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5 Tips for Keeping Pets Flea Free

Animals thrive during the warm summer months.  Unfortunately, so do fleas.  Once your pet has caught fleas, it only takes two weeks before the adults start laying eggs.  The scary news is that each flea can lay up to 400 eggs a week.  The good news is there are many flea preventative options, which means that you can customize an effective and safe treatment plan for your pet and lifestyle needs.  Follow the tips below to create your own treatment plan; and keep fleas from bugging your pets this summer.









1. Vacuum Daily

Fleas are cheeky critters that hitch rides indoors on your pet, lay eggs in their fur, and then spend their adult lives living in your pet's fur as a parasite.  You need to be aware that both fleas and their eggs can also fall off your pet onto the carpet, in between floorboards and onto your pet's bedding, multiplying at an astounding rate. To eradicate fleas, flea eggs and their larvae from your home, and put a stop to future flea infestations, vacuuming your home daily is a must.

2. Bed Washing

Frequent bed washing is required all year round to keep fleas at bay, especially if your pet has had fleas recently. It’s been estimated that 95% of flea eggs, flea larvae and flea pupae also live in your pet's immediate environment, thriving in their warm, cozy bedding.  To help combat the war against fleas, wash your pet's bedding in hot water and also wash any cushions or fabric your pet has had contact with.  By adding this to your flea treatment plan, you will remove all signs of fleas from your pet's environment and be on the way to winning the flea war.








3. Bathing Beauty

Adult fleas attach firmly to their host because they rely on the constant blood source another animal, such as your pet, provides. However, as fleas lay eggs, the eggs fall from the host animal's coat into the surrounding environment. So if your pet has been to a wooded park where other dogs frequent, or if an infested pet enters your yard, your pet may contract fleas. This is because the warmth and movement of your pet, can stir the flea eggs to develop into adulthood, when they will likely latch onto your pet as a parasite, to feed. For this reason, after a run in the park wash your pet with Petgloss Insecticidal Shampoo. It will remove eggs from their coat, flea dirt and kill fleas. However, this treatment is only effective at the time of washing, so use in conjunction with a monthly topical treatment. To stop the problem before it starts, it's also a good idea to prevent other pets from entering your yard and to clear brush and tall grass from around the house.

4. Grooming Checklist

It is important to check our pets for fleas regularly, before the problem has a chance to get out of control. Try integrating a flea check with your pet's grooming routine. Comb or part your pet's fur in common flea hiding spots such as their head, neck and hindquarters. Parasitic fleas suck the blood of their host, so their excrement appears as brown flecks in our pet's coat. To decipher whether such flecks are dirt as opposed to flea dirt; moisten the flecks with water on a paper towel. Flea faeces will smear a reddish-brown. Some pets also suffer from Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD), a reaction to the flea's saliva when bitten. The tell-tail signs that your pet is suffering from FAD include red, itchy skin which may be smelly or hot to touch. Pustules or crusts may also develop. 

5. Topical Treatments

Winning the war against fleas requires treatment of both the pet and the home and should include the use of products that address the entire flea cycle. Frontline Plus controls fleas at every stage of a parasite's life cycle.  It contains an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) which prevents the development of flea eggs, larvae and pupae, produced by adult fleas, for up to 6 weeks after application. Advantage fights fleas on cats, dogs, rabbits and ferrets.  It has environmental parasiticidal activity; so Advantage crystals fall from the pet's coat into their surroundings, killing flea larvae, which in turn, reduces the chance of re-infestation.  Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and lice can also be effectively treated with K9 Advantix; although this product is only suitable for application on dogs.  For complete protection against both internal and external parasites try either Advocate or Revolution.  Not only do these products kill fleas and mites, they are also effective in treating gastrointestinal worms.

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