3 Things Every Pet Lover Needs to Know About Fleas
First, things first. You’re probably aware that fleas make your pet scratch nonstop. You might even realize that those eggs can hatch in your carpets bedding and furniture and make YOU scratch non-stop. But did you know can hatch up to 50 eggs a day within 24-36 hours?
That means if fleas find your pet, you can have a full flea infestation in your home within a few weeks.
Plus, fleas also carry harmful bacteria and parasites like tapeworms so you have even MORE reason to prevent them from invading your home.
You may know that fleas are parasites. That means they need a host in order to live and that host could be your dog or cat. Once they burrow into your pet’s fur, they suck your pet’s blood, lay eggs, and rest until its feeding time again. Fleas typically feed 1-2 times a day and the eggs they lay are microscopic so you won’t see those. Yet, you can see other evidence of fleas – like the itching.
Of course, the warm weather brings out all types of pests, including fleas. How do you know if your pet has fleas? Look for these signs.
3 Signs of Fleas
- Constant itching or chewing is one of the most common symptoms. If your dog doesn’t seem to be able to get comfortable and is itching all the time, you’ll want to do a thorough flea check.
- Flea “dirt” – Fleas can leave minute droppings in your dog’s coat. If you sit down to give your dog the once over, use a brush or comb to go through his fur and see if you see any signs of fleas. You may see the fleas themselves which means it’s time for a thorough house cleaning.
- Hair loss and “hot spots” – red areas where your dog keeps chewing can also be a sign of fleas.
Some dogs are highly sensitive to fleas – allergic dermatitis it’s called – and these pets are the ones most likely to have scabby skin or “hot spots.” What’s a pet lover do? Flea shampoos, topical medications and flea collars will all help keep your pet healthy and free of these vampire parasites.
In addition to those, here are 3 other ways you can prevent fleas.
- Keep Your Grass Cut – Fleas are often found in tall grass. It’s a good idea to check your pet for fleas and ticks when she comes inside after a walk or lounging outside. At least once a day in the warmer season, you’ll want to check your pet thoroughly. We like to sit down with our pets and a comb or brush and go through their fur doing our daily “flea” check.
- Clean House – Vacuum carpets thoroughly and under furniture. You can vacuum up flea eggs IF you get them early enough. You can also vacuum and/or wash your pet’s bedding in hot water as hot water kills fleas. Bathe your dog frequently. Flea eggs are microscopic and they can take 3-6 months to hatch so stay vigilant!Layer on the flea protection – Using shampoos, collars and internal or topical medication will help keep your pet “flea-free” all summer long.
- If you live in a warm climate like Florida or Southern California, you likely need year round flea and tick prevention for your pets because these parasites never completely die.
So there you have it, three signs of fleas and three ways to prevent them from invading your home. Flea prevention and maintenance are important to your pet’s health. Do you have a favorite preventive?