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6 Tips For Detecting Fleas That Every Pet Owner Should Know

Protecting our furry loved ones from fleas can be a constant battle for many pet owners. Each flea that makes its way onto one of our pets can lay hundreds of eggs making it very easy for the problem to spread out of control in no time at all.

Having fleas can be extremely uncomfortable for any pet, which is why it is important to know how to detect them, how to stop them from spreading further and how to stop them from coming back. By following these 6 Tips For Detecting Fleas you can ensure that your pet stays flea free all year round.

  1. Check your pet regularly
    Fleas are small, wingless insects with six legs. Their hind legs are long and powerful making them very proficient at jumping. They are usually dark, reddish brown in color and less than 1/8 of an inch long. Be sure to regularly check your pet for any signs of fleas by parting the fur and searching all over your pet's body. It is a great habit to get into and can allow you to spot flea problems and also other threats such as ticks. Focus especially on areas such as the belly, neck and base of the tail as these are favorite spots for fleas to live on your pet.
     
  2. Comb them out
    If you suspect that your pet may have fleas, you should try using a flea comb to help remove them and their eggs from your pet's coat. The flea comb is a very fine-toothed comb that captures fleas and flea dirt in its teeth when used to comb through a dog or cat's fur. It’s a good idea to have a bowl of warm water next to you that you can put the fleas into after being removed to be killed immediately.
     
  3. Keep an eye out for scratching
    Take note if you start to see your pet scratching constantly or if they are displaying any behavior of agitation or discomfort. Your pet may also start biting themselves especially on their side, paws and tail. This behavior suggests that fleas might be crawling around and biting your pet, causing them extreme discomfort.
     
  4. Check for flea bites on your pet's skin
    Check your pet's skin for any signs of flea bites. Flea bites can be recognised as little red bumps or even scabs that are located all over the body of your beloved pet. Some pets' skin may have worse reactions than others depending on different skin types and allergies.
     
  5. Check for flea bites on your skin
    Fleas can also live off human blood if they need to. Often if a flea infestation is quite extreme fleas will easily bite humans as well as pet's, making life very uncomfortable for everyone. If you notice itchy, little red dots on your skin they might be flea bites which means it is a high possibility that your pet has brought fleas into your home.
     
  6. Spot the specks
    Black specks on your pet's coat are a dead giveaway that they have fleas. The black specs are actually flea droppings that are simply digested blood. The specks may also be seen in areas where your pet sleeps and plays during the day. You can make sure that they are flea droppings  by placing them onto a wet paper towel to see if they turn a brown or red color.

What do I do next?

After you perform the detection methods and find that your pet does in fact have fleas, what should you do next?

  • Take action immediately, the longer you leave it the worse the problem will develop.
  • Treat your pet using a recommended flea treatment such as one of the better monthly ‘spot on’ type products such as Revolution, Advantage, Advocate (Advantage Multi), k9 Advantix or Frontline Plus. These applications can protect your pet for up to a month.
  • Wash all of your pet's bedding and vacuum carpets, couches and areas that your pet spends time.
  • Continue to treat your pet each month to prevent the flea problem from starting all over again.

            

Follow these simple tips and you can ensure that both you and your pet have a fun and flea free summer!

Purchase flea treatment for your dog here.

Purchase flea treatment for your cat here.

Read all about the Gripsoft Flea Comb in our May 2011 Product of the Month section.
 

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