Fleas: Tips To Protect Your Dog During Flea Season

Uploaded by VetVid on 14.05.2010

"Flea Season: Tips and Tricks to Protect Your Dog from Fleas"
Flea season varies widely between geographical regions based on factors such as warmth, sunlight
and humidity. Generally, preventing fleas is much easier than trying to treat a flea
problem. Dog owners have access to many options when it comes to protecting "their" pet from
Usually a multi-tier approach is the best way to control fleas. Generally there are
two approaches, treating your pet directly and treating the environment. I always recommend
you talk to your veterinarian to discuss the best options specific for your pet.
When treating pets directly, most owners will be using a veterinarian prescribed medication
that controls fleas on the animal. There is an oral pill that is administered once a month
that is very effective on protecting your pet, and might be all that is required.
Over the counter flea control options include ... shampoos, flea collars, dips, powders
& sprays, and spot on treatments.
In the past, flea shampoos and dips were over the counter products
commonly used by pet owners. However, they have been largely replaced by veterinary prescribed
options that are more effective and have less side effects.
Flea dips are strong and effective at killing fleas. However, many can be toxic, especially
to cats. Before using this option, I recommend you talk to your veterinarian.
Flea collars, powders and sprays are economical but in my opinion, inferior in controlling
flea infestations.
A veterinarian prescribed medication is usually the recommended primary option for controlling
fleas on your dog. Newer products are considered safe and effective. I recommend you ask your
veterinarian about the oral tablet made specifically for dogs.
I find that it is safe, effective, and easy to use.
If you find yourself in the midst of a flea infestation, you will likely need to treat
not only the pets but the indoor and outdoor environment.
When treating the indoor environment it is important to wash all bedding in soapy, hot
water. All of the carpeting should be vacuumed thoroughly and the vacuum bag thrown away,
as the flea life cycle can survive in the vacuum bag. Steam cleaning the carpet can
kill some of the larvae as well. Remember, though, that vacuuming and shampooing a carpet
will still leave a good percentage of live fleas so some sort of chemical treatment may
be necessary.
Chemical insecticides are effective treating both indoor and outdoor environments but must
be used with caution. Read labels and follow all instructions very carefully. Take special
precautions for pets and children.
A mistake seen all too often is the "more is better" approach that some people take
when using flea products. More is NOT necessarily better when it comes to chemicals or medications!
That is one reason I am not supportive of over the counter products. You need the guidance
of a professional. When it comes to your pet, that professional is your veterinarian.
Being proactive with flea control is the always the best approach to insure success. Again,
talk to your veterinarian about available medications and a plan that is ideally suited
for you and your dog.