Dog Flea Treatment

Discount Animal Products offers wide selection of quality dog flea treatment products at best prices.

Flea Treatment for Dogs

Fleas are a common parasite to infect dogs. Fleas (Ctenocephalides spp.) are very, very small, brown insects that live on the fur and skin of the dog, feeding on the dog’s blood.

Fleas make the affected dog very uncomfortable. They can also spread other parasites and diseases, and may cause anaemia or allergic dermatitis (Flea Allergy Dermatitis, or FAD) in some animals. Puppies and older dogs are particularly at risk of developing anaemia due to their reduced blood supply. In senior animals, other health conditions may also be impacted upon by anaemia caused by flea infestation. Flea allergy dermatitis is quite common in both cats and dogs, and if it is not treated, it can lead to bacterial or fungal infection of the skin in affected areas, and eventually the entire body, to the continual biting and scratching. This makes for an incredibly uncomfortable pooch!

How do I know if my dog has fleas?

  • Itching and scratching
  • Excessive grooming and biting
  • The appearance of crusty sores (these usually appear near the ears, neck and shoulders and at the tail base) due to allergic reaction to flea saliva
  • Small black specks of grit, which looks like ground pepper or dandruff in areas on your dog’s skin or in areas where he sleeps (this is actually digested and dried up flecks of blood!)
  • Pale gums (if the dog is anaemic).

The simplest way to tell if your dog has fleas, is simply to search through your dogs’s fur (even easier if you use a fine-toothed flea comb). Pay particular attention around the ears, neck and shoulders, and down the spine towards the tail base. Fleas are very small; about 2mm long, dark brown, with flat bodies. They have the remarkable ability to jump 150 times their own body length!

How do animals get fleas?

A single animal can be infested with hundreds of fleas. The more animals you have living in your home, the greater the potential for flea infestations. Fleas can live in your garden, in leaf litter or dirt, in your carpets, between floorboards, or any other place around the home in organic matter. They are able to remain dormant for long periods of time (sometimes months), waiting for the right environmental conditions for them to hatch and hitch a ride on a pet coming by.

How do I prevent and treat dog fleas?

Having a basic understanding of the flea lifecycle is very useful in managing flea infestations in your home. It is definitely cheaper and easier to prevent flea infestations in the first place, rather than having to treat them.

Dogs become infected by direct contact with another animal that has fleas, by contacting fleas in the environment, or when humans bring fleas into the house.  The flea lifecycle can be as short as 12-14 days, or as long as up to 180 days, but in typical household conditions the average flea lifecycle is 3-6 weeks.

Flea Life Cycle

 

Image credit: Bayer AG 2017

  1. The adult female flea lays her eggs, which then drop off the animal and fall into the environment.
  2. The flea egg hatches and the larva feeds on flea faeces and other organic debris in the environment. It then spins itself a cocoon and pupates.
  3. The pupa sits in the cocoon and waits for the right environmental conditions to emerge (warm and moist conditions are favourable).
  4. The adult flea hatches and feeds on your pets’ blood, and the female fleas lay their eggs, and the lifecycle continues.

Around 50-60% of fleas in the environment are in the form of flea eggs. Adult fleas account only for around 1-2% of the total fleas in the environment. The rest are larvae and pupae. When you realise this, it is easy to understand why it is so important to treat all the stages of the flea lifecycle with an appropriate product, not just the adult fleas. Also for this reason, a dog-friendly home flea treatment is just as important as treating the individual animal.

A quick search online will reveal that there are many products out there, and you may find yourself wondering “what is the best flea treatment for dogs?”. Selecting the best flea treatment for dogs will depend on your particular preferences and circumstances. Vet flea treatment for dogs such as Revolution for Dogs and Advocate for Dogs are the most popular and convenient choices as they offer ‘all-in-one’ protection against fleas, intestinal worms and heartworms. They come in the form of a little tube of liquid that you dispense onto your dog’s coat once a month. If you prefer to treat and prevent fleas alone, Advantage for Dogs is for you. Advocate and Advantage are fast acting flea treatments. They get to work within 3-5 minutes of application, providing fast relief and ongoing protection against parasites for the month.

If your dog takes flavoured chewable medications readily, Bravecto and Nexgard chews are excellent options. Bravecto is so convenient; it only needs to be gives once every three months, and provides protection against dog fleas and ticks. Nexgard is a monthly treatment.

If you prefer a treatment that requires almost no effort, Seresto Dog Flea and Tick Collars are a great choice. These are completely unlike traditional dog flea collars (whose efficacy is debatable). Seresto collars are made of a novel blend of materials, which when they come in contact with your pet’s skin, offer a controlled, slow release of the active ingredient over a period of 8 months. They provide excellent preventative dog flea treatment, and begin working against the fleas as soon as you put the collar on.

What about alternative dog flea treatments?

While there is a lot of information out there regarding alternative or ‘natural’, ‘holistic’-type flea treatments, none of these are actually clinically proven to be effective. Always ask for your vet’s recommendation, but generally speaking, veterinary-grade dog flea treatments are the most effective. Basic practices such as daily vacuuming (and empting the vacuum or bag when you’re finished), washing pets bedding, and perhaps dusting outdoor areas with flea powders to rid them of flea eggs and larvae are definitely helpful, but these are best used as complimentary treatment and control methods alongside your dog’s regular flea medications.

No doubt, there are many options when you are looking to buy flea treatment for dogs. You can rest assured that whichever product you choose, when you shop with us here at Discount Animal Products, you’ll be getting the best price flea treatment for dogs, and you’ll only be buying dog flea treatments that work!