How to Prevent Fleas on Your Pets
19 February, 2013
As most pet owners know, when your beloved dog or cat gets a flea infestation, it can be a nightmare! It not only makes your pets’ itchy and uncomfortable, but these nasty little critters can invade our homes as well. Fleas tend to occur more often on outdoor cats and dogs as they are outside more often and have a higher exposure to fleas.
But, don’t despair, there are different medications offered that can help stop a flea infestation that are safe and easy to use. It is equally important to be aware of and continue to practice the following steps to ensure that the fleas do not reoccur:
Make sure you learn what flea bites are and treat them immediately.
Flea bites have certain distinct characteristics. The bite immediately causes a dog or cat to feel extremely itchy. Within a few minutes, your cat or dog usually has a red bump on his or her fur. Your pet can also develop an infection simply from scratching which is why it is important to get treatment as soon as possible.
Try to treat the flea bites immediately by washing them with an antiseptic soap. Your veterinarian can recommend the right one for your pet. Your vet can also recommend an insect growth treatment which is extremely important and effective as it stops the life cycle of the fleas.
Check your dog or cat for stray fleas
Make sure to check your dog or cat regularly for fleas. Don’t wait for your pet to scratch because then it is too late! If you brush your cat or dog often, it helps protect your pets’ coat, reduce shedding and gives you a chance to bond with your beloved as you look for fleas.
Try to avoid areas where you think your pets have picked up fleas
If you aren’t quite sure where your dog has picked up fleas, it will be hard to avoid. But, after treating your pet, keep your eyes and ears open for dog parks or areas that have had flea infestations. Think of it as similar to a kid’s infestation of head lice. It is certainly treatable but you usually try to avoid the spot (or kid) where the lice started.
Keep your outdoor yard clean
It is equally important to keep your outdoor yard as clean and manicured as possible. Make sure to rake the grass and remove all the underbrush from the trees where the fleas might live. You can also get a non-toxic spray for fleas and focus on the areas where your dog or cats spends a lot of time. There will probably be eggs that have developed in these spots and it important to kill them before they get your pet again.
If the fleas have infested your home, you should get it exterminated
Hopefully this won’t be the case, but many times the fleas invade not only your pet but also your home. In this case you should probably schedule an inside extermination that treats all the furniture, rugs, and carpeting. It is preferable to vacuum all floors before the treatment and also following the extermination. If your dog or cat sleeps in your bed, make sure to wash the sheets and pillowcases in hot water and laundry detergent.
Get some tips from your vet for preventative medication
Try to protect your dog or cat before they even get the fleas to avoid all of the above. Your veterinarian can give you some recommendations as to which medication is the best and safest for your pet.
Good luck and I hope you get rid of the fleas for good!