We all know them, those nasty little bugs that make our pets miserable when they decide to take residence on them. The tell-tale sign of their presence is scratching. For some pets, however, fleas can mean more than itchy skin. Here is some information on fleas you may not know about.
Your cat or dog can have allergies to them! Some cats or dogs will lick and scratch themselves bald and raw. All it takes is one flea bite to start the process. Imagine how crazy it must drive them when hundreds are biting their skin! Not only are they itchy, but prone to bacterial infections of their skin from all of the scratching. Fleas can also transmit tapeworms to your pet.
A female flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day. All it takes is one fertile female to infest your home. Carpets provide a safe place for eggs to be laid and the flea population to grow rapidly. If you have a pet that is strictly indoors, they can still get fleas when the fleas hitch a ride on pets that do go outside or even you!
There are many flea preventative products on the market. Preventatives are made to kill fleas, or sterilize them once they have bitten your pet to keep them from reproducing. They are a vital key to keeping fleas off of your pets and from reproducing in the environment. Flea preventatives must be used for a minimum of 3 months duration to control fleas.
Not all preventatives are dosed or applied the same. Always follow the label instructions. Some products can only be used in dogs, and if used on a cat can cause severe problems. Some have side effects and can be more harmful to your pet than the fleas! Others are counterfeit products. It is recommended to purchase flea preventives through a veterinarian.
Flea shampoo is not a preventative. Flea shampoo will kill the fleas on your pet when used properly, but once your pet is dry they will become re-infested by fleas that hatch in their environment. Frequent combing will also not keep fleas off of your pets.
The environment must, too, be treated once a flea infestation has occurred. There are sprays and flea bombs available for purchase to help rid your home by killing the live fleas, pupae, and eggs. Follow instructions on the product you choose to use to make sure your pets, your children, and yourself stay safe when you use them.
Fleas, although an annoying parasite, do not need to become a burden to your pets. With proper care and management, your pets and home can remain flea-free.
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