As a pet parent, you’ll do almost anything to make sure your dog is happy, healthy, and living their best life. This includes grooming them regularly, giving them a flea collar, and doing whatever else you need to keep pests insects from pestering your pooch. But when it comes to choosing a flea treatment, how do you know which ones will work? Here’s advice from the experts at MosquitoNix to help you find the safest flea treatment for dogs.
What Are Fleas?
Fleas are a type of insect that feed on the blood of mammals and birds. They especially love dogs and frequently attach themselves to our furry friends. Fleas are extremely tiny (most dog fleas are about 1/8" in length) and are usually brownish-black in color. Sometimes they have a dark red hue when their body is full of blood.
Why Are they Harmful to Dogs?
Flea bites leave behind red bumps that can cause an allergic reaction in dogs. Itchy and uncomfortable, flea bites prompt dogs to scratch or bite at their skin, which can lead to scabbing, flakiness, hot spots, sores, hair loss, and other problems.
In addition to causing discomfort, fleas can pass other parasites to your dog, such as tapeworms. They can also transmit harmful flea-borne diseases such as murine typhus and even bubonic plague bacteria.
What’s the Best Way to Get Rid of Fleas?
If you suspect your dog has fleas, it’s a good idea to take them to the veterinarian for a thorough evaluation. Your vet will be able to recommend a treatment that is best for your pooch given its age, health history, breed, and lifestyle. Some solutions they might suggest include:
Flea Collars for Dogs: Collars like the Seresto flea collar for dogs are often recommended by vets. They contain two flea-fighting chemicals, flumethrin and imidacloprid, that are believed to be safe for dogs.
Topical Treatments & Sprays for Fleas: Your vet may prescribe a topical treatment that contains pet-safe active ingredients to kill mites and fleas. Or they may recommend an over-the-counter spray or a natural DIY solution. Essential oils such as citronella, eucalyptus, rosemary, tea tree, and peppermint are known to have flea-repelling properties.
Oral Flea Medicines for Dogs: There are also a number of prescription medications that come in pill and chew forms that are safe for dogs. They are a great option for households with small children and other pets, as some chemicals from collar, topical, and spray flea treatments are not safe for kids and cats.
Flea Prevention for Dogs
Active prevention is essential for keeping your dog safe from these blood-sucking parasites. Make sure to check your pooch regularly for fleas by running a flea comb through their fur, especially after they spend time in heavily wooded areas. It’s also a good idea to bathe your pet with a flea shampoo for dogs after they spend an extended period of time outdoors.
You should also take precautions to flea-proof the inside of your home by vacuuming and washing your pooch’s bedding on a regular basis. If you have a front yard, you can help keep fleas at bay by keeping it nicely mowed and trimmed.
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