Are you looking for the best preventative flea treatment for dogs? This article is written for you. As dog owners, we need to take good care of our dog’s health, especially when it comes to preventing pesky coat or skin parasites. One of those parasites is the flea, a six-legged blood-sucking insect that causes various skin problems both in animals and humans.
This is an important issue because this study shows that the fleas are not only damaging the dog’s coat, but they also carry harmful diseases for both humans and dogs, such as tapeworms and bacterias. We don’t want our dogs (and us as the devoted owner) to live a discomfort life, right?
Here, many clients at the vet clinic brought their dogs because of flea infestation. Flea treatments are varied, but at the end of the treatment process, vets always teach clients how to prevent fleas infestation in the future, because honestly, prevention is easier and way cheaper than getting a vet treatment for a dog that has been invested badly by those buggers.
Listed below are some of the best options to prevent fleas from our beloved canines.
Don’t Let Them Play with Stray Dogs
One of the best preventative flea treatment for dogs is to keep them away from other unknown dogs. In this case, you need to pay attention to the stray dogs that sometimes mingle with your dog. Well, it is a normal habit for dogs to gather and even sleep together with other dogs. But, in terms of fleas infestation, you need to pay more attention.
In this case, we get it that your dog likes to socialize with other animals in the same species. Do keep in mind that stray dogs are dogs without owners, meaning that it’s a higher chance that they never had veterinary treatments and carrying many parasites (even contagious diseases), including fleas. That is why it is advised to keep your dogs stay away from those stray dogs.
For your information, fleas could spread easily when there are physical contacts between dogs, knowing how good these bugs jump from one area to another. The best thing is to prevent your dogs from standing near or socializing with the strays.
Prevention Tips in The Dog Park
When your dogs visiting the dog parks, the fleas infestation risk is still high. It can come from the dog that does not get good treatment from its owner. In this part, we should admit that not all the dog’s owner completely pays attention to this kind of attention. Sometimes, the dog owner just focuses on the cleanliness of the dog house and foods.
While on the other side, the owner can clean up himself and his dog after visiting the dog park. It is important to keep your dog stay clean after he mingles with other dogs.
Use Flea Collar
Flea collar contains chemical substances (liquid or gas form) that are toxic for the fleas. The mechanism starts when the collar amits substance which acts as neurological toxins (paralyzing the fleas which leads to death) or as a repellant.
The collar releases the substances in the first 24 hours and killing the adult fleas for three weeks. These collars are also effective as a repellant when you decide to bring your best friend for a walk in the dog park.
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I do suggest when attaching the collar on the dog’s neck, at least provide a gap about a finger or two. This is to prevent the choking sensation which will lead to discomfort. Also, the collar is toxic for oral consumption by animals, so make sure the collar is not licked or eaten by the dog.
Apply Monthly Topical Flea Drug
As crucial as vaccine and worm drugs, a monthly topical flea is recommended for dogs that are high risks of fleas infestation. Personally I would recommend a topical drug that contains substances called fipronil and S-methoprene, such as Frontline plus. Not only killing the fleas, but it also kills the larvae and eggs within 12 hours. Plus, fipronil acts as a repellant that lasts for a month.
Killing the flea eggs is a major deal for the long run. Imagine only killing the mature fleas while the eggs are still maintained a healthy state. This will cause an outbreak of new fleas and all you can see is the return of the nightmare, yikes.
So, when does the drug can be administrated to the dogs?
The drug can be applied to a puppy as young as 8-week olds. This is a crucial thing to do because sometimes the mother also carries fleas and transmitted them to the puppies. The fleas cause anemia (loss of blood) to the puppies and can lead to death if not treated quickly.
Disinfect Your Dog’s Environment
Even when you already gave the best of all treatments on your dog to prevent those pesky fleas infestation, the efforts will go in vain if you haven’t control the environment. Fleas can stay in your bed, carpets, households, even your laundries, and survive there for 100 days or more!
How to clean up the mess? Clean up the room!
Start by vacuuming the floor (especially the specific floor where your dog likes to chill around) and drapes. This will eliminate around 50% of mature fleas and eggs. Then, based on this research, the next thing to do is fogging or spraying your indoor area with the combination of adulticide and an insect growth regulator, such as methoprene. This method is to inhibit the eggs’ development.
Last but not least, wash your dog’s bed or other possession such as pet carriers, cages, pillows, blankets, etc. every once a week. You could use clothes detergent or substance that contains adulticide as a washing agent.
Give Them a Special Bath
A special bath in this term is giving bath using specific shampoo, an anti-flea shampoo to be precise. This is the best method to use after finishing a full day of walking around the neighborhood and playing with other dogs.
I tend to use SENTRY anti-flea shampoo that contains oatmeals for my Pomeranian. The repellant effect lasts up to 10 days. Some products only work when being used at bath time or only for a short time.
The special bath can be replaced by giving adulticide sprays, but do remind that for some products, these two methods only last quicker than the other methods because once the bubbles are washed down or the spray began to evaporate, chances are the fleas will go back attacking the dog.
Give Them Flea Pills
Flea pills are oral drugs for dogs. These pills are sold in various types depending on how they work. some pills work by killing the mature fleas and larvae, others inhibit the flea’s ability to produce eggs.
What kind of substances are in those pills?
One type contains Lufenuron, which works by killing only the larvae. Another type contains Spinosad, which works by overstimulating the mature flea’s nervous systems, resulting in death. Lastly, there is Nitenpyram, killing adult fleas as fast as 30 minutes after consumption.
Pills such as BRAVECTO® are given once every three months. Other products can be used every day. The options depend on how long the effect lasts or looking at the dog’s needs and recent condition.
So, that is all about the full guide for the best preventative flea treatment for dogs. Do you have any other experiences? Please share it with us.