OK, so you’ve discovered your dog has fleas… now what? Besides calling our veterinarian for additional information, here’s how we suggest you start treating your dog for fleas:
Flea baths are a real thing, and you need to give your dog one. There are a variety of flea shampoos, but be careful not to purchase one that has insecticides if your dog has sensitive skin. This could just irritate your dog’s skin even more. When washing, start at their neck and work your way by administering flea shampoo to the rest of their body all the way down to their back legs and tail. Scrub your dog well! You’ll let the shampoo soak on their fur and skin for 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
This step requires a flea comb to remove any fleas that were not removed from the initial flea wash. Furthermore, this will remove any flea feces you come across.
It’s time to quarantine your pet! Even though you may think this is cruel, you’ll need to separate your pet from others in your household. Doing so will help your dog to stay flea free until you make sure all of your animals are not infested. If you skip this step, you may end up with multiple animals that are suffering from fleas, and this just makes a bad situation worse. If you don’t have other pets, you still must quarantine your dog. Why? Fleas can travel anywhere in your home, and if they’re hiding somewhere your dog happens to pass by, your dog could become infested with fleas again. Don’t let that happen!
It’s Time To Treat Your Home
Once your dog is quarantined, it’s time to clean and sanitize your home thoroughly.
Throw your dog’s bedding in the laundry. This means all of the blankets, pillows, beds and other items they sleep on will need to be washed in hot water. If your dog’s bed is filthy beyond repair, it’s time to throw out the bed and purchase a new one. Why? A dog’s bed can be the harbor to over 1,000 flea eggs at any given time. This means countless amounts of fleas can hatch from your dog’s bed. Throwing it out may be the best option if you believe the bed is too far gone. Use your best judgment on this one and, when in doubt, just throw it away.
Treat your home with Zoecon Precor, an insect growth regulator spray. You’ve probably heard of flea bombs; they’re not as effective as sprays which is why we suggest using an insect growth regulator spray. The product should be sprayed on nearly all the materials in your household, including carpet and furniture. Getting the product deep into the carpet threads is important because a lot of flea larvae, if any, will likely be growing there.
Vacuum your home. Vacuum your home again. Then, vacuum your home once more! Your vacuum should be your best friend for the next few days after clearing your dog of fleas. Fleas, eggs and larvae need to be pulled out of the carpet and furniture thoroughly. One suggestion to further the thoroughness is to put a flea collar inside the vacuum bag or canister. This way when the flea enters your vacuum, they’re immediately killed.
Preventing Fleas in the Future
Want to prevent fleas from taking over you and your dog’s life in the future? Follow these helpful tips:
- Wash your dog’s bed once a month to avoid fleas making your dog’s bed their bed
- Brush your dog at least once a week with a flea comb to ensure they’re flea free.
- Flea-killing drops or flea collars are popular, so use them! You can also talk to our veterinarian about the best preventions, including oral medications.
- Vacuum your home often and keep it clean and tidy.
- Mow your lawn often. Because rabbits and squirrels are likely to carry fleas, keeping the grass short can help to eliminate them from chewing on the grass and infesting your yard with fleas.
Do you want more valuable information about fleas? Feel free to give Northern Colorado’s most trusted veterinarian a call at Countryside Animal Hospital today. We’re always happy to make an appointment for your dog. Call today!