Most people believe that flea problems and pets are intrinsically linked. After all, statistics show that 1 in 5 cats and 1 in 10 dogs in the United States have fleas at the time that we are writing this. Fortunately, repeated flea infestations don’t have to be a forgone conclusion. While it is virtually inevitable that your furriest family member will suffer from fleas at some point during their lifetime, there are many reasons why you will want to ensure you are doing everything that you can to avoid them.
Fleas can be a real nuisance because:
- Their saliva is toxic and causes skin irritation, soreness and swelling
- Scratching their bites too hard can cause the skin to break and infection to set in
- Fleas carry diseases, some of which can cause your pet serious health problems
- A severe infestation could cause your pet to become anemic
- Fleas reproduce very rapidly, meaning just a few fleas can quickly turn into an infestation
- They are also very tricky to get rid of, and you will need to treat your pet and home at the same time to ensure that you eradicate both live fleas, larvae and eggs
Fortunately, there are many different types of flea preventatives now available, and they come in a range of forms, meaning that there is something suitable for every type of pet.
Here is our pick of the most effective flea prevention options for animals.
To kill and prevent both fleas and ticks for up to a month, one of the best treatments you can use is a spot-on treatment such as Frontline® Plus. The medicine is applied to a small area on the back of your pet’s neck so that they are unable to lick it off. Just be careful that you and your children do not stroke this part of her body for at least 24 hours after application. After this time, the medication dissipates into the natural oils in her fur and will kill fleas, larvae and eggs on your furbaby for up to a month.
Flea collars have improved in both comfort and style during the last decade and are a very popular preventative. They contain insecticides that either repel fleas or kill them, and work for between six and twelve weeks. Make sure you check the packaging for their preventative life before you throw it out, so that you know when your pet’s protection needs to be topped up. There are different brands available with Bayer Seresto® being one of the most popular.
Oral medications can be used to both treat fleas and prevent future infestations. They contain chemicals that travel straight to the bloodstream, meaning that when a flea bites into your furbaby, they immediately ingest the insecticides and die. The protection time of oral medications varies, and while treatments only last for around 24 hours, some, such as Bravecto® and Capstar®, last four weeks or more. It is important to note that the oral medications currently available only kill adult fleas, so may need to be combined with other preventatives to deal with flea eggs and larvae.
Protect your property from fleas
In addition to preventative treatments for your pet, it is also possible to buy products for your home that are formulated to repel fleas. Some of the most popular include Advantage® Yard and Premise Spray, De Flea® Pet & Bedding Spray and Frontline® Flea Spray. These products, combined with a robust cleaning and vacuuming routine and regularly checking your pet can also help to minimize the likelihood that your furriest family member will bring fleas into your home.
When it comes to flea prevention, it is essential that you stick to a robust schedule and leave no gaps where your pet may become vulnerable. It is also critical that you choose the right preventative treatment for your pet. If you would like further advice, our dedicated team of veterinary professionals at Nippers Pet Medical Center in Nashville would be happy to help. Please call or pop into our Nashville vet offices today.