Pro.Dog.Forum.JoAnne's Blog

Have Fleas Got Your Dog?

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by JoAnne Mattingly
Fall is the flea season and if you have not been able to keep up with the problem it will only get worse as the weather gets cooler and wetter. The little buggers (the fleas) sense this is their last chance in the “circle of life” and will go for broke on your pooch if you don’t act quickly.

First step is to bathe Fido. Please use an organic, pesticide free shampoo you can purchase at a good pet store. A citrus based shampoo is perfect. Shampoos bought at your local department store are usually pesticide based, not safe for your four footed friend or you.

Put your critter full of critters in the tub and gently wet him down with warm, not hot water. Run a line of the shampoo from just behind his head to the base of his tail. Work the shampoo up onto his head first. Be sure to get his cheeks and muzzle as well while being careful not to get shampoo in his eyes. The fleas will run for cover in his ears and eyes so watch for them and pick them out and put them into the shampooed areas.

Now the fun part. After shampooing your pup from head to toes, you must let him soak in the shampoo for at least 10 to 15 minutes. This will kill 95% of the fleas on him. The “Hercules” fleas will have to wait for his flea treatment the next day. Yes, that’s right. We are not done yet. After the soak, be sure to rinse your buddy thoroughly. When you think he is completely rinsed, do it again. As a groomer, I see tons of problems with their skin from not getting rinsed properly at home. So do yourself and your pup a favor and overdo the rinse. A good towel dry for short haired dogs and/or a blow dry out is in order now.

In the house, spray the carpets with a good pesticide that your vet or a good pet store will recommend. If you have hardwood floors and for the carpets as well, vacuums well and put the bag from the vacuum in the trash outside or in the freezer if it’s not completely full. Wash his bedding and if he sleeps in your bed, sorry to say, it will have to be sprayed too. Even if you haven’t seen fleas on you, they are there. It is said for every flea on your dog there is 10 in the house. Do the math. Yuk!

If you are able, treat the yard as well. I like to use a dust. I am very fond of diatom dust. It is completely safe for you and your dog, though you shouldn’t breathe in the dust while applying it. It is so safe as a matter of fact that you could eat it if you had an overwhelming desire to do so. Yuk again. Whatever you use, be sure to follow the directions on the package and keep the pup in until it settles.

Last but not least, go to the vet and if you know the weight of your dog, ask for the once a month drops or now they even have a pill that you give your dog once a month that is affective. You may need to bathe your dog every 2 weeks until the problem gets under control, but by doing all of the above, you won’t be wishing everyone a Merry Christmas while scratching behind YOUR ear!

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