Summertime is here! That means it’s time for sun, fun, and…fleas? Indoor climate control allows fleas to exist year-round, but, like many other pests, fleas thrive in warm, humid weather. Not only are fleas uncomfortable for your pet, but they may also carry diseases as well as other more harmful parasites that can endanger your pet’s health.
Fleas are incredibly common and very hard to avoid, but following these tips should help keep your pet flea-free this season.
1. Preventative Flea Medication
Don’t wait for your pet to become infested to start applying a monthly topical flea preventative. Better to avoid the whole skin-crawling ordeal altogether and just apply a preventative every month (yes, even in winter). Ask your veterinarian to recommend a product.
2. Limit Outdoor Time
If you have an indoor/outdoor pet, try to limit her time spent outside during flea season—even if there are no other animals outside, fleas may be living and breeding in your yard or other outdoor spaces. That being said, places such as dog parks which see a lot of animal traffic are especially likely to harbor fleas and should be avoided if your pet isn’t being treated with preventative medication. Additionally, if your pet always lives indoors, try to limit her interactions with pets that spend a lot of time outdoors, as outdoor pets are much more likely to pick up fleas and transfer them to indoor pets.
3. Vigilant Grooming
If you can’t entirely prevent your pet from picking up fleas, the next best thing is to catch the infestation early. Groom your pet as often as possible (daily is best) with a fine-toothed comb. Focus on areas where fleas are likely to be hiding—your pet’s back, groin, hindquarters and the base of her tail. Using this grooming method will enable you to see fleas (and their eggs and larvae) as soon as they start appearing on your pet and you will be able to control the infestation before it gets out of hand.
4. Clean Space, Clean Pet
Make sure to regularly wash all pet bedding, rugs, and other fabrics your pet comes in contact with. Carpets and furniture should be vacuumed weekly and vacuum bags or canisters should be dumped and disposed of immediately. This should help to control any existing flea problems and prevent pet-to-fabric or fabric-to-pet flea transfer.
Have any flea prevention tips of your own? Share in the comments below!