No matter what the location or the type of dog that you have, one area that all puppy owners will have to address is flea control. Fleas on dogs are tiny, wingless bloodsucking inset that attach themselves to pets. When the fleas bite the animal, saliva is entered into the pet’s blood stream. An allergic reaction to this saliva is what normally causes the itching and why some pets and people are more susceptible to flea bites than others.
Battling a Flea Infestation
You will need to get rid of the fleas on both your dog and in your home. Treating one and not the other will create an unending vicious cycle of infestation. To get rid of an active flea infestation on your puppy, there are a wide variety of commercial products available, including shampoos, flea powders, flea dips, flea sprays, and flea baths. If the flea problem is really severe, you might want to consult your vet to see what they recommend.
The next step is to prevent future flea infestations by using some sort of flea repellant. Again, there is a wide variety of options on the market today. Beyond the flea collars of yesteryear, now there are also oral treatments and topical flea treatments as well. The topical treatments, such as Frontline and Advantage, are very popular due to the fact that they only have to be applied once a month and that the treatment can also be purchased with combined heartworm preventatives.
There are two parts of the flea infestation in your home, the eggs or larva and the adult fleas. Flea sprays and foggers can be used to quickly kill adult fleas. However, the process will most likely have to be repeated for several weeks in a row to kill the hatching larva. Be vigilant about vacuuming on a regular basis when you have a puppy in the house as this will help control the flea population. Also make sure to empty the vacuum as soon as you are finished as they can become a perfect habitat for hatching fleas.
Natural Flea Remedies
Some dog owners wanting to stay away from chemical options turn to natural home remedies to treat and prevent fleas on dogs. Some favorites are:
- Feeding a dog one tablespoon of powered yeast daily.
- Adding garlic to the dog’s normal food.
- Adding a tablespoon of salt to the dog’s bath water.
A few home remedies for natural fleas on dogs prevention are:
- Steeping lemon and water overnight and then sponging the puppy’s coat with it.
- Rubbing the dog’s coat with a strong smelling herb such as tansy, fennel, basil, mint or pennyroyal.
- Using a eucalyptus wool wash for a dog shampoo.
- Making a natural homemade flea collar by using ¼ cup of citronella essential oil, 2 tablespoons of peppermint oil, 2 tablespoons of white cedar essential oil, ½ cup of rosemary essential oil, and 2 tablespoons of eucalyptus essential oil. Soak a rope made of natural fiber in the solution and let dry. Finally, tie the rope around the dog’s neck.
To get rid of flea infestations in carpet, for a natural option sprinkle Borax on the carpet, leave for 48 hours, and then vacuum up. Clean the vacuum bag or canister immediately. Or soak newspaper with oil of cedar and lay on the ground in problem areas. The fleas on dogs will be drawn to the paper. Pick up the papers the next day and dispose of them.
While fleas on dogs can be a serious problem if allowed to get out of control, if monitored and preventative steps are taken, keeping fleas away from your pet will take minimal effort.