Dealing with fleas can feel like a never-ending battle. It seems like just yesterday, you’d treated your furry pal and they’re already scratching and sniffling at problem spots again. If you’re tired of fleas returning as soon as you’ve finally gotten rid of them, then you need to track down how your dog came into contact with them in the first place. Here are the most likely culprits of your pet’s latest infestation:
If you’ve got a social pooch who enjoys rough-housing at the dog park, then it’s very likely that they’re picking fleas up from other dogs. Despite their tiny size, fleas can jump up to 20 inches, so two dogs do not have to be up close and personal to become infected. However, it is unfair to limit your dog’s playtime; therefore, flea collars could keep them safe when outside and socialising with friends.
Fleas can also live outside for a long time, especially if the weather in your area is warm and humid. You can check your own backyard for fleas and use a ground treatment, but it may be difficult to work out where your dog might be getting infested. Ask neighbours with dogs where they go for walks and if they’ve had problems with fleas.
Other possible carriers include cats in your own household, particularly if they’re outdoor cats who like to wander, and mice, squirrels, raccoons and other creatures that might live in or around your home. Unfortunately, most of this contact is unavoidable – you can’t ask the owner of every dog in the park if they flea-treat their puppy! – but keeping cats up to date with their flea treatments and making sure your dog stays away from stray animals is a good start.
It’s an unpleasant thought, but it’s possible that you’re harbouring fleas in your very own home without knowing it. Fleas can spread through your home in things like bedding, rugs, blankets and soft toys. If you’ve bought or been given anything made of fabric that’s second-hand, then wash it in hot water before bringing it inside your home. Make sure you wash your dog blanket or bed regularly – and make sure it’s hot, too, as this is what truly kills the fleas.
Steam your carpet regularly, particularly in areas like living rooms where your dog likes to lie down, and the upholstery on your couch, if possible. The steam will kill fleas and larvae instantly. By washing and cleaning your fabric surfaces recently, you have a good chance of killing fleas before they have a chance to breed, interrupting their life cycle, and reducing the possibility of a later infestation.
Despite your best efforts, though, you may still have to deal with a flea infestation. If you’re looking for a fast-acting treatment that will work the first time, then try Frontline dogs medication which cater for many different sized dogs. The special formula will not only kill all fleas and eggs on your dog, but it keeps on working for the rest of the season, ensuring you won’t have to deal with any annoying critters for several months. If you’re able to track down and exterminate the source of your flea problem in the meantime, then all the better!