Fleas can affect dogs all year-round. Since they are harmful to pets, it is important to know the best flea treatment for dogs. Caring for your dog should be one of your top priorities. Your pet is affected by numerous pests like fleas and ticks. As the owner, you need to be proactive in this matter. Your dog can become a victim at any time. With this in mind, it is your priority to know the best flea treatment for dogs.
How do you know if your dog has fleas?
It is a common misconception that dogs only get fleas when in outdoors. Your veterinarian might have told you already that pets can be affected by fleas indoor as well. It doesn’t matter if your dog barely goes outside, he is still at high risk.
Fleas can cause many health risks to your dog. That is why it is highly recommendable to stay alert of any signs that might indicate that your pet has fleas. According to Dr Judy Seltzer, “Sometimes one flea will mean you have a hundred fleas, just in different life stages, and other times, your dog simply picked up a single flea from being in contact with another dog”. This is prevented with a year-round preventive care. Therefore, before you read about the best flea treatment for dogs, learn to identify this pest.
Diagnosing your dog for fleas
Follow these 6 steps to examine your dog for fleas:
Firstly, see if your dog is scratching excessively or chewing its fur. Flea bites are very itchy.
Examine your dog’s skin for any small red bumps. Flea bites are hard to spot.
Observe your dog’s fur to find adult fleas. Fleas are usually located in the base of the tail, the abdomen and the ears. Adult fleas are the size of a pencil lead.
Stand your dog in a white towel and brush his coat. This way, you can easily identify if any fleas jump off your dog.
Use a flea comb to check your dog’s coat for “flea dirt”. It looks like a small black dot (dried blood). Put it in water to see if it turns back to red.
Check your dog’s gums to see if they are pale. This is a sign of anaemia which indicates blood loss due to a flea infection.
After you do this, and you proved that your dog has fleas, go to the vet or a pet store to get the best flea treatment for dogs. Afterwards, you must learn how to treat fleas on dogs.
What is the best flea treatment for dogs?
“There are four developmental stages of the flea: egg, larvae, pupae and adult”, explains Dr Seltzer. Therefore, to actually get rid of fleas, you have to attack them at all life stages. There is anti-flea medicine in pills, topicals, collars, injections and others. If you want to determine which is the best flea treatment for your dog, you need to visit your vet.
He will tell you how long does flea treatment take to work on dogs. This will vary according to the degree of infestation. “You need to give it about three months of treatment to really see how effective the flea control is”, said Dr Seltzer. Lastly, it is important to determine how often you should treat your dog for fleas.
Top flea treatments methods for dogs
The top 3 methods to treat fleas in dogs are:
Flea collars: A flea collar can keep your pet free of pests for at least 8 months. It is very simple to use and quite effective in pest control. It is advisable to always have a flea collar on your dog. However, flea collars are not compatible with water.
Topical treatments: it is one of the best flea treatments for dogs because it is very resistant to weather conditions (waterproof formula). Apply it once a month. Topicals are quite effective at flea control. As a matter of fact, it starts to work within 12 hours. Lastly, it exterminates all stages of fleas thus preventing re-infestation.
Chewable treatments: this option is only reserved for dogs suffering from a huge flea infestation. Most anti-flea pills are made with imidacloprid, which is an insect neurotoxin that paralyzes and kills fleas within one hour of ingestion. That is why this is one of the best flea treatment for dogs. Chewable treatments can immediately stop flea infestations. However, this treatment is a one-time solution. If you want long-lasting effects, you should try a topical or the flea collar.
Don’t wait until your dog has fleas to start treatment. You need to stay on top of things, so get at least a flea collar. If your pet is already infested, consider buying a topical or a chewable treatment to treat fleas. Either way, go to your vet for professional advice. He will tell which is the best flea treatment for dogs.