If dogs or cats are a part of your family, then you’re likely familiar with fleas. These annoying pests cause all levels of discomfort and pain to pets, and can even infest your home if the problem is not addressed quickly enough. Luckily, you can take preventative measures to avoid fleas altogether! Let’s see what a veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ has to say about the best ways to prevent flea infestations:
- Wash your pet’s bedding regularly: It’s recommended that you change your bed sheets once a week for good health and hygiene. This same principle applies to your pet’s bedding, because washing your pet’s bed covers, blankets and even plush toys in hot water can kill fleas and flea eggs.
- Vacuum your house often: Houses with cats, dogs and other fur-covered animals need to be vacuumed twice a week or more to keep fleas at bay, especially since pet hair and dander attracts fleas. Be sure to vacuum floors, furniture, drapes, throw pillows, underneath furniture and in tight corners, and use the nozzle and upholstery tools to reach as much fur as possible. If you discover that your pet has fleas, give them a flea treatment and then vacuum the entire house and upholstery items—and be thorough. Consider vacuuming several days in a row for better assurance that no fleas or flea eggs remain in your home.
- Clean up your backyard: When the weather is nice, pets love to hang out outside on patios and decks. You can take preventative measures against fleas by sweeping dirt, dust, leaves and other yard debris from patios and decks daily, and by cleaning these surfaces with soapy water every so often. Pets also enjoy lying on lawns. Mow frequently, since fleas like to hide in tall grass.
- Use a flea shampoo on pets: Bathing pets in warm water using a flea shampoo on a regular basis may protect them against fleas. Apply a vet-approved flea and tick shampoo all over your wet pet and work it into their fur, making sure to get under leg pits and the groin area. Rinse and dry your pet thoroughly. How often you should bathe your pet to avoid fleas depends on whether they are outside a lot and how prone they are to getting fleas.
- Get a flea comb: The purpose of a flea comb is to expose fleas, remove fleas, eggs and larvae and comb away loose fur and trapped debris. Don’t panic if you find a few fleas during a combing session. Just get your pet in a flea bath and on a flea control treatment before the fleas multiply!
- Start a flea control treatment: While washing pet bedding, bathing pets and using a flea comb are good ways to combat fleas, your pet should be receiving a continuous flea control treatment, like a flea collar, drops, chews or a spray.
Do you need flea prevention advice? Does your dog or cat have fleas? Contact Newkirk Family Veterinarians immediately to schedule an appointment with an experienced veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ.