Causes of Dog Fleas
Your dog is as susceptible to dog fleas as any other dog. Dog fleas are parasites that live on the skin of your dog. They may cause harm in such as way that they can bring forth diseases or may cause skin irritations for your pet. Either way, you don’t want them in your dog’s hide. To keep them away, it is very important that you know the possible ways your dog may get infected with dog fleas.
The main reason why your dog has fleas is because it was associated with other dogs that also have fleas. Fleas can’t live anywhere but on their host. Without a host, it will die in two days. However, once it finds one, its life span can reach as long as 115 days. Furthermore, a single female flea can produce up to 30 eggs a day. Just imagine how many fleas it can leave your dog with before it dies.
It is very important that your keep your dog away from stray dogs and other small animals. Know that fleas don’t just infest dogs. They can also live on cats, rabbits, ferrets, and rodents. If your have other pets around the house and one of them has fleas, make sure that they don’t go anywhere near the others. Fleas can easily transfer from one host to another because of their good jumping abilities, despite their small bodies.
Certain fleas are not visible to the naked eye. Others are colored just like the fur of a dog so you can’t possibly see them. To be sure, put a dog flea repellent collar on your pet every time you take it out for a walk. This is especially helpful if you send your pet to a dog park to play. Unless you’re perfectly sure about the dogs your pet comes close in contact with, put the preventive devices or medicines against dog fleas in place.
Dog fleas may also be acquired from unclean surroundings. While your pet doesn’t associated with flea infested animals, merely going to a dog house or a kennel infested with fleas is enough to make your dog infected. Always know where your dog is going. Don’t let it roam the neighborhood without your supervision. You never know where the fleas may be. They could start jumping on the fur of your dog and leave your pet very uncomfortable
Dog fleas are small parasites that you don’t want your pet get infected with. While it is rarely a serious problem, you don’t know how much damage these minute creatures can leave your pet with. Skin rashes are the simplest problem you may deal with. Much more serious problems can surface later, especially if you tend to ignore the flea problem your pet is suffering from.
Let your dog freely roam without having to worry about dog fleas by giving it medications, vaccines, or anti-flea devices. All dogs are susceptible to fleas. The problem could be much worse for dogs with longer fur as the parasites can dig deeper into it, making it almost impossible to eliminate them all.
How to Prevent Dog Fleas
Dog fleas can easily be prevented by following the right measures against them. Dog fleas are parasites that you don’t want to have on your dog. They suck blood from your dog’s skin. Their saliva can cause skin irritation and worse, they can bring forth a host of other (often times deadly) diseases.
However, you don’t have to worry much about dog fleas if you can stop their occurrence in the first place.
Here are the things that you can do:
1. Bathe and groom your dog regularly.
A good smelling, perfectly clean dog is not prone to diseases. Make sure that you keep your dog well groomed and neat at all times. Take it to the grooming center as regularly as you can. Try to give it a warm, relaxing bath everyday. When your pet is hygienic, there is a much lower chance that it will contract any health problem.
2. Take your dog to the vet as scheduled.
A lot of pet owners are skipping regular vet visits to save on their expenses. However, checkups are very essential for your pet. This is especially true if you live in a flea infested area. You have to confer with your vet regularly so you can give your dog preventive medicines as per their recommendation. The most effective ones used today are K9 Advantix, Revolution, and Frontline. These medications are usually given to dogs once a month to keep them flea-free.
3. Apply topical anti-dog flea treatments on your dog.
Aside from oral treatments and injectibles, there are also topical cures for dog fleas. Even if you don’t suspect that your dog has these parasites under their fur, it is best that you apply anti-flea oils and lotions on them. You can also bathe them with anti-flea soaps every so often. There are also dog collars specially made to ward off fleas. All of these can keep fleas away. Do this whenever you have to take to your dog to the park or whenever there’s a chance your dog will associate with some other animals, including cats, birds, or ferrets.
4. Keep your homes flea-free.
There are sprays and home improvement products that you can use to keep dog fleas away from your homes. Most of these products are chemical formulations. As such, you have to take extra care when using them. Purchase these products as necessary and use them as indicated. Whenever possible, consult the vet as to how much and how often you should disinfect your home from fleas. Fleas can live outside a host for two days. Therefore, it could be necessary to use the spray for a week or so to fully clear your home of these pests.
5. Use natural remedies against dog fleas.
Most natural remedies for pets are effective, and are very economical as well. Garlic and brewer’s yeast are good anti-flea solutions because they can repel bugs with their pungent smell. These dog flea home remedies are also good for your pet’s digestion when given as needed.
The Cure for Dog Fleas
Dog fleas can be very irritating for your pet. You can make them go away by making sure that you give your pet the right medication. Simple as the case may be, you might need the help of a licensed veterinarian to aid in the treatment of dog fleas. To totally eliminate the problem, you have to take the fleas out before the females get the chance to lay eggs. Otherwise, the whole process will just start over again.
