How To Get Rid Of Fleas On Dogs
When the weather starts to warm up, you and your dog are likely to start spending more time outside. While spending time outside with your pet is great, it does come with certain risks. What many pet parents hate most about summer is the increased risk for fleas. These tiny insects thrive in temperatures between 65°F and 80°F and they love high humidity levels. Once your dog becomes infested with fleas it can be very difficult to get rid of them. If your pooch becomes a furry host for these pests, here’s how to get rid of fleas on dogs.
Step One: Treat Your Pet
Your first course of action should be to treat the fleas on your dog. Fleas bite your dog and feed on his blood – this causes irritation to your dog’s skin and some dogs even develop allergic reactions to flea bites. If your dog’s itching becomes intense he could open up wounds in his skin which could put him at risk for secondary infection. To kill fleas on your dog, bathe him with a flea shampoo. Bathing your dog in warm water with a mild dish soap like Dawn may also help to kill fleas.
Related: How To Treat Flea Bites On Dogs
Step Two: Kill Fleas in Your Home
After you’ve rid your dog of fleas you need to kill all of the fleas in your house so they do not just climb back onto your dog and cause another infestation. There are a number of products you can use to kill fleas in your home including carpet sprays, foggers, and more. You also need to make sure to wash your dog’s bedding and all of his toys. Wash bedding and soft toys in hot water to kill the fleas – you can also find special flea-killing products at the pet store to use in cleaning your dog’s bedding. After treating your home for fleas you will need to wait three to four weeks then apply the treatments again. This will ensure that any leftover eggs or larvae in your carpet or pet bedding that developed into adults during this period of time are killed off.
Step Three: Perform a Thorough Cleaning
Once you’ve treated your dog and your home you need to perform a thorough cleaning. You have already cleaned your dog’s bedding and treated the carpet and furniture but you still need to vacuum or sweep everything as well. Do not neglect any upholstered surfaces and make sure to sweep and mop all tile and wood floors as well. Fleas particularly like dark places so clean your baseboards and all areas under the furniture as well. Once you are finished sweeping and vacuuming, seal the bag in a plastic trash bag and dispose of it immediately outside the house. You may even want to give your pet’s bedding and toys a second cleaning just for good measure.
Step Four: Prevent Re-infestation
Now that you’ve taken the time to rid your house of fleas you need to make sure that a flea infestation doesn’t happen again. Two things can help to prevent this from happening. First, you should treat your home for fleas a second time three to four weeks after the first treatment. Second, you should treat your pet with a topical flea and tick preventive once a month. Ask your veterinarian for a topical preventive – the preventives you can buy at the pet store are less potent than what your vet can give you and some of them contain toxic ingredients which can harm your pet.
Fleas are a nuisance that can be incredibly difficult to eradicate. Follow the steps outlined above to rid them from your home and prevent a re-infestation from ever happening. And if you want some good advice (and a laugh), watch the video below from our good pal and super vet, Andy Roark, who has some great tips on how to get rid of fleas on dogs.
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.
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