How to Treat FleasWed, June 13, 2012,
Fleas are just a fact of life for pet-owners. That is not to say that every pet will get them, but it is a common nuisance and there is a good chance that outdoor pets will have to deal with this pest.
These insects have been around since the Jurassic period, and have mouthparts adapted for the purpose of piercing skin and sucking blood. There are varieties of fleas that have adapted to feed primarily on humans, dogs and cats. While each species can feed on animals other than their primary (for example, a cat flea can feed on a dog) we will be focusing more on the dog flea.
So if your dog gets fleas, what can you do? There are two steps you’ll want to take. First you need to treat the environments where your dog lives and plays, and then you need to remove the fleas from your dog.
Removing the fleas from indoor areas can be exhaustive. You’ll have to remove the fleas manually. Vacuuming can remove up to 50% of them, and be sure to pay special attention to places like the area below drapes, under furniture edges and the place where your dog sleeps. After vacuuming use a specialized flea product to remove any remaining fleas, eggs or larvae. When this is done continue to clean any other areas indoors where your dog frequently spends time. It is also advised that your dog’s bedding be washed once a week.
As far as outside goes, unless you have a doghouse or kennel (in which case those will need to be cleaned of fleas) the outside yard shouldn’t be much of a problem. Go on to remove any fleas from your dog. There are many possible options here and one of the most popular is a good flea shampoo, but make sure that it is one recommended by your vet. The product used and the dosage can vary depending on the size and breed of your dog. Wash thoroughly in lukewarm or even cool water (dogs can overheat quite easily) and while shampooing check carefully for fleas in the dog’s fur.
Now everyone has his or her own personal solutions, so be sure to check with your vet and get a second opinion. Above all, though, as frustrating as this may seen to you please remember that this is probably a lot worse for your dog. So handle with love, care and compassion. Best of luck!