How to Handle Fleas On Your Dog - Detection, Treatment, & Prevention
As any dog owner can vouch, a dog is just like a baby... a loveable, 4 legged, fur baby; and as with any child, a parent wants nothing more than keep them safe, happy and healthy. Well, with pets, overall good health includes a clean bug-free coat. This means a consistent war between parent and pest, because fleas are persistent nuance, troubling pet parents for generations of past. If you've come face to face with the dreadful realization that your dog baby is being eaten up by fleas, don't panic . It happens to the best of us, and is in no way a reflection of you as a parent. No matter how clean or well-kept your per and home are, fleas can still manage to find their way into your life. That's because the pest thrives in pretty much any warm environment and its strong hinfdlegs enable it to swiftly and easily jump from host to host, or from environment to host. This means that your baby can come in contact with fleas just by playing outside, play-dates with other pets, or even your daily walk. Soon enough that one little flea will lead to a full on infestation.
With that being said, taking care of them thoroughly and immediately is dire to your baby's health. For any dog, a flea bite will cause itching and irritation. However, for a dog with sensitive skin or a flea allergy, an infestation will lead to constant and chronic itching, hair loss, skin inflammation, and various skin infections. Therefore it is very important, as a pet parent, that you keep calm, act fast and follow these steps to tackle and be rid of dog fleas once and for all.
Verify a Flea Infestation
This first step comes with both good and bad news. The bas news is, there are several culprits to blame for itching and expenssive licking. Ear mites, ticks, various infections, and even food allergies are all suspects of your dog's irritation. Finding the exact culprit is significant in helping your dog heal.
The good news is taht fleas are fortunately very easy to diagnose. To accurately identify a flea infestation, physically inspect your dog's skin for the tiny jumping insects. Fleas do not burrow, so they can easily be seen scampering across the surface of the skin. They can be identified by their dark copper collor, tiny bin-hole size, flat appearance and lack of wings. Fleas are also sensitive to light, so checking for them around the shaded belly and inner thigh areas will help significantly. If you do not visibly see the pest, but still suspect an infestation, look instead for their very noticeable waste. Flea droppings are commonly reffered to as "flea dirt", because it can be recognized as tiny crumbles of dirt like substance, collect a small sample and place it on a place of wet paper towel. If the pepper like specs begin to spread out into small blood-like stains, you will have your confirmation of fleas.
Once you have established tha you are in fact, dealing with a flea infestation, acting quickly is all that should be on your mind. If your dog has fleas, there's a great chance that your home, vehicle, and belongings will also be infested. This creates a great danger for your pet, because licking and biting at the fleas can result in a tapeworm and further illness. Keep calm, take things one step at a time, and work diligently to follow the entire process of ridding your baby, your home, and all of your belongings of the bothersome termite.
Treat at and delouse your pet
Once an active flea infestation has been verified, the first thing to do is to treat and thoroughly remove all bugs from your dog's skin. When following through on this step, there are a few rules that are important to the success of the flea treatment.
1. Make sure to find a product that attacks both adult fleas and larvae. First of all, ensure that you purchase a product that works against both adult fleas and their larvae. Attacking the larvae is an essential component in preventing a repeat outbreak. The best products will include the active larvae-killing ingredients: pyriproxyfen on methroprene.
2. Do not bathe your pet over the 4-5 days before treatment. The majority of spot-on treatments work by soaking into the fat layers of your pet, creating an inhospitable environment for the fleas. Bathing your pet too close to application will remove the natural body oils that make this process possible.
3. Apply treatment immediately to dry skin. Once you have noticed the fleas, and refrained from bathing your pet, it is important to immediately apply treatments to their dry skin. Wetting your pet's skin before hand may be counterproductive by dilunting the active ingredients within the treatment.
4. Do not bathe your pet over the week following treatment. After roughly a week has passed, you cant proceed to bathing your dog with a standard flea shampoo. Bathing too soon after treatment will likely wash away the active ingredients at work. However, in between the treatment and the bath, you are welcome to comb your dog's fur with a flea comb. With a small bowl of hot soapy water at hand, gently comb your dog's fur and drown all collected fleas in the soapy water.
Note: Be sure not to overuse the shampoo. Fleas are a parasite and have most certainly already irritated and weakened your dog's skin; using too much flea killing product will only further damage and irritate your baby's precious skin.
Now that you are well versed in the process of treatment, it is time to choose what form of treatment you will use. Different dogs will have different needs, and therefore will require different treatments.
With the epidemic of flea infestations, the pet health market has produced an abundance of different flea products. Even more astonishing is the fact that they all seen to take the wait and frustration right out of flea control. Some prescription medications work in as little as 6 hours., while others boast the allure of only having to treat your pet and not his/her surroundings. The best part about prescription treatments is that they are endorsed by a veterinarian, making them more likely to be both safe and effective.
Over The Counter Treatments
The pet market has released a great array of over the counter flea treatments, making the war on fleas even more hassle free. No need to make an appointment with the vet, wait, and then spend hundreds of dollars on treatments; now a pet parent can simply hop on over to the local pet store or big box retailer and pick the right treatment for them, their pet, and their budget. With options ranging in shampoos, oils, lotions, and ecen pills, there's litteraly an option for every pet parent.
If your pet happens to have sensitive skin, allergic reactions or you just simply prefer the all-natural way of thing; you can easily buy or make your own organic flea treatment. Just like with human shampoos, there are several all-natural options that are both higjly effective and affordable. The best part of this option is that it voids the need to treat and the wait. With all-natural treatments, you simply scrub your dog down with the treatment, wash, rinse, and comb.
Not only is this the safest measure with the elimination of harsh chemicals; but it is also the most versalite, with countless ways to mix up and individualize the concoctions and remedies. As a loving pet parent, of course you only want the absolute best for your fur baby.
See more detailed information about flea treatment on this website.