1. Get your pet adequately protected
The single most important thing that you can do to prevent fleas from infecting your pet and invading your home is to ensure that you get your furbaby adequately protected. There are dozens of different preventative treatments available from pet stores, and something to suit every animal, from collars and topical treatments to oral medications.
It is important that you pick the right type of treatment based on the species and size of your pet, and that you follow the instructions exactly. Equally, it is essential that you understand exactly how long your pet will be protected for and make arrangements to ‘top-up’ their preventative treatment before it runs out and leaves your furbaby vulnerable to fleas.
In addition to protecting your pet, you can also buy flea repellent products that you can use in your home.
2. Be prepared to deal with an infestation quickly
One in five cats and one in ten dogs is infested with fleas at any one time, so odds are, your furriest family member is going to be affected at some point in their life, particularly if there are gaps in their preventative treatment.
If you spot a flea, there is almost certainly at least a few more lurking in your home. Therefore, we recommend that you keep a supply to flea control products in your home ready to tackle these little parasites the moment you encounter them. Adult female fleas can lay up to 40 eggs a day, so waiting even 24 hours can lead to a boom in your flea population. Don’t forget, it is crucial that you treat your pet and home at the same time. This will ensure that fleas are destroyed whatever stage of their life cycle they are in.
3. Check your pet regularly
Fleas are virtually microscopic, which means that they can be difficult to spot. However, early identification of any fleas is essential if you are to get your pet and home treated and prevent a full-scale infestation from taking hold. Checking your pet regularly is the best way to catch a flea problem early.
Many owners spot flea dirt before they spot the fleas themselves. This looks like brown or black specks of dirt in your pet’s fur but is actually flea feces. You can use a flea comb or a regular brush, and it helps if you stand your pet on a white sheet or towel, as any flea dirt will show up much more clearly.
If you can, check your pet daily, especially during the summer or when she has spent a great deal of time outside.
4. Keep your property as clean as possible
Most pet owners understand the need to vacuum frequently when they have a furry companion. However, paying close attention to the carpeted areas of your home, floorboards and skirting could help prevent flea infestations as it is in these areas that they are most likely to accumulate. Equally, any soft furnishings that your pet comes into contact with may also harboring fleas, larvae or eggs.
Vacuum daily if possible and be sure to empty the vacuum cleaner immediately to get rid of any eggs or larvae that have been collected. You should also wash your pet’s bedding at least once a week, using the hottest water possible. This will help to kill any fleas at any stage of their life cycle.
5. Visit our veterinarian
While you are responsible for your pet’s health, our veterinarian is your most supportive partner. Our vet will be able to give you advice and information on all aspects of flea problems including spotting them, dealing with them and preventing future infestations. Our Memphis veterinarian will be happy to recommend the best and safest products to use and speak to you about implementing a strict schedule of preventative care.
Our experienced and knowledgeable team at Memphis Animal Clinic understands everything that there is to know about fleas, including how to prevent them. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions that you may have.