Your Comprehensive Guide to Dealing with Fleas

Your Comprehensive Guide to Dealing with Fleas

Your Comprehensive Guide to Dealing with Fleas

Fleas, those troublesome pests that can disrupt your furry companion's well-being, tend to be more common throughout the warmer seasons. In the UK, peak flea activity commonly occurs between May and September, corresponding with the increased warmth and humidity during this period. It's vital to remain extra watchful during these months to shield your pets from potential flea issues.
What do fleas look like?
Fleas are tiny, wingless bugs that are dark brown or reddish-brown. They have a flat body shape that helps them move easily through the fur. Fleas are very small, around 1 to 2.5 millimeters long. They look a bit like seeds and have spiky hairs on their bodies that make them hard to catch. When you see them up close, you'll notice their small size, dark colour, and how they quickly jump around.
How to Check for Fleas
  • Visual Inspection: Look for signs of fleas by parting your dog's fur and checking for small, fast-moving insects or dark specks (flea dirt) on their skin.
  • Flea Comb: Use a fine-toothed flea comb to carefully comb through your dog's fur. Keep an eye out for potential flea hiding spots in warm and sheltered areas such as:

    • Around Ears: Examine behind and around the ears where fleas can lurk in crevices.
    • Base of Tail: Don't overlook this warm area often skipped during grooming.
    • Under Legs: Check the less visible regions under the legs where fleas may hide.
    • Groin Area: Fleas are drawn to warm and hard-to-reach spots like the groin.
    • Between Toes: Watch for fleas in the small spaces between your dog's toes, a favourite hiding spot for these pests.

    To check if a suspect speck is a flea, dampen a piece of white kitchen roll or paper towel. Place the damp paper under the speck and gently press down. If the speck leaves a reddish-brown mark on the paper, it is likely a flea. This method helps identify fleas as they often excrete "flea dirt," which is essentially digested blood. The reddish stain indicates the presence of flea excrement, confirming a flea infestation.


     How to Treat Fleas
    • Consult Your Vet: If you find fleas on your dog, consult your veterinarian for appropriate treatment options. They may recommend flea control products like spot-on treatments, oral medications, or flea shampoo.
    Don't forget to treat your home as well! 🏡 Here's how:
    • Vacuum Thoroughly: Make sure to vacuum all carpets, rugs, upholstery, and floor crevices, paying extra attention to areas where your dog likes to hang out. Dispose of the vacuum bag in an outdoor bin to prevent re-infestation.

      Wash Bedding and Fabrics: Wash your dog's bedding and any other washable fabrics in hot water to eliminate fleas and their eggs effectively.

      Use Flea Sprays or Powder: Apply household flea control products as directed. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and treat all potential flea hiding spots in your home for comprehensive protection against these pesky pests.

     How to Prevent Fleas
    • Regular Grooming: Maintain a regular grooming routine to check for fleas and keep your dog's coat clean. Grooming stimulates the skin and distributes natural oils, which can help maintain skin health and coat condition. Healthy skin is less likely to be irritated or inflamed, making it a less hospitable environment for fleas to thrive.
    • Flea Prevention Products: Use veterinarian-recommended flea preventatives such as topical treatments, oral medications, or flea collars to protect your dog from infestations.
    1. Spot-on Treatments: These products are applied to a specific spot on the dog's skin, usually between the shoulder blades. The active ingredients in spot-on treatments spread over the skin's surface, providing protection against fleas. When fleas come in contact with the treated skin, they are killed or repelled.

    2. Oral Medications: Oral flea medications are ingested by the dog and work systemically. When a flea bites the dog, it ingests the medication along with the blood. This disrupts the flea's life cycle, preventing egg development and ultimately killing the fleas.

    3. Flea Collars: Flea collars release active ingredients that spread over the dog's skin and fur. These ingredients repel and kill fleas upon contact. Some flea collars also prevent flea eggs from hatching, helping to break the flea life cycle.

    If your dog is scratching excessively and you can't find any fleas, click here to check out our blog for more insights and assistance on addressing the issue.



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