When it comes to keeping your dog safe against pests like fleas and ticks you may find yourself scratching your head. As it turns out, no matter how well you take care of your dog or how much you keep them inside fleas can still find their way onto your canine companion. This especially becomes a problem in the warmer seasons and if not checked can wreack havoc and can even turn into a pest problem for your home.This guide will teach you how to understand where fleas come from, some ways to deal with them, and ways to keep your pet comfortable and safe even when outdoors.
Fleas are nasty little creatures that can infest even the most clean homes. It may surprise you but even if you’ve never had a flea or even seen one an infestation can pop-up seemingly out of nowhere. This is because fleas come in huge numbers and one flea can be the start of a whole new problem. The worst part is you usually don’t even notice at first because they are so small and start in such small numbers. This means that by the time you see them, then more than likely they have already infested your pet or your carpets. This can lead to all types of expenses like flea bombs to make sure your home stays pest free from then on out.
So, how bad exactly can a flea problem get from one flea? Well let’s say that while grocery shopping you picked up one single female flea. This female flea just happened to be pregnant, unlike us, fleas don’t just have one baby they can lay up to 50 eggs at a time. That means that you now have 51 fleas. Still not that bad of a number considering your size versus them right? The only problem is that these eggs will be hatching soon, and by the time you probably noticed the problem the first batch of fleas will have already reached adulthood and started breeding within each other. This means that every few days each of these original 51 fleas are now producing another 50 eggs. As you can see, this will mean that things will quickly get out of hand.
These guys are always hungry and will do everything in their power to stay in the places that your pet or you like to play. They primarily feed off of blood and will do anything to get their daily meal. This can even mean infesting your clothes for their next meal. If you even see one flea be sure to thoroughly check your pets and the bedding that they currently lay in. Fleas like to scatter their eggs about where your pets laid in order to have their young more easily attached to your companion when they mature. The life cycle of a flea is about 100 days but if you can eliminate the adults and eggs at the same time you can stop the infestation completely.
How to prevent fleas
While there is no 100% way to keep fleas out of your home or off your pet there are a few things you can do to prevent them in the first place. First off, if your pet is an inside pet they’re at a much lower risk of contracting fleas than an outdoor pet. This however can be turned upside down buy you the owner. You see, fleas like to attach to anything they can and if you were to happen to walk by a patch of fleas then you have a pretty good chance they would latch to your pants. Generally you won’t find patches of fleas unless they have a meal around to sustain themselves. However, if you go over to a friend’s house and they have found a new kitten or their cat has recently gotten fleas you have a high chance of bringing some home to your companion. If you feel like you’ve found yourself in the vicinity of fleas make sure to take your clothes off immediately after getting through the door and throw them in the wash. This is the best way to keep an infestation from taking root.
Next up, if you decide to take your pet to a place like a dog park be sure to have a flea collar on them. A flea collar can quickly deter pests away from your pet and protects them from sharing in any other animals agony. You should always have a flea collar or flea medicine put on your pet in warmer weather, especially if you take them out. Even an inside pet can get fleas if taken to a place like a dog park where they interact with other animals. Even if you’re finicky and don’t let your pet interact with other animals the fleas could still be lingering from where another animal walked by. Fleas aren’t exactly contact animals and you can get them in other ways than by directly touching the fur of another pet. Always be vigilant of signs that a pet you’re about to take your dog around may have fleas. Signs to look out for are constant biting or scratching or general uncomfortable looking movement. These can be signs that the pet may be infested in trying to find comfort by rubbing their skin or bites have been made.
Next, always make sure to keep your yard neat and tidy. Yards that have not been mowed or properly weeded are a great breeding place for bugs including fleas. The more you look after your yard the less likely you are to have an infestation. Most bugs don’t want to live in a place where they’ll be chopped up by sharp blades or their young are endangered by things such as a weed eater. By doing these simple things not only will you keep your home looking great but you will deter any uninvited new neighbors from moving in. If you ever feel like you need some extra precautions for your yard there are flea and bug treatments you can get at local gardening stores. Once treated with this you may not be able to let your pet out for a bit but it will eliminate any patches of bugs that are currently inhabiting your space.
Help! My pet has fleas!
Stop, do not panic. It may take a bit, but fleas can be completely removed from your pet and your home. The first thing you may want to do is give your dog a bath. Make sure that you have either flea soap or something that can kill fleas, as an example Dawn brand dish detergent is known as a more inexpensive option for flea treatments, while not the best option it is one most people may have on hand in an emergency. Be sure to thoroughly soap and wash all of your dog, generally when you’re going to wash your dog the fleas will begin to migrate to their head where it’s drie. Save this area for last as to corral them all to one spot and then thoroughly wash it with soap but take caution to avoid eye irritation or ingestion of the soaps by your dog. Keep the treats on hand to calm your pet with and give them multiple baths for the next week with the proper type of soap.
Next up, thoroughly clean anything that your pet usually sleeps on. If you have carpet try to use a carpet cleaner to thoroughly wash out any place that fleas may be hiding in your home. If you have a large infestation then you may want to call an exterminator depending on how bad it is. If it seems like a smaller one buy a flea bomb and remove your pets from your home. These bombs are slightly hazardous to your health as well as your pet so you’ll need to be away from your home for a few hours at least, but in most cases you will return to a completely flea free home. You may have to do two different servings of the flea bomb but it will get them out of your home. If you feel you have any clothes that are beyond repair due to the infestation you can throw them away but always try washing them first. Fleas will literally hide in anything they can to try and get their next meal.
If you need professional help seek out a trusted groomer to help care directly for your pet’s needs during the fight to remove the fleas. A groomer can deep wash and take care of your pet’s coat and if need be even cut the fur. If the infestation has not spread throughout your home but your dog is covered in fleas the best route to go may be professional grooming and a shave.By far shaving is one of the most effective ways to rid your pet of fleas as it removes their hiding spots and cuts away countless eggs on longer haired pets.Once a pet has been washed and shaven cleaning their bed sheets or bedding is a good follow up to ensure no stragglers restart the infestation. Also be sure to treat all of your pets if you have multiple pets in the home just because one pet may not seem to have fleas in this first instance if they go untreated they could be the cause of a second infestation.Even in the case of a mostly or completely hairless pet such as a Sphynx cat, always be sure to thoroughly treat for fleas as even a small patch of fur can house the beginning of a whole new wave of fleas. Never leave any pet unchecked in the case of a flea invasion.