Keeping Your Pet Flea-Free

Posted on: 14 July 2015

If you have a dog or cat, you are most likely well aware that fleas can become a problem very easily in warmer months. If you notice your pet has contracted fleas, there are steps you will need to take to remove them safely and effectively. You will also need to treat bedding and carpeting throughout your home. Here are some instructions for you to follow in getting fleas off of your pet and out of your home for good.

Treat the Pet

At the first signs of a flea problem, your pet needs to be treated right away so you can begin breaking the life cycle. Once live fleas are killed, you can move on to the eggs and larvae so they do not have a chance to grow into adults themselves.

The best method for removing fleas is to go to your local veterinarian or a pet supply store to buy a topical medicated treatment. This is applied at the nape of the neck, between the shoulder blades, so your pet does not lick at the medication. It usually works in less than a day to kill all fleas on the pet.

If you can't get a topical treatment right away, wash your pet in warm water with a few tablespoons of liquid dish detergent added. Do not use a flea shampoo if you plan on trying a topical treatment soon afterwards, as too many medications can be harmful to a pet. Dish detergent, however, is safe enough to use beforehand.

Treat Your Home

After you have treated your pet, you need to be diligent in cleaning around your home. Place some flea powder inside your vacuum cleaner bag or dirt collection bin to help kill any stray fleas you may capture while cleaning carpets. Place any debris the vacuum sucks up in a plastic bag and tie it immediately so fleas do not jump out and back into your carpeting.

Vacuum all of your pet's bedding and wash your blankets and sheets, making sure to dry with a hot setting. For very bad flea infestations, you may need to use a flea bombing product. These will disperse a pesticide throughout your home, so it is important all people and pets are evacuated for several hours during the bombing process. 

Keep Fleas Away

Once you have treated your pet and home, you will want to keep fleas from coming back. Vacuum every few days to keep carpets free from any fleas that may hatch from eggs you have missed. Keep treating your pet every month as instructed on the topical flea treatment packaging. Keep your grass trimmed outdoors and use a pesticide on your lawn if your pet goes outside often. Bring your dog or cat to a groomer to help keep on top of any flea problems, as they will notice the beginning signs of an infestation while doing routine combing and shampooing of your pet. Find a pet grooming service in your area, such as The Pets Place Animal Hospital, for more information.