How to get rid of fleas on my dog and cat

By Elisela Hurtado & TEAM

Getting rid of fleas on your dog or cat involves several steps to ensure both your pet and your home are treated, as fleas can quickly spread and make both your furry friend and household members quite miserable. Here’s a comprehensive approach:

1. Treat Your Pet

  • Topical Flea Treatments: There are numerous effective flea control products available that are applied directly to your pet’s skin, usually on the back of the neck where they can’t lick it off. These products typically kill adult fleas on your pet within hours.
  • Oral Flea Treatments: Oral medications are available that can kill fleas and sometimes even prevent them from reproducing. These are particularly useful if your pet is sensitive to topical treatments.
  • Flea Shampoos and Dips: While somewhat less convenient, specially formulated flea shampoos and dips can kill fleas on contact. However, they often provide no lasting protection beyond the bath.
  • Flea Collars: Some flea collars are designed to repel fleas or release chemicals that spread over your pet’s body. Select a collar designed for long-term protection.

2. Treat Your Home

  • Vacuum Everything: Vacuum carpets, rugs, upholstery, and any other surfaces your pet has contact with. Be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag or clean the vacuum canister outside immediately to prevent fleas from escaping back into the house.
  • Wash Bedding: Wash all bedding, including your pet’s bed, in hot water to kill fleas and eggs.
  • Flea Sprays and Powders: Use products designed for home flea treatment on your carpets, furniture, and pet bedding. Follow instructions carefully to ensure safety for pets and humans.
  • Consider a Professional: If the infestation is severe, professional pest control might be necessary to thoroughly eliminate fleas from your home.

3. Treat the Environment

  • Mow Your Lawn: Keep your lawn trimmed and remove debris where fleas can hide and breed.
  • Use Outdoor Treatments: Apply treatments to shaded areas and under decks or porches where your pet might spend time and fleas might live.

4. Ongoing Prevention

  • Monthly Preventatives: Even after the fleas are gone, continue using flea control products as recommended by your veterinarian to prevent re-infestation.
  • Regular Checks: Regularly check your pet for fleas, especially during the warmer months when they are most active.
  • Environmental Control: Keep up with vacuuming, lawn maintenance, and washing pet bedding regularly.

Dealing with fleas can be frustrating, but with diligent treatment of your pet and your environment, you can get rid of these pests. Always consult with your veterinarian before starting any new treatment to ensure it’s safe for your specific pet, especially if they have health concerns or are pregnant.

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