Fleas are a common problem for almost all pet owners. They live on animals, but they also bite humans, causing stress and discomfort for everyone.
What Are Fleas?
Fleas are blood sucking parasites. They live on your dog, but they lay eggs in carpets, rugs, furnishings, skirting boards, and even in between your floor boards.
How Do They Get Into Your Home?
Dormant flea eggs will hatch once the conditions are right, and the heat and vibrations from a passing pet or person can act as a trigger. It’s for this reason that turning on your central heating during winter can result in a flea infestation.
Studies show that for every flea you find there’s 10 flea eggs lying dormant. So for every 10 fleas on your dog, there could be as many as 100 eggs in your home. And because eggs can lie dormant for months, you need to treat your dog for fleas all year round.
As well as being a source of discomfort for both you and your dog, fleas can also transmit certain types of worm. So as well as regular flea treatment, you must also keep on top of your dog’s worming treatment.
How to Tell If Your Dog Has Fleas
Fleas are visible to the naked eye, and you might also spot black flea faeces in your dog’s coat – small black dots found under the fur.
Other signs to look out for include:
- Bite marks
- Excessive scratching
- Hair loss
- Itchy bite marks on your own skin
Some dogs are also allergic to flea saliva, which in extreme cases can lead to irritation, severe itching, and weepy sore skin.
How to Get Rid of Fleas
Fleas aren’t just a source of discomfort and irritation. They can also spread other, more serious infections. It’s therefore critical that you treat your dog’s flea problem as soon as you spot the warning signs.
There are a variety of flea treatments available for your dog and your home:
Wash Your Dog's Bedding
Washing your dog’s bedding will go some way to eliminating the fleas and the eggs that might be laying dormant. But remember that your pet’s bedding isn’t limited to the bedding you provide for them. If they sleep on your bed, you’ll also have to wash your own bedding. And if your dog ever sleeps on the sofa, your sofa covers too will have to be washed.
Whatever you wash, wash it on a high heat and ensure that it’s cleaned thoroughly.
Vacuum All Areas of Your Home
Your vacuum cleaner is one of your most powerful weapons in your fight against fleas. Hoovering your home can dislodge any flea eggs that might be residing in carpets and other surfaces.
Pay particular attention to any shaded areas that don’t receive much sunlight. Fleas love humid areas, and are much more likely to reside where the sun doesn’t shine.
Apply a Good Flea Killing Product
There are many good flea treatments available, and your vet will be more than happy to recommend you a good solution for your requirements.
Your vet will also be able to help should the problem persist, despite your best efforts. They can provide safe and reliable protection, either with a prescription or from a suitably qualified supplier.