Fleas parasite feed on blood. They are only found on your pet when they're feeding, the rest of the time they live in the environment. They lay their eggs in carpets, rugs, furnishings, skirting boards, and even in between your floor boards.
How Do They Get into Your Home?
Dormant flea eggs will hatch once the conditions are right, the heat and vibrations from a passing pet or person can act as a trigger to wake them up. It's for this reason that turning on your central heating during winter can result in a sudden flea infestation. Studies show that for every flea you find there's 10 flea eggs lying dormant. So for every 10 fleas on your dog, there could be as many as 100 eggs in your home. And because eggs can lie dormant for months, you need to treat your dog for fleas all year round. As well as being a source of discomfort for both you and your dog, fleas can also transmit tapeworm. So as well as regular flea treatment, you also need to keep on top of your dog's worming treatment.
How to Tell If Your Dog Has Fleas
Fleas are visible to the naked eye, and you might also spot flea faeces in your dog's coat - small black dots found in their fur. Other signs to look out for include;
- Bite marks
- Excessive scratching
- Hair loss
- Itchy bite marks on your own skin
Some dogs are allergic to flea saliva, which in extreme cases can lead to irritation, severe itching, and weepy sore skin.
How to Get Rid of Fleas
Fleas aren't just a source of discomfort and irritation. They can also spread other, more serious infections. It's therefore critical that you treat your dog's flea problem as soon as you spot the warning signs. There are a variety of flea treatments available for your dog and your home - all our of Calder Vets branches offer tailored flea and worming advice to suit you and your pets individual needs.
Wash Your Dog's Bedding
Washing your dog's bedding will go some way to eliminating the fleas and the eggs that might be laying dormant. But remember that your pet's bedding isn't limited to the bedding you provide for them. If they sleep on your bed, you'll also have to wash your own bedding. And if your dog ever sleeps on the sofa, your sofa covers too will have to be washed. Whatever you wash, wash it on a high heat and ensure that it's cleaned thoroughly.
Vacuum All Areas of Your Home
Your vacuum cleaner is one of your most powerful weapons in your fight against fleas. Hoovering your home can dislodge any flea eggs that might be residing in carpets and other surfaces. But also the noise and vibrations it creates will encourage eggs to hatch and then the new fleas will be affected by the treatments you use in your home and on your pets. Pay particular attention to any shaded areas that don't receive much sunlight. Fleas love humid areas, and are much more likely to reside where the sun doesn't shine.
Flea treatment for your pet
There are many good flea treatments available, and your vet will be more than happy to recommend you a good solution for your requirements. Your vet will also be able to help should the problem persist, despite your best efforts. Treat your home As well as using a flea killing product on your pet, we also advise that you treat your home too. This increases the likelihood of a flea landed on a treatment area, therefore eliminating the problem sooner. Please ensure that you always read the instructions on these products prior to using or speak with one of our team for advice on their safe use.