Despite the fact that more than 2,200 species of fleas are recognized, only a few of them affect the dogs in North America. In addition to causing allergy symptoms and anemia, fleas might also lead to serious infections caused by scratching. Ways to prevent fleas from causing problems for your dog is something every dog-owner needs to know.
If you want to know ways to prevent fleas from causing problems, read on.
There are several effective ways to prevent fleas from causing problems for your canine companions. It is important to select the safest and most effective anti-flea weapons to protect our dogs.
Flea symptoms in puppies
Puppies afflicted with fleas often become quite itchy and they tend to chew their flanks as well as above the tail area. Moreover, they might likewise be affected by “flea dirt” which resembles tiny black specks within the fur. A single bite can cause great irritation as well as itching.
The puppies’ skin which can become quite sensitive over time. Sometimes, the broken skin becomes infected and requires a trip to the vet for effective treatment. If the infestation is serious enough, the puppy may become anemic.
Facts about fleas
Fleas, which are actually the members of the order Siphonaptera, happen to be flightless external parasites of mammals and birds. They are only 1/10 of an inch long with flat bodies. Their robust claws allow them to cling to the skin of the host, as well as to their hair, feathers, or even fur.
These parasites drink blood and are able to hop long distances. Whilst the adult flea represents only 5% of the entire population, the remaining 95% consists of larvae, eggs, and pupae.
Apart from biting, fleas can also cause a wide array of illnesses, some of which are lethal. Human beings are affected by flea-borne ailments as well.
These creatures have the ability to lay approximately 20 to 40 eggs every single day. A flea larva can survive for approximately two weeks without any blood meal. The pre-emerged fleas can carry on without feeding for as many as 6 months.
Treatment of fleas:
The treatment of fleas consists of getting rid of the existing juvenile and adult fleas. Although no insecticide is able to destroy the cocoon stage, flea products will be able to annihilate the eggs, larvae, and adult stages. The life cycle of a flea takes 2 to 3 weeks for completion.
A flea comb happens to be the safest flea control technique at present. It is also possible to get rid of a significant number of flea eggs as well as larvae by frequent vacuuming of the carpet. However, you should remember to wash the blankets, throw rugs, pet beds, carriers, and sofa cushions as all serve as a resting place for the parasite.
It is also possible to remove any existing fleas by bathing your pet with professional flea removal products. There is always a chance the parasites will come back. Some of the so-called “natural” flea products can be detrimental to children so use them carefully.
Chemical ways to prevent fleas from causing problems
Products containing IGRs can be the most effective option for effective control of fleas. They work by preventing any immature flea from maturing into an adult. These products are also quite safe for the dog and your kids as well, if used appropriately. Examples of products containing IGRs include lufenuron, Pyriproxyfen, and methoprene.
Researchers also developed more active ingredients that have the ability to attack the nervous system of fleas. These consist of nitenpyram (Capstar), imidacloprid (Advantage), fipronil (Frontline), and selectamin (Revolution).
While all of these ingredients are going to take approximately 1 to 2 days to become effective, each will offer somewhat different advantages:
- Imidacloprid destroys adult fleas and its effect lasts for one month.
- Fipronil likewise destroys adult fleas as well as ticks for a month.
- Selamectin protects against a host of pests consisting of fleas, heartworms, ear mites, and ticks for a month.
- Nitenpyram, consumed as a tablet, destroys adult fleas.
At present, flea products are often combined for a more effective job. For example, Fipronil can be combined with methoprene for annihilating fleas as well as ticks.
Carefully read the label before purchasing any flea product. Make sure that they are safe for the children as well as the pets in your home.
Preventing fleas in dogs and puppies
Your pup’s lifestyle can be responsible to a large extent on whether he will be infested with fleas. Fleas do not like direct sunlight, and instead, prefer outdoor shaded regions with leaves, sand, or other debris. Consequently, a puppy who likes to stay indoors will not require the same level of protection as the hunting dog which wanders in the field.
It is advisable to trim the grass so as to enable the sunlight to enter and drive away the fleas. Apart from this, you can add Nematodes to your soil. They are a kind of worm that consumes immature fleas.
According to the CAPC (Companion Animal Parasite Council), it is important for you to provide year-round protection against these bugs. You might ask your vet regarding which anti-flea products they recommend for your specific dog.
Some of these products are only available by prescription. Don’t forget to look carefully at the label and follow precisely the instructions to ensure safety as well as the health of your pets.
An additional comment on ways to prevent fleas from causing problems
I have been reading comments about garlic being toxic to dogs. These statements were made by people who were misled by others and who are now passing along this false information as truth.
Garlic is perfectly safe for most dogs. Like people, there are always outliers. I have read multiple research articles on the topic over the years and used it extensively with many dogs.
We did not give it to pregnant bitches, puppies still nursing, and very old or ill dogs. This is especially true if your dog is anemic for any reason. Ask your vet about safe ways to prevent fleas from causing problems for any dog in these categories.
We used only raw, fresh garlic either chopped or minced. The dose is one small clove per 20 pounds of dog weight. Garlic boosts the immune system, lowers cholesterol and triglycerides, aids in detoxification and has antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiparasitic properties.
We used it to prevent fleas on our Saint Bernards and it worked beautifully. Our veterinarian is the one who first mentioned it to us. Did lots of nutritional research over the years and attended several canine nutrition seminars as well.
Everything presented there by experts in the field reinforced its safe use. Again, if your dog is extremely old or young, pregnant or ill, ask your vet before giving them any nutritional supplements.
In closing, preventing fleas from causing problems is sometimes challenging but it can be done. It is an important part of taking care of the canine members of your family.
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