Excessive scratching? Discomfort? At the scene of the crime you may just find…DUN DUN DUN…the FLEA.
If you even think there’s the slightest possibility that your dog has fleas, start with detection. Look for bits of black on your dog’s fur. The feces from an adult flea will manifest itself as little black specks all over your dog. You can run a flea comb over your dog reaching all the way down to the skin. If you don’t have a flea comb, metal ones are best, take a white paper towel, place it beneath your pup and rub you hands across their fur. If you see black specks fall, it may be “flea dirt.” Whether it is or it isn’t, make sure you throw the black specks in some soapy water. In the event that these are fleas and/or flea dirt you don’t want any of it getting back onto your pup. The soapy water will ultimately kill the flea if it is still alive.
Let’s assume you determine Fido has fleas. What next? There are a few parts to flea treatment. First, kill any adult fleas that are already on your dog that you can find. One of the quickest and easiest ways to kill live fleas is an oral pill called Capstar. This method usually kills all living fleas in about 20 minutes.
Sometimes, the worst part about fleas is the eggs that have yet to hatch. Flea pupae are protected by a cocoon, and all pupae have to hatch in order to be killed as adult fleas. This is the second part of treatment and can take several weeks in an infested environment.
Trifexus is a really great product on the market that can help prevent fleas, heartworm and certain intestinal worms. Unlike many other flea prevention methods, this is an oral pill released through the skin so you’re able to groom your dog as often as you’d like.
All dogs and cats in the household should be treated. Many times, if one pet in a household is infested the others will be too.
Some ways to prevent fleas from becoming an issue are to make sure you keep your pet’s bedding clean, washing them in hot water. Vacuum your home frequently and keep your yard neat and free of any leaves, brush or clippings.