up to 100% of existing fleas in less than 24 hours, while staying effective for up to a month after application.
Natural flea treatments
Many people are not keen on the idea of using chemical flea treatments on their pets. Although there are some natural products on the market these may not be as quick or effective as chemical versions. Natural products like the WashBar Natural Flea Repellent do have a place as working as a preventative measure or for use in between tradition flea products. These products are also a good option for dog's that may have previously reacted negatively to convectional flea treatment products.
Flea shampoos are an easy way to deal with a dog that has an existing flea infestation with lots of fleas visible on your pet's body. They are used like any other shampoo, applied to the dogs skin and coat topically and left to sit on the skin for several minutes before throughout rinsing off. A flea shampoo is not intended for lasting control, as these products are usually only effective for a day or two. Although they do leave little residual chemical on the animal when used correctly. A product like Fidos Flea Shampoo contains the insecticide carbaryl for controlling fleas, ticks, lice and mite infestations on dogs and cats.
We also recommend treating the environment – your house as well as your pet. As fleas can live for more than 100 days in your carpet without a meal. So it is just as important to treat the environment as it is to treat your pet. Using a flea bomb also helps to prevent re-infestations. Although not all flea bombs or flea foggers are made equal. So it is important to be sure you are using bombs that are large enough to treat the area and contain a growth regulator.