Top 10 Flea Treatment Tips
Whether you’re the proud owner of a cat or a dog, it’s important that you do your best to keep your pet flea-free.
Not only can fleas be irritating for your pet, the itchiness and irritation that they cause can also lead to other skin problems and infections.
Treating your pet for fleas doesn’t need to be hard work or time consuming, especially if you follow these top flea treatment tips.
1. Use spot-on prevention treatments
This is probably the most obvious, but using regular spot-on prevention treatments can help to prevent your pet from getting fleas. It’s much easier to prevent an infestation than it is to treat one that has become out of hand. Factoring the cost of this treatment into your regular pet care budget will help to keep it affordable.
Schemes such as the Healthy Pet Club can help spread the cost of preventative care and will often include spot-on flea treatments as part of the package.
2. Try an oral flea prevention medication
An alternative to a spot-on treatment is an oral flea prevention medicine. Generally speaking, you should not use these two products in conjunction, but should always consult with your vet if you’re unsure.
3. Treat as soon as you spot the first signs
Even if you haven’t seen fleas on your pet or around your home, if your dog or cat has started scratching more than usual, it may be worth treating them for fleas. As with most problems, fleas are best dealt with when treated as soon as possible. Not only does this minimise irritation to your pet, it also prevents them from spreading around your home.
4. Treat both your pet and your home
As loving pet owners, it’s only natural that you let your pet lounge around on the carpet or on the sofa. However, if your pet has fleas, it’s likely that they’ll be transferred onto these surfaces that make perfect breeding places as well as continuing to cause irritation to your pet’s (and your!) own skin.
Wash all soft furnishings and bedding (human and pet) at a high temperature (ideally 60 degrees) and vacuum and clean all floors regularly to eliminate the fleas and their eggs. You should also use an anti-flea spray around your home and on soft furnishings to further help kill the critters.
5. Set a reminder
It’s easy to forget to treat your pet for fleas, but for flea treatments to be effective, they usually need to be given or applied every month (but please read the product label to be sure). One way to keep track is to set a reminder on your phone or note it down on a calendar. You could even make it an event…for example ‘Spot-On Saturday’!
6. Only use recommended treatments
Flea treatments can be powerful, which means it’s important to only use products recommended for your pet’s age, weight and size. Don’t be tempted to use a stronger product in an attempt to treat fleas faster as it can be dangerous for your pet. It’s also vitally important that you only use products specifically designed for your dog or cat. For example, some dog flea treatments contain chemicals that are toxic for cats.
7. Comb your pet’s fur regularly
As you would comb your child’s hair regularly to check for head lice, you should comb your pet regularly to check for fleas. Use a very finely toothed comb and rinse it in hot soapy water between strokes to drown any fleas on it.
8. Use anti-flea shampoo
Anti-flea shampoo won’t prevent your pet from getting fleas, but if used after a walk in the open countryside where your pet may pick them up, it can help to kill any fleas that are in your pet’s fur or on their skin at the time, preventing further spread in your home. Make sure you apply any spot-on flea treatment after you wash your pet to ensure long-lasting protection.
9. Keep your pet away from wild animals
It’s common for pets to catch fleas from wild animals that they encounter. This is harder to monitor for free-roaming cats, but you can keep dogs on leads to reduce their contact with potentially infected animals.
10. Invest in a flea-repellent collar
Good quality flea repellent collars, such as Seresto collars, contain a chemical that helps to repel the insects and are particularly useful for cats and dogs that go off exploring. They can also provide up to eight months protection so are ideal if you don’t want to schedule in regular treatment. Certain collars may not be suitable for pregnant animals or pets with other health issues, so check according to the guidelines of each individual product.
Flea treatment is a job best done regularly, and will help to prevent any unpleasant vets bills for treatment (either for the infestation or for any irritation caused by it). If you have any concerns as to how to treat fleas you should speak to your vet.
MiPet Cover pet insurance policies offer cover for repeat flea treatments in the event of your return departure to the UK is delayed by your carrier.
You can get a pet insurance quote online in minutes or speak to our friendly UK call centre team on 0808 164 8000.
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