Fleas and the Family pet

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Fleas certainly are a problem for dogs and also their owners alike. These tiny pests will survive on the body of your respective dog, sucking the animal’s blood and laying eggs. The bites and presence of fleas can cause the dog to itch and if the dog happens to be allergic to fleas (the allergy is technically to the insect’s’ saliva) it may experience extreme itching, loss of fur in some locations, inflammation, and problems. No matter whether the dog has an allergy to flea’s saliva, infestations must be dealt with or they will go on and on and of course the fleas will also infest your own home, other pets, and could even live on humans. In short; you’ll be able to be directly and adversely affected by an out of hand flea infestation.

Discovering Fleas:

If you suspect your dog has fleas because it’s been scratching a little more than usual, there are ways to check for their presence. Fleas are very small (no less than an eighth of an inch long), but visible to the naked eye, and brownish in color. Basically because they prefer dark places they will try to hide under the dog’s fur, under the collar, or on the underbelly. Their fecal matter also know as fleas dirt. This material can also be seen on the dog’s coat and appears like multiple black flecks or specks – almost like pepper. If fleas or their droppings are discovered it’s time to treat your dog to get rid of them.

Treating Your Dog for Fleas:

family pet dog

Our dog Grace. May she rest in peace

While flea collars (that I call poison on a rope), powders, and sprays could help to avoid infestations to some extent, they won’t help when the dog has become infested. When fleas are infesting a dog a female lays eggs at a rate of about thirty per day. These eggs fall off the animal and into your carpets, floors, or wherever the dog might be. In these areas they hatch and pupate, eventually growing into mature fleas which can certainly then re-infest the canine. In order to halt the cycle all the fleas upon the dog and in the environment needs to be killed or the life cycle needs to be interrupted.

There are several flea treatments readily available for dogs, but one of the best is an oral medication that won’t kill adult fleas, but does kill the eggs and larva.  This interrupts the flea’s life cycle and prevents them from repeating, as long as the animal is not continually in contact with new fleas. If that’s happening, the origin needs to be cleaned of fleas no matter if it is the rug, the environment, or any other dogs with which your dog associates.

Fleas can become a real nuisance for your furry friend and their owners, but catching them and treating loved one quickly is the key to eliminating the infestation and preventing the little buggers from returning.

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