Dogs, like all animals, are susceptible to flea infestations. Fleas are tiny, wingless insects that rely on the blood of mammals and birds, and dogs are a prime target for them.
Fleas can cause a variety of problems for dogs, including irritation to the skin, allergic reactions, and in severe cases, even anemia. In this article, we will explore the reasons why dogs get fleas and the steps that can be taken to prevent and treat flea infestations.
The Nature of Fleas
Fleas are incredibly resilient and adaptable insects. They can thrive in a wide range of environments, from hot and dry to cool and damp, and can survive for long periods of time without a host. This makes it easy for them to infest a dog’s coat, especially if the dog spends a lot of time outdoors or in areas where other animals have been.
Fleas are also highly mobile and can spread through contact with wild animals such as raccoons, opossums, and squirrels that might carry fleas. Climate plays a role, too, since these pests thrive in warm and humid climates, which is why infestations are more common in the summer months.
Fleas are also more prevalent in parks and wooded areas, so think about this if you often take your dog walking through such areas.
How Can I Prevent and Get rid of Fleas in My Dog?
It may seem challenging to start the process of getting rid of fleas in your dog, but the earlier you start, the easier it is. It can be time-consuming and extremely difficult to deal with fleas at a more severe stage so let’s look at a few simple things you can start doing right now.
#1. Brush and Groom Your Dog
To prevent flea infestations in dogs, you need to take steps to protect your pet. This involves regular grooming, including brushing and combing your dog’s coat. Regular brushing will help to remove any loose fleas and their eggs from your dog’s coat.
You can also use a flea comb, which is a fine-toothed comb specifically designed to remove fleas and their eggs. Be sure to comb your dog’s entire coat, including the belly, legs, and tail, as these are common areas where fleas like to hide.
#2. Topical and Oral Anti-Flea Medicines
Another important step is to use flea control products on your dog, such as topical treatments, sprays, and oral medications. Topical treatments are applied directly to your dog’s skin and are typically the most effective method for controlling fleas.
Oral medications, on the other hand, are ingested by your dog and can provide longer-lasting protection. Credelio for dogs is one such oral medicine that’s fast-acting and long-lasting and begins to work within hours of administration. It also provides protection for a full month.
Credelio contains the active ingredient lotilaner, which is an insecticide and acaricide that works by attacking the nervous system of fleas and ticks and is safe for use in dogs and puppies 8 weeks of age and older and can be used along with other medications.
Anti-flea medicines and topicals such as these can help to kill adult fleas and their eggs and prevent them from reproducing. However, remember that even if they are mostly safe to use, you should still consult your veterinarian, as some products may not be good for certain breeds or ages of dogs.
#3. Keep the Environment Clean
You should also be keeping your dog’s living areas clean and free of debris. This includes vacuuming and washing all bedding, including your dog’s bed and any other areas where your dog likes to sleep.
Be sure to also clean any upholstery and carpets, as fleas can easily hide in these areas. Once you’ve finished cleaning, be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag or empty the canister immediately, as it will be full of fleas.
Finally, keep your yard and outdoor areas clean. Fleas and their eggs can easily hide in tall grass and weeds, so keep your lawn mowed and trimmed. You can also use a flea spray or granules on your yard, but again, be sure to consult with a Vet.
Getting rid of fleas in dogs requires a thorough approach that requires regular grooming, cleaning, using flea control products, and maintaining cleanliness inside the home and also outside the home (as much as possible). Don’t expect miracle changes within a week. It takes continuous vigilance to be fully free of fleas.
However, with the right approach, you can definitely eliminate fleas from your dog’s coat and prevent them from ever troubling returning.