Why is dog flea treatment important?
When it comes to owning dogs there are some things that we all need to keep in mind. Fleas are definitely on this list.
Despite what some may think, fleas are not a sign that your dog (and home) are unclean. In fact, they can afflict any dog and left untreated can quickly go from one or two little parasites to a complete infestation.
What are fleas?
Fleas are a pesky external parasite that will suck the blood from their host during their adult stage. They have perfectly developed mandibles for piercing skin and sucking out the blood.
One flea can live for up to one year and a single female flea is thought to lay
up to 50 eggs each and every day.
They are known for their amazing ability to jump; in fact, some fleas are able to leap up to a hundred times their own body length.
How can I tell if my dog has fleas?
One of the most obvious signs of fleas in your dog is that they will be scratching more than usual. You may also see some dark specks in their fur, especially if you run a fine-toothed comb through it.
You may also have some bites too; usually on the lower legs.
What kind of issues can fleas cause?
Fleas are not only known to make their hosts feel itchy and uncomfortable, but they can also pose more serious risks to health.
Some pets are known to be hypersensitive to the bites of fleas. If this happens to your dog, then they could suffer an intense allergic reaction which can result in hair loss.
Puppies and elderly dogs may be too weak to replace the blood that is drained from them by the fleas. They can then become anaemic.
Finally, fleas are also hosts to their own type of parasites; tapeworm. If a flea that is infected with tapeworm is ingested, then your dog will develop tapeworms in their intestines. This will also need to be treated.
What are the types of dog flea treatment available?
Before you begin any new dog flea treatment it is important to speak to your vet first. They can offer advice specific to your dog.
They will often advise that you start by treating the home. To do this you should begin by hoovering the entire house; including skirting and any bedding that the pets use. After hoovering make sure that you throw away the dust bag (or fully empty and wash out the cylinder for bag-less hoovers) so that you are eliminating the chance of the fleas breeding further.
Once you have treated your home, you will need to select a relevant flea treatment from the drops, tablets, sprays, shampoos and powders that are available. Spot on treatments appear to be among the most effective and will give ongoing cover. However, you should always make sure that you read through the labels and instructions before you administer a dose.
Do I need to treat my home too?
The answer is most definitely yes. Treating your home for fleas is just as important as treating your pet. In fact, it is estimated that as much as 95% of a flea infestation will be found in your home. Areas such as beds, rugs and sofas are the main culprits. Fleas can live for months in your home without emerging to eat.
So now you know more about fleas and how to make sure that you are rid of them. Make sure that you treat the issue and maintain your preventative measures. Then you will have a happy, and parasite free pooch!