Dogs and Fleas – I wish I could say that I always have that issue under control, but it’s a constant process of bathing and treating our dogs for fleas. We really don’t have much of a problem, but since this has been such a mild winter, I suspect we are going to have to be on watch for the first signs of fleas on the dogs or cat.
I have done a lot of research and reading on the subject of ticks and fleas on your dog, and have come across several basic rules that help to minimize any flea problems. I’ve also come to realize that there are some misunderstandings about fleas and ticks with relation to our pets.
4 Myths About Dogs and Fleas
While I could say that there are as many flea myths as there are fleas to make a point, but that really wouldn’t be anywhere near true. It only takes a couple fleas to quickly outnumber any other living thing in a home, making life miserable for all. To help you retake control of your home or to prevent a flea infestations; I want to debunk some popular myths about fleas that may be actually allowing them to live on your dog, and in your home.
Myth #1: Dog Fleas are only Found in the Warm Months
While fleas do prefer the warmer months, they do not disappear when it gets cold. Fleas are present through the whole year; they are just less active in the colder months. This particular myth has allowed fleas to live comfortably through the winter without worry about owners continuing to treat their pets.
Then when the weather starts to warm up, the fleas that survived through the winter start to breed again, and before you can blink you have another infestation. Do yourself and your pet a favor, and continue flea treatments through the winter.
Myth #2: I Can Treat my Dog for Fleas Once and Then I Am Done
The best flea treatment for dogs is one that is never stopped. You never know where fleas may go and hid if you aren’t able to kill them. When they do decide to reappear and attack again, as long as you didn’t stop the flea treatment they will be killed before they have a chance to breed on your dog again.
You also never know when your dog will be in contact with other animals or locations that are infested with fleas. By continuously treating them for fleas you will save both yourself and your dog a lot of trouble from being infested again.
Myth #3: I Only Have to Treat the Dog that has Fleas
It always makes me laugh when I hear people talk about only treating the one pet that is showing signs of fleas and then assuming everything will be good. I want to ask them if their other pets were genetically modified to make them immune to fleas and if so, where I can get one!
Think about it this way, it doesn’t take a lot for dogs to get fleas. They simply have to be exposed to a location or another animal that is infested. Once infested, they become the “other animal” that is infesting everything else; this includes your other pets.
If one of your dogs has fleas, it won’t take long for all of your other animals to get them. If you only treat the one dog, the fleas on the other pet will survive and then later re-infest the treated dog. Prevent this cycle by treating all of your pets, your home and even your yard at the first sign that fleas have arrived.
Myth #4: Treatments for Dog Fleas are Harmful
Yes, flea treatments are chemical based and I wouldn’t recommend that you do a taste test on them. However, these treatments are tested before they are released for public use and if they were extremely harmful, they wouldn’t be allowed on the market. If you are still concerned, talk to your vet about your concerns and what their opinion is or if they could recommend an alternative “natural” treatment.
You may want to consider alternative treatments for a sick or older dog. If you have a dog that doesn’t seem to feel well, or maybe a dog with arthritis, sometimes there are other choices that will help treat a flea or tick problem, and provide good protection for the animal at the same time. Again, meet with you vet to make sure you are meeting the needs of your dog, especially before the flea season gets started. An older or less healthy pet will have a harder time dealing with that problem.
About the Author
Jane Warren is a writer and animal foster parent. Through her research and personal experience she hopes to help other owners win their own battle with fleas on their dogs. She provides insight and reviews on her website, www.pamperthepets.com.