Pet owners know that unfortunately, one of the most common and annoying issues for their dogs and cats is having to deal with fleas. This is why it is so important to regularly treat your cats and dogs for fleas and worms. It is equally important if not more so to treat your home for these pests as well. It’s been shown that about 95% of fleas and egg larvae live in your house instead of on your pet. If you don’t also treat this issue, then these infestations will return again and again.
If fleas have become a problem for your cat or dog, find out here the best treatments and the various forms they take, so you can find a solution that makes both you and your pet happy and flea-free.
How Can I Tell If My Pet Has Fleas?
It is a common sight to see fleas jumping off or onto your pet’s body despite their small size. Fleas have flat bodies, are dark brown or black in color, and about an eighth of an inch long. A good sign a pet has fleas is if they begin to chew, scratch, or lick specific areas of their body more frequently.
If you think your pet has fleas, you can check their coats and skin for any signs of fleas or “flea dirt”, aka flea feces. Recognizing a flea is easy, but if you aren’t sure if it is “flea dirt” or regular dirt, simply put it in a paper towel and wet it a bit. If it turns a reddish brown, it is a flea as the color is from the blood it has ingested.
If you find fleas, you need to take action right away. The following are some of the best ways to prevent fleas from becoming an issue for your cat or dog.
Topical medications are also known as spot-on products. These are squeezed from a tube directly onto a small spot on your pet’s back. Some of the more effective brands for this type of treatment include Bravecto, Advantage II and Frontline Plus. These products are available for both cats and dogs. They have proven to be quite effective for up to a month of protection from fleas.
Oral solutions are equally as effective as topical treatments. However, they can be slightly more difficult to give to your pet. Many pets will resist swallowing medications that you try to give them.
The major benefit of oral medication is less mess because it is swallowed. In addition, the medication usually starts to work much sooner than topical treatments.
Just like with topical treatments, oral ones pose no threat to humans. This is important if you have children who tend to put anything they can into their mouths.
Flea shampoos are great at giving immediate relief from the itchiness that fleas can cause. Unfortunately, they are not so good at getting rid of infestations. This is because there isn’t much residue left over after washing your pet. This means shampoos aren’t as effective at killing any of the eggs or larvae left behind.
The best solution is to combine a flea shampoo with a topical or oral medication. This way, you are giving immediate relief for scratching and long–term relief from eggs.
Most flea collars are considered useless as they don’t work very well. The one exception is Seresto, which is considered the best flea collar. However, it is very expensive, and it is best suited for pets that spend lots of time outdoors instead of being inside the house all day long.
It is never fun watching your pet be uncomfortable. Discomfort and health are why it is so important to treat any flea issues as soon as you notice one. Treating fleas can help reduce the risk of you and your pet developing more severe health issues. To help your cat or dog live a flea-free life, try any of these treatments today.