Flea treatments have come a long way in the last twenty years. No longer do pet owners have to line up at their local pet store for weekly flea dips. Instead, highly effective pet meds such as Frontline can help prevent fleas entirely and treat serious flea infestations.
Unfortunately, many pet owners have trouble completely eliminating fleas. Here is your all-inclusive guide for controlling fleas on dogs – permanently eradicating these pesky monsters from your dog’s life:
Flea Medications for Your Dog
Prescription flea medications are the first step toward eliminating fleas. Faithfully giving your dog her monthly dose can help you prevent flea infestations completely. If your dog is not on flea medication and develops fleas, it’s important to know how flea medications work. Some work by preventing fleas from breeding, while others kill adult fleas. If your dog has a severe flea infestation you may need two separate flea medications: one to kill the eggs and another to kill the adults. Talk to your vet about the most effective flea medication for your dog’s condition.
While over-the-counter flea medications are available, not all are good choices for your pet. Flea collars can result in allergic reactions, and topical over-the-counter flea treatments are not always the right dosage for your pet. While a trip to the veterinarian may cost a bit more, you’ll save time and money in the long run by using highly effective prescription medications rather than constantly buying less effective over-the-counter flea treatments.
Preventing fleas is much easier than eliminating them once an infestation has already started, so it’s vitally important to keep your dog on flea medication twelve months a year, even if she’s never had fleas before.
Healing Hurting Skin on Your Dog
Getting rid of fleas is often only the first step in stopping your dog from licking and scratching. Many dogs suffer from allergic reactions to fleas. If your dog continues scratching even after the fleas are gone, ask your veterinarian about a cortisone injection, which can stop the cycle. Sometimes dogs scratch so much that they damage their skin, so stopping the scratching is key. If you choose, give your dog 1mg of Benadryl per pound of body weight for several days. This can allow her skin the time it needs to heal.
Oatmeal baths can also reduce itching and help hot spots heal more quickly. Most pet stores sell oatmeal baths designed for dogs with dry, itchy skin. If your dog has developed hot spots — small irritated patches of skin — try using a hot spot spray twice per day on the affected area.
House Cleaning to Prevent Fleas
After you’ve gotten the fleas off of your dog, the fleas may begin hiding in carpets and biting you! To fully eliminate flea infestations, wash any bedding your dog sleeps on in the hottest water safe for the fabric. Vacuum daily to eliminate flea eggs. Thoroughly brushing your dog outside can also help remove any remaining flea eggs that might be transferred to your couch and carpets.
If fleas are still a problem, you may need to call an exterminator, who can help you determine the safest way to fully eliminate fleas from your life. While flea bombs can effectively remove fleas, they also pose dangers to children and pets, so it’s better to consult with a professional than to try to poison the problem away on your own.
About the Author: Jane Warren is a freelance writer who loves all types of animals. She has fostered many pets who needed a permanent, loving home. In fact, her husband is convinced that the animal community knows where she lives; they have had several critters dropped off at the house, knowing they won’t be turned away! You can read more on her posts and tips on how to pamper your pets at http://www.pamperthepets.com/.