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Friday, October 11, 2013

Battling Fleas Continues Into Fall: Do You Have A Plan?

                                  Who me? Fleas?

Lots of you humans think that your pets suddenly become immune to fleas just because spring and summer have faded to a lovely autumn hue. No so, my human friends! But we have some ideas to help you cope with those flea infestations...

Your dog has fleas, now what?
So you've noticed your canine has been scratching himself, he looks a little uncomfortable, and you have never dealt with a flea infestation before. What do you do?
First, be sure 
If you notice that your dog is scratching solely behind his ear, it could be a case of ear mites, or even an ear infection, according to Pet Care Rx. If you think it may be fleas, look for a small insect anywhere between half the size of an apple seed to a grain of rice. Dogs have been known to scratch themselves almost bald in spots where fleas are particularly persistent.
Fleas, because they don't have wings, jump around on the surface of your pet's fur using their strong back legs. This makes them more visible than burrowing pests, like Demodex or Scabies mites. Because fleas avoid light, the best place to look for them is on your dog's stomach or inner thighs, or anywhere on your dog's body where there's a large amount of fur.
One surefire, though unfortunate, sign of fleas is the appearance of what is called "flea dirt." This substance looks like small flakes of pepper scattered throughout your dog's coat, and is actually the insect's feces, which contains undigested blood. If you think you spot flea dirt, PetMD suggests wiping it off with a damp paper towel and letting it sit for a few minutes. If after that time the specks spread out like a blood stain, it is definitely flea dirt.
Taking action by treating your pet
There are many pet supplies that can assist you in eradicating these annoying pests. For instance, there are sprays can be applied to spots of heavy infestation, bringing comfort and relief to your dog by killing fleas for up to seven days. Sprays can also kill the eggs fleas leave behind for up to 30 days. There are also many collars on the market that will leave your dog free of fleas, as well as ticks, for up to seven months.
Or soaking your dog in a flea or tick shampoo will effectively eliminate fleas from his fur. You may want to be on the lookout for products that contain a soothing oatmeal element to help your pet be even more comfortable.
Treat your home
Only after you take care of your dog can you begin to tackle the issue of fleas in the house. You should vacuum the rug and vigorously clean the hardwood floors. Since fleas have been known to make their homes in carpets, PetCareRx suggests sealing up your vacuum bag when finished and throwing it away.
Your dog's bedding and bed need extra attention because he spends a decent amount of time there. You may want to wash your dog's bed in warm water and then dry it in the dryer, if possible. However, experts note that some synthetic beds can melt in the dryer, and if this is the case you may want to consider replacing the whole bed. 

Prevent future infestations
If you've been through one flea eradication, then you may be more inclined to take the proper measures to prevent it from happening again. Treat your dog monthly with a spot-on flea repellent or invest in a flea collar. Groom your dog daily with a fine-toothed comb to check for fleas.
Hopefully your flea extermination process goes smoothly with the help of these tips, and both you and your canine friend will enjoy relaxing hikes in the fall woods, without worry.
Note: This is a compensated post. 
Author bio: Jennifer Dombkowski - Jen has worked at Hartz for more than six years. In that time she has worked on Dog Pads, Flea & Tick products and digital marketing. In 2007, she adopted the love of her life, Bosco the Chihuahua mix, from Ramapo Bergen Animal Refuge. 


Unknown said...

We always have regular flea treatment. Have a fabulous Friday.
Best wishes Molly

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