If you have a dog or a cat, you’ll agree that fleas are more than just a parasite. Not only do they infect our four-foot companions, but they also spread an infestation to their surroundings and produce a reason to worry for new pet members arriving to your home. The key here is to treat the infection at the earliest and prevent it from advancing. If the infestation goes out of hand, there are more than chances that you’ll need to use multiple flea treatments on your pet. You’ll also need to treat the environment to get rid of them completely.
We discussed this flea issue with various veterinarians to get some of the efficient solutions that aid in keeping these blood-sucking parasites at bay. Here’s a list of vet-recommended approaches you can use to tackle the flea problem.
First, Know Your Enemy
To confront the flea problem, educate yourself about fleas and how they get spread. Learn the signs of fleas on your pet and identify if your pet shows any symptoms of infestation. According to veterinarians, here are the signs of flea infestation in your pet:
- Excessive itching
- Fleas (reddish-brown) on their hair-follicles (smaller than a grain of rice)
- Presence of brownish-black flea-dirt (also known as flea feces)
- Fleas have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. You’ll be surprised to know that adult fleas only make up 5% of the total flea population and the rest 95% comprises of flea eggs, larvae and pupae.
- It just takes about 10-20 days for a flea egg to turn into an adult.
Preferably, fleas look for animal hosts; if unavailable, they’ll bite humans. Adult fleas choose hosts by the warmth of the animal’s body and their movement.
Fleas transmit disease-causing insects by feeding on hosts or through fecal contamination.
Also can read further about : Top Frequently Asked Questions on Fleas to explore more
Now that you know whom you are battling against, you need to get your defense in order. This blog further articulates vet-suggested approaches to dismiss fleas from your pet. Read through to learn more about this.
Vet-recommended approaches to eliminate fleas
Use Flea Comb
Brush your pet using a flea comb to eliminate fleas. A flea comb can help you spot fleas on your pet’s skin, especially if you focus on their neck region and at the base of their tail.
Give Flea Bath
One of the simple solutions to discard fleas is to give your pet a bath with lukewarm water and soap. This aids in eliminating fleas from your pet’s fur and skin. Some veterinarians suggest using flea shampoo; however, pets with sensitive skin may be allergic to some of the chemicals in the shampoo. The wise thing to do is, consult with your veterinarian as every pet reacts differently to a flea treatment.
Spray With Apple Cider Vinegar
Dilute Apple Cider Vinegar in water and fill this solution in a spray bottle. Spray it on your pet twice or thrice a day to keep fleas at bay. Remember, Apple Cider Vinegar doesn’t kill fleas; it repels fleas.
Perform Daily Checks
If your pet has had a flea infection in the past, regularly check their skin and coat for any live fleas. Use a flea comb and if you see fleas on the comb, dunk it in hot soapy water to kill them.
Treat Pet Surroundings
Vacuum regularly and wash pet beddings frequently to eliminate flea eggs. Use an insecticide to destroy fleas. Spray on the furniture and other areas frequented by your pet to eliminate fleas.
Treat All Pets in the House
An untreated pet works as a reservoir for fleas. The infestation gets transmitted to other pets in the house from untreated animal. You’ll only be able to achieve complete flea control by treating every pet in the house.
See a Vet
Fleas don’t call for an emergency. Majority of the time you should be able to manage them yourself. Vet-prescribed flea treatments are the best way to tackle fleas on your pet. However, you should be concerned and consult with a veterinarian if you see the below-mentioned signs on your pet:
- Your pet is having a little or no energy to do anything
- Pale gums
- Loss of weight
- Worms in their feces
Use Effective Flea Treatment
Using authorized flea products with proven efficiency through clinical trials effectively helps in eliminating fleas from your pet. When administered as directed at recommended intervals, these flea treatments not only kill but also aid in preventing future infestations.
These flea treatments are available in different forms, such as spot-on liquids, oral tablets or chewables, collars, sprays, shampoos and more. Here are some of the vet-recommended flea treatments for pets:
Oral Flea Treatments
Bravecto: Bravecto is a palatable chewable flea treatment for dogs. It is recommended for use in puppies and dogs over 6 months of age. A single dose of Bravecto Chewable offers flea protection for 12 weeks (3 months).
Nexgard: Nexgard is a beef-flavored, chewable treatment for 8 weeks and older puppies and dogs. A single dose of Nexgard protects your dog against fleas for one month.
Credelio: Credelio is an oral flea treatment for dogs and cats. It is recommended for use in 8 weeks and older kittens & cats and safe for 8 weeks and older puppies and dogs. This oral tablet provides monthly fleas protection for cats and dogs.
Capstar: Capstar is an oral flea protection for dogs and cats. This treatment is safe for use in 4 weeks and older kittens & cats and recommended for use in 4 weeks and older puppies and dogs. A single dose of Capstar is effective against fleas for 24-48 hours.
Spot-On Flea Treatments
Frontline Plus: Frontline Plus is a spot-on flea treatment for 8 weeks and older kittens & cats as well as 8 weeks & older puppies and dogs. This spot-on formula provides monthly flea protection for both dogs and cats.
Advantage: Advantage is a monthly topical flea treatment for dogs and cats. This spot-on formula is safe for use in 2 weeks and older puppies & dogs and 8 weeks and older kittens and cats.
Selehold: Selehold is a monthly spot-on flea treatment for dogs and cats. This topical treatment is recommended for use in 6 weeks and older puppies & dogs and 6 weeks and older kittens and cats.
Seresto: Seresto is a long-lasting, easy-to-use flea & tick collar for cats and dogs. It is recommended for use in 7 weeks and older puppies & dogs as well as 10 weeks and older kittens and cats. A single Seresto collar protects cats and dogs for up to 8 months.
In the End
Many vets recommend using an insecticide to kill fleas at home. Using chemicals such as, imidacloprid, permethrin, and dinotefuran help kill adult fleas; whereas, insect growth regulators such as methoprene and pyriproxyfen prevent the re-infestation by destroying flea eggs and larvae. A professional exterminator can also help you treat your house, garden and the yard.