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It seems like the snow hasn’t even melted everywhere outside and I’m already finding fleas on some of the pet’s we pet sit and groom for. I think it’s fleas gonemuch too early for those little buggers to start invading our precious pet’s skin and coats. But, with the warmer weather, it’s inevitable. [clear]

At some stage of your pet’s lifespan every pet owner will have to deal with the problem of fleas, ticks and mites. If left untreated they can take over your pet’s skin, coat, you, and your home! So it is really important to keep fleas under control. It’s best to stop the problem as soon as you see one flea, rather than wait and treat your pet, and the whole house, for an infestation![clear]

There are some misconceptions about fleas. Fleas are not something that only happens to dirty animals! In fact fleas are probably more common in clean animals because fleas prefer a clean coat. Fleas, mites and ticks are parasites with a short lifespan so they reproduce quickly. Female fleas can lay up to 25 eggs a day. So you can see just how quickly the problem can get out of hand! They tend to prefer warm conditions- so flea scratching dogsummer and spring are the most troublesome times for pets and owners.[clear]

The main key to prevention is to catch the problem early! This means brushing your dog often and inspecting their coat. Fleas, ticks and mites are tiny black, brown crawling creatures that can even look like dirt. It may help for you to examine the fur under their ears and arms/legs. Fleas like warm places. They seem to find the spot furthest away from your dogs mouth, or the spot that is most difficult for your pet to bite and scratch at. You can also see flea egg sacks and flea droppings in their fur if you look closely. If you still cannot see the fleas try combing your dog on a bright surface, something like a piece of paper should work well.[clear]

fleas This is a problem that needs to be treated right away. Instead of heading for the pet store to buy expensive over-the-counter treatments, sprays or dips you should rather seek professional help right away. It will save you time. Your groomer can provide a nice flea bath, followed by administering flea preventative.  Your vet should have some pamphlets or handouts about flea control. Some vets even prescribe oral treatments if the problem is severe.  Usually a topical treatment applied monthly is all it takes to keep fleas off your pet.[clear]

However, the best way to treat and get rid of fleas is a three step process: treat your pet, your home and your yard.[clear]

If you choose to shop for the products yourself you will need to read the labels carefully to check that you are not inadvertently poisoning your pet! Never allow your pet to ingest any of the products you use; they are highly poisonous. It’s also important to protect their eyes from these harsh chemicals. There is a lot of disagreement about whether or not flea collars work. Used alone, they only tend to kill fleas in a localized area around the collar area. But when the flea moves on down to the tail area of your pet, a flea collar is quite useless. Whichever flea remedy you decide on, it is imperative that you faithfully administer it as the directions say to…whether it is monthly, daily or weekly.[clear]

It is important to treat your home for fleas as well. Fleas can survive in almost anything in your home-furniture, rugs and bedding. Any flea treatments will be pointless if the flea’s eggs or fleas themselves remain in your living space.  To clean your home properly you will need to sanitize and clean the areas where the pet sleeps. Depending on the severity of the problem you may need to throw away blankets that have become infested with eggs. Often – just washing the affected bedding in hot water and some flea shampoo should do the trick. Rather safe than sorry though – if in doubt toss the bedding. Vaccuum all rugs and be sure to remove and dispose of any vacuum bags outside of the home. In some cases, you may want to have your carpets professionally cleaned. As time consuming and costly as all this may seem, if you do it right the first time, it will work to deter fleas. And, having to have your home fumigated will cost a lot more![clear]

Because the fleas typically come from outside, it is imperative that you treat your yard and lawn. Consult with your local landscaping company for their recommendations for the safest and most effective treatment. And remember, if you are bringing your pet to the dog park, or dog day care…it will be next to impossible to erase the fleas from your pet and home. Those little critters jump from host to host. So if a dog at day care has fleas, sooner or later, your dog will too. That is one of the benefits to utilizing an, at your home, professional pet sitter. Your pets are not exposed to fleas, ticks or diseases that other pets carry. Your pet sitter will administer any flea preventative for you. And your Wagging Tails Mobile Groomer will not only provide your pet with a flea bath, they will also be happy to administer flea preventative for you as well.[clear]

Fleas can become a nightmare for any pet owner, and can make your pet very uncomfortable. Stop the problem early – check your pet everyday for fleas, regularly use a preventative product approved by your vet. Treat your home, your yard and contact Wagging Tails Pet Sitting & Mobile Grooming for Professional assistance you may need!  (860) 621-7387 (pets)