All About Fleas

If there’s one thing pet owners pray they’ll never have to deal with, it’s fleas. These pesky parasites not only make your pet (and most likely you) very uncomfortable but are also incredibly difficult to get rid of because of their flexible and persistent lifecycle. 

Fleas can live anywhere from 13 days to a whole year and can produce millions of offspring during this time. They are wingless insects but can jump up to two feet in the air, making it easy for them to transfer from surface to surface while latching onto carpet, furniture, clothes, animals, and almost anything else in your home.

Because fleas can live and reproduce so easily in so many different environments, practicing proper prevention is the best way to make sure they do not infect your pets or your home. 

Flea prevention:

  • Consistently use a preventative flea control product
  • Use a flea comb on your pet
  • Wash your pet’s bedding once a week
  • Make sure the outside of your house is free of organic debris and moist, shady places

However even with prevention, sometimes fleas find their way in and infect your pet. The following are symptoms of fleas on both dogs and cats.

Symptoms of fleas on dogs:

  • Droppings in the coat that look like small, dark grains of sand
  • Flea eggs that look like small white grains of sand
  • Excessive licking, scratching, or biting at the skin
  • Hair loss
  • Scabs
  • Hot spots
  • Pale gums
  • Tapeworms

Symptoms of fleas on cats:

  • Droppings in the coat that look like small, dark grains of sand
  • Flea eggs that look like small white grains of sand
  • Itchy and irritated skin
  • Constant scratching
  • Chewing and licking the skin
  • Hair loss
  • Tapeworms
  • Pale lips and gums

Should you notice that your pet has fleas, it’s important to consult your veterinarian and act on the issue immediately so that you do not allow time for it to worsen. 

Flea treatment:

  • Topical or oral flea treatment
  • Thorough cleaning of your house
  • Lawn treatments if reinfection occurs
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