Dog Health Issues – The best way to prevent and treat fleas on our pets is to understand fully the major facts about fleas and dogs.
The control of fleas is primarily up to pet owners. An important thing to remember is that a dog doesn’t get fleas just by coming into contact with another animal that has fleas. Your dog only needs to be in an environment that contains fleas.
In other words, your dog may get fleas by being in a kennel with another dog that has fleas. They don’t need to be in direct contact. If you walk your dog in a grassy area that contains fleas from another dog, fleas could get on your dog. So doggy parks and trails are something to be concerned about.
A pet may come into your house for a brief period. If that pet has fleas, fleas could jump off and inhabit themselves in your carpet, couch, etc. They could then get on your dog and multiply quickly.
I read a recent article on the topic regarding the facts about fleas and dogs. It was published in the Waterford Today. It is entitled “Your Pet’s Health – Fleas.”
Here is a brief quote from the article:
Control of fleas and other external parasites of pets such as ticks, mites and lice is greatly dependent upon the diligence of the owner. When a pet owner notices the presence of fleas on the pet, this is only the adult stage of the life cycle of the flea, which is feeding on the blood of the host animal. Flea eggs are laid in the pet’s environment, e.g. beds, floors, couches, carpets etc. where they develop through larval stages into the adult stage. The vast majority of the life cycle takes place in the environment, and not on the dog or cat.
Despite popular belief, pets can pick up fleas even if they have no direct contact with other animals and do not move outside their own house and garden. Pets can pick up fleas from anywhere another infested animal has been, such as the garden or park, for example. Even indoor-only cats can be affected if another pet or human brings fleas into the house. Even one flea can become a major problem, as one adult can lay up to 50 eggs a day. The life cycle can take as short as three weeks to complete in favourable (warm/moist) conditions, or as long as a year in adverse (dry/cold) conditions. This means one flea can become 1,000 in as little as 21 days in ideal conditions, e.g. in a pet bed or carpet.
The entire article can be read here.
If you see your pet scratching more than normal, you can look for fleas on the pet’s skin.
Generally, it is best to take your dog to a veterinarian. It is important to remove the fleas as soon as possible through treatment that your vet recommends.
But it is also very important to kill the fleas in your house before they spread. This will also prevent your dog from being infested with fleas again.
Have you ever had problems with fleas on your pets? What do you recommend? Fleas are controllable but require immediate action. One of the most important things you can do is to understand the facts about fleas and dogs.