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Stop the itchy fleas!

“No, your dog is not pregnant but she has fleas”, said the vet.

“Excuse me?”

(She lifts up the dog’s tail) “You see all these fleas”

I was stunned. I give my dog flea preventative every month! She bathes monthly and she rarely goes outside. So how could she get fleas?

I learned that all the things I thought mattered did not. After all, what good is flea preventative if it doesn’t work?

Based on my experience, I am going to tell you how to treat and prevent dog fleas.

First, an ounce of prevention is worth…well you know the rest.

It’s easier to prevent fleas than to treat them. I recommend using a high quality flea preventative monthly. Avoid the cheap ones you find in the grocery store and the flea collars. You want to get a treatment that is applied directly to your dog’s skin in between the shoulder blades.

If your dog gets fleas, you not only have to worry about getting the fleas off of your dog, but you have to get the fleas out of the environment. That means everywhere your dog has run, jumped, rested or thumped is full of flea eggs that you have to eliminate.

When you notice that your dog has fleas (If your dog has a lot of fleas, they will be easy to spot. But if it’s only a few fleas you will need to check under your dog’s belly. Then look under their tail)

If you notice fleas, it’s time to act quickly. First you need to treat your dog. Your dog needs a Capstar pill which is a pill that immediately kills all adult fleas within a half hour. You can get this from your vet which will run you about $7 a pill, or you can check out some online stores where you can find it for $14 for a package of 6 pills.

After you apply the Capstar you need to follow up with a flea preventative. This is because the environment still has fleas and you don’t want your dog to get re-infested during the treatment process. Though it can get pricey, I would recommend using Frontline or Advantage.

Next you need to treat the environment. Remove all the dog bedding and immediately wash it. Vacuum all the floors where the dog has had free run; after you vaccum throw away the vacuum bag because it probably contains flea eggs. Next you need to get your pet out of the house and spray your house down. I would recommend getting a bottle of Knockout ES from your vet. Spray all the carpet, all couch cushions, under all furniture and all nooks and crannies. If you use Knockout ES you will need to leave the house for a few hours after you spray because it is very strong.

Now you should have your dog and the environment under control. But there is still a chance that flea eggs did not get treated and are ready to hatch so in 2-3 weeks you need to repeat the environment treating. In 4 weeks, reapply toe Frontline or Advantage to your dog.

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