Fleas are the most common disease-carrying insects that infest dogs, cats, and other pets.
Your pet can get fleas from other flea-infested pets or other wild animals that roam around your neighborhood.
Fleas can also cling on to human clothing and can stay on their vehicles. Fleas stay dormant for more than 100 days even without a meal, so it means that it can stay around the house long after a flea-carrier pet has passed on.
Fleas can be very problematic as it can cause a number of diseases to your pets, some of which can be serious and fatal if left untreated.
How can we get rid of fleas and what steps should be taken to prevent them?
The most common method in getting rid of fleas is through oral medication.
These are insecticides in the form of chewable tablets that are taken every month or every 3 months, depending on the type of medication (Some are good for 30 days while some are good for 90 days).
Generally, they can be bought without a prescription, but it is always best to get one, especially if your dog has a medical history or is under medication which could potentially cause interactions.
It is very easy to give to your pets because they smell and taste like food. You just need to take note of the day you’ve given it and remember to give on the same day every month or every 3 months, depending on the type of medication you are giving him.
Some side effects may include diarrhea, vomiting, shaking, and seizures. They cannot be given to pets under 6 months and to nursing pets.
Spot- on Treatments are liquid insecticides that are squeezed directly onto the skin on your pet’s back, in between the shoulders.
Your pet’s fur should be parted so that the treatment will be directly absorbed by the skin.
Like oral medications, they also need to be administered monthly to prevent fleas from coming back and to successfully eliminate the eggs.
They are less risky because they are only applied to the skin.
Skin reactions such as itching or irritation may occur, but will eventually resolve on its own. They cannot be given to pets under 6 months and to nursing pets.
Anti-flea Shampoos are widely available on the market and on pet stores. They contain certain ingredients and formulas that kill adult fleas without significant side effects.
It is very simple to use. You can use it as your pet’s shampoo that should be left on for 10-15 minutes (depending on the instructions) to maximize its effect.
It may not be as thorough in getting rid of fleas as compared to other methods because they can only kill adult fleas. It is only effective for one day, so unless your pet takes a bath every day, it is not 100% reliable, especially in severe infestations.
Flea and Tick Collars
Flea and Tick Collars are literally collars placed around your pet’s neck that contain active ingredients that repel and kill ticks and fleas.
Some types of flea and tick collars are effective for as long as 8 months, compared to oral medications and spot-on that needs to be administered every 30 days. They are also inexpensive.
Its effectiveness is focused around the neck and facial area only. The other parts of the pet’s body receive lesser protection the farther it is from the neck area.
An anti-flea powder can be applied throughout your pet’s fur and needs to be brushed to be distributed throughout the body.
It can be reapplied every week.
It is simple to use and it is widely available on the market and on pet stores. They are non-toxic and are proven to be effective.
Pets tend to shake it off their bodies. Some of the powder dust may be transferred to the bed, carpet, and furniture.
Flea Sprays come in liquid form and may be sprayed directly to your pet’s fur. Fleas will be killed on contact.
However, regular re-application is needed to ensure the eradication of all fleas.
It kills ticks and fleas on the spot, faster than any other medication.
It does not prevent ticks and fleas; it can only kill them on the spot.
Always clean and disinfect your home, especially during the first stages of getting rid of flea and tick infestation.
Never squish a tick because hundreds of its eggs will come out and they can transmit diseases in this manner. You can kill them by putting them in a jar of rubbing alcohol.
Each method has its own pros and cons. While some of the disadvantages could be serious, they do not outweigh the repercussions that your dog might suffer if they are infected with any of the diseases.
Ask your vet’s advice in choosing the best anti-flea method for your pet, especially if your pet is on medication that may interact with the anti-flea.
Whichever works best, stick with it and never skip a shot or a monthly dose, especially during flea and tick season.