The constant scratching tipped you off, so you investigated further and found fleas on your dog. Now, what do you do? Well, there are a few options you have if faced with this situation. Some folks prefer some means of flea removal and prevention over other ways. Each option offers unique features that can apply to different situations effectively. You just need to consider your situation along with giving some thought as to your personal preferences. For example, are you comfortable with harsh chemical means of flea control, or are you more interested in all-natural products? Each offers different levels of time and energy invested and also have differing financial investments necessary. The chemical options may offer a little less need to go hands-on with your dog regularly. While the natural routes offer the bonus of having less adverse health effects possible. Let’s look at some of the most popular means and methods for dealing with fleas on your dog:
Flea Killing Shampoos
One of the first options you will come across in the flea control aisle is shampoos. There is a wide variety of possibilities in these products. When using shampoo, you will have the choice between a chemical-based shampoo and a naturally derived formula. Whichever option you go with, just follow the directions to the letter. Especially pay close attention to the time you let it sit on the dog before rinsing. This is important because it is the time during which the medications inside the product is working. So, your two options are:
Chemical Based Shampoos
Now, just because they use chemical pest control in some shampoos, doesn’t mean they are unsafe products to use. Each one has had to pass rigorous testing to reach your store’s shelves and can generally be trusted. Although, the instances of adverse reactions and problems such as indigestion after licking fur can occur. When choosing a shampoo, look for products that contain no sulfates or parabens, as these can be harmful to dogs. Most products on the shelves nowadays are up to date with the latest materials and ingredients. Almost all of these shampoos will offer safe relief from flea infestations for your pet.
There are many all-natural products in your local pet store or even grocery stores to pick from. Superior quality and effective shampoo will contain ingredients like tea tree extract and aloe vera. These products offer a less harsh effect on your hands and your dog’s skin. This makes the natural options a better choice for those puppies, or owners, with sensitive skin.
Diatomaceous Earth Powder
This is a little-known secret for dealing with and preventing flea issues for dogs. It is completely safe and comes in food grade for human consumption for unbelievably cheap. You just powder your dog up with it, heavily coating their fur. You repeat the process every few days for an infestation or every couple of weeks for prevention. They make the diatomaceous earth powder using finely crushed seashells and other similar items. So, while safe for skin, the crystal structures inside cut up the exoskeletons and eggs of fleas. Once they are cut open, both the fleas and eggs will quickly dry out and die. This is how it kills not only living fleas but also any future generations present. Also, considering that the way it works, it does not dry out your or your dog’s skin. This makes it an excellent choice for those with sensitive skin or pets with the same.
Anti Flea Collars
These are the option those who wish to take a more hands-off approach usually try. Often using anti-flea collars as their first line of defense. These are a suitable choice for dogs who spend a lot of their time outside roaming around an enormous yard. You simply slip one of these around your dog’s neck. While in place, it will offer 24/7 protection from fleas looking to make a meal of your pup. Just make sure you go with an up-to-date product and follow the directions closely. You must also monitor the state of your dog’s skin around and beneath the collar regularly. You do this to prevent any burning or adverse reactions from occurring and getting worse. Some dogs can handle these just fine while others may react to the medication on the collar. This is an option to try before the monthly medications you apply to your dog. The reason is that you can safely remove the collar if a reaction occurs. While you cannot as easily rinse away applied medication.
Monthly Applied Medications (Oral or Topical)
These have gained popularity over the years. They are a practical option for flea control that requires minimal effort from you as an owner. You just apply a small dose of liquid to your dog’s back or feed them a small treat-like medication. Sometimes monthly or sometimes, the applications are just every few months. So, as you may notice, this choice requires the least amount of your involvement. It is the most expensive option on the list, so not easily available to everyone. Also, this is not the go-to option for dogs with neurological disorders, such as epilepsy. The reason for this is that they may have side effects that can trigger seizures and other major issues. But rest assured, these problems occur in only a tiny percentage of dogs who are given these medications.
No matter what you choose, just act fast once you notice a flea problem, big or small. This will save your dog some misery and you from having issues of the fleas getting inside your home. If you get on top of the situation immediately, then you will save both of you some major aggravation. Some of the options, like shampoos and diatomaceous earth powder, can be used regularly in a preventative fashion. Using them on a regularly scheduled basis can prevent fleas from making a meal and home out of your dog.
Just go by the adage of, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!” Live that motto out, and you will have a happier, healthier dog on your hands.