Preventing the Creepy Crawlies-Flea Advice for Your Pet Dog
February 12, 2010
When we see our pets start scratching we worry that our pets may have fleas. Fleas can cause allergic reactions, skin infections, tape worms infections and discomfort to your pet. There are many ways to prevent fleas and ticks. How do you choose what product is best for your pet and home? Here is a list and brief summary of the flea products on the market.
Advantage is a well known product for flea prevention. It kills fleas within 12 hours and also kills larvae and chewing lice. Advantage lasts for 30days and is available for cats and dogs. Advantage is also safe to be used on kittens and puppies 6 weeks of age and older. Advantage is waterproof and still effective when using a mild shampoo. Advantage can be purchased at some veterinarians and through some online suppliers.
Advantix is a flea prevention product that also prevents against ticks, repels biting flies and kills chewing lice. Advantix is a great product for dogs that hunt and spend a lot of time in the woods. Advantix cannot be used on or around cats. Advantix is also water proof and lasts for 30days.
Frontline also protects against fleas and ticks for 30days and is waterproof. Fleas are killed within 12 hours; this product can also be used on breeding, pregnant and lactating pets. Frontline has an easy applicator and comes in a 3 pack. Although it is usually more expensive than other products it is a very effective product.
Vectra is a new product that will only be sold by veterinarians. It is proven to kill fleas within 6 hours. Vectra also protects against lice, ticks and mosquitoes. Vectra also help prevent fleas from infesting the environment. Vectra has an easy applicator but it does contain more fluid than the other flea preventatives. Vectra makes a different dog and cat formula. Vectra is water proof.
Capstar is an oral medication that kills all live fleas within 5 hours. Capstar does not leave any residual medication in the body so there is no long term flea control with Capstar. Capstar is only available from a veterinarian.
Revolution is a flea preventative that does not kill live fleas but keeps them from being able to reproduce. Revolution also prevents against heartworm. Revolution is only available from a veterinarian.
Most pet stores do sell over the counter flea medication but these flea treatments have been known to cause seizures in some pets and are not as strictly controlled as flea preventatives sold by veterinarians. Doing plenty of research on products sold over the counter at pets store is highly recommended before purchasing.
The flea life cycle is 95% in the environment, not on the pet. The adult flea prefers to live on the pet but all other stages of the life are in the carpet, under the couch and in the bedding. Flea bombs go up into the air and do not treat the area that fleas actually reproduce in. Sprays from your local pet store are a better route to go to kill the larvae and pupa. You can purchase Borax at the grocery store, sprinkle it on the carpet and vacuum it up. This does help remove and kill all the eggs. After vacuuming be sure to empty the canister or toss the bag into outside garbage. Fleas can be brought in on your shoes and can infest through the walls in apartments. Even if your house is very clean, fleas can still come into your home. Fleas can carry tapeworms. When a pet bites at its skin and ingests a flea the tapeworm then infests the pet and reproduces inside the pet. Tapeworms can cause pets to lose weight, have diarrhea and can be passed on to people.
Preventing fleas is a lot easier than treating fleas. Some pets are allergic to the flea saliva and when bit by a flea their skin breaks out into sores and pustules. When this happens it usually results in the pet possibly needing to be put on antibiotics, steroids and ointments or creams.
When your pet dog or cat is going to use a pet service it is important to treat your pets with a flea preventative. Pet sitting companies do everything they can to prevent fleas but treating your pet with a preventative is the best way to protect your pet.
This article was written by Deva Samuels, owner of Fetch! Pet Care of West Seattle. Deva can be reached at 206-965-9851. Fetch! Pet Care is the largest national pet care company in the United States; serving 38 states in more than 2,000 cities and towns.