Unlike what most pet owners presume, fleas can’t be eradicated by regular bathing. While bathing can help greatly in the prevention of dog fleas, it alone won’t get rid of the parasites. You need a good flea control medication to revert the situation. More importantly, you have to focus on making your home flea-free. You have to disrupt the life cycle of these insects so their number will decrease. Eventually, your dog will be free from them.
The vet may prescribe certain products such as Imidacloprid, fenoxycarb, pyrethrins, fipronil, or any combination of these drugs to help get rid of dog fleas. Most of these synthetic products have the ability to kill adult fleas, including their eggs, in as fast as 48 hours.
Some are applied topically on the skin, be used as a bath, or administered orally. Whichever one your dog has to take, the right dosage can only be determined by the experts.
Most of the dog flea medicines can be dispensed only by the vet. As such, they can’t be bought over-the-counter. Because of this fact, it becomes necessary that you take your dog to the clinic for a consultation. This is needed so you can find the right treatment. Be very careful when buying dog flea medicines from sources other than the veterinarian’s office. While most of them may claim immediate relief, only the vet can truly prescribe which one is best for your pet. Anything that the vet recommends should work well with your dog.
Dog fleas can infect your other small pets around the house. However, you should be informed that you can’t give the flea medications for your dog to your other pets like cats, birds, rabbits, rodents, or ferrets. While the formulation may be good for your dog, it is not guaranteed to work in the same way with your other pets. To be perfectly sure, ask the veterinarian about it.
There are also several home remedies for dog fleas. Ask for clearance from the vet as to whether or not you can combine such remedies with the drugs they have prescribed. By doing so, you can be sure that your pet gets the best possible care and the fastest relief from the inconveniences that dog fleas may bring.
Dog fleas can be a common occurrence in dogs. Even so, you shouldn’t take the situation for granted. Dog fleas can be very harmful to your pet. They can cause a lot of other diseases and they may bring harm or damage to your dog.
Fleas prevention is always better than cure. Be sure to flea-proof your home before one of your household pets become infected.
Home Remedies for Dog Fleas
Dog fleas can be treated both by chemical formulas and by the use of home remedies. Most of the known natural cures for dog fleas are not only effective but very cost-efficient as well. Dog fleas can be treated by using herbs, ingredients, and food items that can easily be found at home or obtained at the grocery store.
The home remedies you can use for your dog suffering from dog fleas are as follows:
1. Eucalyptus oil.
Many natural oils are effective repellents. Eucalyptus oil, when combined with Aloe Vera juice, witch hazel extract, and citronella oil, makes an effective topical treatment against dog fleas. Ask your vet or an herbal expert about the proper ratio of these oils to help combat dog fleas and certain types of skin diseases.
2. Cedar beds.
Cedar leaves are also a good dog flea repellent. Wash the bedding of your dog thoroughly. Cover its sleeping area with the right amount of cedar leaves. By using the leaves as the dog’s bed, the fleas are repelled effectively. The leaves’ pungent scent drives the fleas away.
3. Fresh garlic.
Garlic added to your dog’s meals can help greatly in preventing dog fleas. It can make your pet’s skin generate a slightly strong odor that fleas don’t like, and will stay away from. You can simply sprinkle a small amount of powdered garlic onto your dog’s meal. That should be enough to ward off fleas.
4. Nutritional yeast.
Nutritional yeast can also be added to your dog’s meal, just in case your pet is not tolerant of garlic. This can be used as an alternative and it will basically produce the same effect. You can buy nutritional or Brewer’s yeast from health supplement outlets or herbal shops.
5. Orange peel bath.
Give your dog immediate relief from the itching and pain of dog fleas by bathing it with orange peels soaked in water. Orange and other citrus fruits contain a chemical that can get rid of fleas on contact. Twice weekly citrus fruit baths may help your dog a lot.
6. Pennyroyal oil.
Certain herbal oils can ward off fleas. Pennyroyal is one of them. However, it is important that this oil is diluted before applying on the skin of your dog. It is also possible to add a few drops of the oil to your dog’s bath.
7. Thiamin supplement.
Thiamin is one of the B Vitamins. You can obtain Thiamin capsules from pharmacies and health stores. It is possible to give a Thiamin capsule to your pet as an oral remedy against dog fleas. However, you have to consult with the vet before undertaking this procedure. This is to make sure that none of your pet’s existing flea medicines will interact negatively with the supplement.
8. Fatty acid supplements.
Aside from Thiamin, fatty acid supplements can also be used against dog fleas. Such oral medication can give your pet relief from the itching caused by the flea bites. However, it may take more than a month for it to work fully. Again, ask your vet about the right dosage.