One of the most important things you can do for your dog is to keep fleas under control. Your dog will be miserable if fleas become a problem. They cause itchy bites, and if the infestation is bad enough, they can even trigger allergies or make your dog anemic. It's best to prevent fleas as well as treat them so your dog stays safe and happy. Here are a few ways to keep fleas from bothering your pet.
Professional Flea Treatments
Ask your vet about flea prevention products you can use. These often come in small vials with liquid medication you squeeze onto your dog's neck or back. By applying the flea treatment every month or so, you'll keep the fleas off your dog and prevent an infestation. Only use medication that has been prescribed for your pet. The dose is based upon weight and size. If you use medication intended for a different pet, you might make your dog sick if it is too strong, or it may not be effective if it is too weak.
Flea Dips And Baths
If your dog currently has fleas, you want to get them off as quickly as possible. The best way to accomplish that is with a flea dip or bath. Simply washing your dog with shampoo and water probably won't be enough. You should use shampoo or dip that is made to kill fleas. Also, you should keep your dog standing in the water for several minutes. This gives the flea medication time to work. Also, by keeping your dog under water up to his neck or back, you can drown fleas that are burrowed into your dog's fur. You can give your dog a flea treatment like this at home, or you can take your dog to a vet (such as Kenmore Veterinary Hospital) or dog groomer to have it done.
Over-The-Counter Flea Products
There are a variety of flea-killing products you can buy at a pet store or grocery store. They come in sprays, powders, and collars. If you go the over-the-counter route, be sure to follow the instructions for dosing according to the weight of your dog. If you have kids, you may not want to use these chemical treatments on your dog since they will come into contact with your kids too. Plus, these treatments may not be nearly as effective as the treatments you get from your vet.
Keep in mind, if your dog has fleas, you probably have fleas in your home, especially in areas where you dog sleeps. To keep your dog free from fleas and to keep them from taking over your home, be sure you vacuum regularly and wash your dog's bedding frequently, especially when there is an active infestation. Preventing fleas is usually easier than getting rid of them once they are established in your home. That's because of the life cycle they go through. Chemicals may kill adult fleas but not harm the eggs. During the summer when fleas are more prevalent, you should check your dog for fleas frequently and get started on prevention and treatment measures to keep the pests under control.