Your dog has fleas… what now? Most pet owners will have to deal with fleas at some point in their dog’s life. In warm areas such as the South, flea prevention is a year-round event. However, it is critical for pet owners to approach flea prevention the correct way. That means you cannot treat or apply prevention to your pet and think you're going to win the flea battle. Pet owners must put forth a conscientious effort by treating their pet, yard and home. Here is a simple guide to killing fleas on your dog and preventing them from coming back.
1. Determine If Your Pet Has Fleas
My dog is scratching and itching, does he have fleas? Potentially. There are many conditions that can contribute to your dog’s itchy coat such as allergies or dry skin. To determine if he has fleas, watch for these signs:
- Itching, chewing and licking
- Anxious expression
- Flea “dirt” (black pepper type discharge on the skin)
- Skin lesions such as moist dermatitis
- Presence of fleas
2. Remove Fleas From Your Home And Yard
Remember that in addition to treating fleas on your dog, you also need to treat your pet's environment, indoors and out. Many indoor products contain both an adulticide (permethrins and pyrethrins) and ingredients to kill the eggs and larvae (Nylar and Methoprene). Before putting your flea-less pet back into the house or yard, be sure that the area has been treated for fleas to prevent re-infestation. All pet bedding, pillows and toys should be washed along with any human bedding the dog has been in contact with.
3. Kill Fleas Off Your Dog
Using a flea shampoo will kill the existing fleas on your dog to prevent them from migrating throughout your household if they haven’t already. When washing your dog with flea shampoo, thoroughly coat him with shampoo to ensure all the fleas are killed. Fleas will often hide on your dog’s belly, neck, rump and base of his tail. Allow the flea shampoo to sit on your dog for at least 15 minutes (or per the bottle’s instructions).
4. Treat Your Pet With Flea And Tick Medication To Prevent Further Infestation
Removing the fleas from your home and dog is not enough. It is essential to treat your dog with flea medication on an ongoing basis. Frontline Plus for Dogs in an excellent and affordable option for most pet owners. Follow the directions on the box to apply the medication to the base of your dog’s neck (between his shoulder blades). This will prevent him from licking the medication and allow it to work quickly to kill the fleas on your pet. Keeping your dog on routine flea and tick medication will keep fleas away year around, allowing for a happy pet and a happy human!