Dogs and Cats and Fleas: Oh My!
Fleas are little brown insects which thrive in particular temperature and humidity levels. Which means most pet owners will deal with them at some time or another. For many, it's not just a summer problem. Dogs and cats may get a flea infestation while playing with another animal or through contact with the environment. No matter what, fleas are a pesky problem, and once you spot them, you should take care of them right away.
In the Environment
Treating fleas in your environment will take care of about 90% of your problem. If you find a flea infestation in your home or yard, you can treat it by hiring a company to handle your yard or purchase sprays that hook onto your hose and do it yourself. You should treat your yard once a month in the summer and every other month in the winter to treat and prevent flea infestations.
You should also bomb your house to treat and prevent fleas inside. Purchasing bug bombs is relatively inexpensive, and they work well as long term solutions. You can bomb your home quarterly and see a marked improvement in your flea problem as well as other pest problems. By treating the environment, you may be able to prevent having to use chemicals on your pet altogether.
On Your Pet
If you do find after treating the environment that you still need to treat your pet, you have some options. There are organic products on the market like topical sprays that contain herbal supplements and natural remedies. These don't contain chemicals and work naturally to repel fleas and other insects. Dropping a mint leaf in your pet's water bowl can help naturally repel fleas because insects don't like the smell of mint.
Hint: you can put mint in your water, too, and it will act as a natural bug spray year round! Plant mint outside near the areas where you spend the most time to keep the fleas away.
Finally, if you continue to struggle after treating the environment and your pet with natural solutions, you can turn to over the counter or prescription solutions. These medicated solutions for flea prevention include Advantix, Frontline Plus, Advantage, and Seresto collars. They are much stronger than natural solutions. Some pet owners find they like these better and some don't.
Bathing is a critical component of treating and preventing fleas. While you can use natural remedies at any time, the medicated solutions must be applied either three days before or three days after a bath. In between baths, you should use a soap-free shampoo. It takes about 48 hours for the medicine to start working, and bathing your dog immediately after applying it will decrease its effectiveness.
When applied topically, or even orally, these medications are absorbed into your pet's bloodstream and circulated throughout the entire body, treating not just the area of application, but your entire pet. They repel all stages of flea life and prevent new infestations. It's important to let the medication absorb properly before bathing.As with any natural solution or medication, it may take some time for it to work. Find your flea treatment and prevention products from us and keep at it until something works for you and your lifestyle. Your pet is worth it!
- Jason Edick