Unless you are one of the lucky pet owners who live in Alaska where fleas are not an issue, finding effective dog flea control is a priority.
There are several options available, so you may need to try more than one to figure out which works best for you. Below are some tips as well as some of the choices available.
Topical Flea Control
Topical dog flea control products such as FrontLine and Advantage are some of the most effective products for controlling fleas.
Even among brands of these similar products, some pet owners have found one to be more effective than another.
These products come in a small tube and the liquid is placed on the dog’s skin right between the shoulder blades. Reapplication is needed every four to six weeks for maximum effectiveness.
Some of these products control only fleas while others also repel mosquitoes and ticks. They also vary as far as which stages of fleas the product can kill. Some will only kill adult fleas while others will kill the eggs as well.
If you choose to use these products, you will need to be careful if there are cats in your home. Some of these topical dog flea control products can be very harmful to cats.
Oral Flea Control
Oral dog flea control, such as a pill called Program, helps to stop infestation by stopping fleas in the early stages of life from becoming fertile.
These pills will not kill adult fleas, so if you choose to use this type of flea control, you should consider using it in conjunction with a topical medication.
Grocery Store Flea Control
Many grocery stores and drug stores sell topical flea control, but it should not be confused for the products discussed above. The active ingredients in Advantage, FrontLine and similar products are absent in these grocery store brands. Most pet owners find them to be ineffective.
The same is true for powders, shampoos and flea collars that are found in grocery stores. Most pet owners have very little success using such products. Most find them to be a waste of money.
Natural Flea Control
Some pet owners worry about putting chemicals on their pets month after month. While most dogs do not experience any adverse effects, some do.
For those who are worried about the use of chemicals, there are several natural flea control remedies available.
Sharing Topical Flea Control
One mistake that some pet owners make is to try and share a large tube of topical flea control between two medium or small dogs. In order for the medication to be effective, it must be administered in the correct dosage.
It will cost a bit more, but it is better to buy a correct sized dose for each dog rather than sharing.
Why Dog Flea Control Is Important
When your dog is infested with fleas, there are many more potential problems than a little itching. The fleas that have infested your dog can quickly (VERY quickly) infest your house. They can live in carpet, bedding and corners.
Getting control over such an infestation can be costly and time consuming.
There are also medical complications that can arise from your dog being infested with fleas such as skin infections.
After an Infestation
Dog flea control following an infestation is more complicated than preventing one. To get control of the problem, you will need to treat not only the animals in your home, but also the house and yard as well. All bedding will need to be stripped and washed in very hot water.
You will need to spray all furniture and floors with a professional strength product. You will need to spray the yard with a similar product. More than one treatment may be needed depending on the severity of the infestation.
Again, prevention is much easier and far less costly than dealing with a serious flea problem. Get your pets started on dog flea control today so that you will never have to deal with an infestation.