If you own a dog, you probably are quite familiar with the nightmare that flea season is. If you already own a flea trap, but you want to learn new ways to get rid of fleas, we can help. So, read ahead as this article is packed with numerous tips and tricks that pet owners swear by.
Prevention is key
If you don’t want to go through a new dog flea massacre every year, it is best that you avoid this issue altogether by doing some legwork before fleas pose a problem. You can start by regularly checking the coat of the dog for fleas.
Although most owners assume that a pet has fleas because it keeps scratching, this might not be entirely true. In fact, some pets might feel like scratching because they have allergies or a skin condition. So, before you bring out treatments that have a harsh effect on the pet’s skin, make sure that the fleas are actually there.
Once you are sure that you are dealing with an infestation, it is time to launch the war against the parasites. To start, keep the dog away from any other pets in the home. This is a crucial step that you have to take, as fleas can easily jump from one host to another.
Additionally, make sure that the pet does not come in contact with your bed and furniture so that no eggs are laid in various areas of your home.
Take care of the pet’s belongings
If you are determined to get rid of the infestation efficiently, it is now time to take care of the pet’s belongings. So, throw its bedding and toys into the wash. For extra protection, you can also wash your own bedding, especially if your fluffy companion enjoys taking long naps on your bed from time to time.
Washing the beddings is essential as this is a simple way to actually kill the eggs and the pupae. When you are washing the bedspreads and the blankets in your home, remember to select a washing program that uses hot water. No matter their life stage, fleas cannot survive temperatures over 95 degrees.
In order to efficiently and quickly kill fleas, you have to start by investing in powerful treatments. As a pet owner, you probably already know that there are numerous choices that are at your disposal. So, what’s the best one you can purchase? Well, as expected, each treatment has its advantages and disadvantages.
If you are dealing with a serious infestation and your dog is suffering, you should opt for oral medication for quick release. This choice is the most effective option that you have as it can kill up to 90% of the fleas that live on the coat of the pet in less than four hours.
However, all interested buyers should keep in mind that oral medication is only effective for up to 24 hours at a time. Also, it does not kill eggs and larvae. Therefore, you have to use this type of medication alongside other treatments.
A bubbly bath
The first line of defense when it comes to a flea infestation is a good bath. By soaking your pup in warm water and by using a powerful shampoo, you will be able to kill a lot of fleas in a short period of time. Additionally, your pet will be provided with the necessary relief from bites and itchiness.
You can either make a shampoo at home, or you can purchase a specialized one online or from the vet. If you don’t have the time to buy shampoo, and you want to deal with an infestation in due time, you can try this easy recipe.
Mix half a cup of water with ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar and ¼ cup of dish soap, preferably Dawn. Place this mixture on your pet’s coat and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse it off with plenty of water. Because this mix is quite strong, you should expect the skin of the pet to become irritated if used time and time again.
Although you might be tempted to create your own shampoo at home, some experts argue that you should purchase one that was made by the specialists. Despite it might cost a pretty penny, such a shampoo can kill most fleas and it can effectively alleviate pain and irritation. Also, these shampoos are pH-appropriate and soothing for the coat of your beloved companion.
Invest in a flea comb
Even though it is time-consuming to use one, a flea comb is both safe and efficient. What is more, such a comb can help you get rid of eggs and larvae as well as flea poop. You definitely don’t want that to remain stuck on the pet’s fur!
Take the time to get rid of the fleas in your home
If you have already done the laundry and you have bathed the dog, it is time to clean the home. Because most fleas end up in the carpet, it is best that you start by vacuuming thoroughly. Fellow pet owners recommend that you place a flea collar inside the vacuum cleaner so that all the fleas that are vacuumed are killed.
Given that fleas are quite long-lasting, it is also a good idea to have the carpet steamed. After all, fleas die when exposed to temperatures higher than 95 degrees. You can also use a powerful flea spray all around your home.
If you don’t want the circle of doom to happen again, we strongly recommend that you use a spot-on flea treatment. These treatments are easy to administer and they can repel all the fleas that your pet might catch while playing outside with their friends. Each application is effective for 30 days.
Those who are not a fan of treatments that have to be re-administered often should also consider getting a flea collar. Still, these options are not fast acting and they are best used as a repellent and not as a way to get rid of fleas.