Fleas are as insidious as cockroaches, and as hardy. When the world ends, it may be difficult to tell which pesky creature will be the last one standing. Fleas can set up shop in your home without you realizing the extent of the infestation until it’s too late. Playing catch-up and tackling a flea infestation that has set in can take months, and multiple pesticide applications, to fully eradicate.
The best method of handling a flea infestation is to prevent one from occurring. To achieve this goal, every pet in your family must be treated with a high quality flea preventive on an appropriate schedule. Follow the three golden rules of proper flea prevention:
- Treat all pets — Treat every single pet, whether they’re indoor-only, or outside for only a few minutes per day.
- Use only the best — Use a high quality flea preventive, not the least expensive product you can find online. Some products contain ingredients that can pose a health risk to your pet.
- Stick to a schedule — Follow the appropriate flea prevention schedule. Do not skip doses, or try to stretch them longer than they are labeled for. Some products last three months or longer, so set reminders and stick to the correct schedule, to avoid a lapse in protection.
Your pet may never venture a whisker outdoors, but flea prevention is still a vital component of their overall health and wellness plan. Indoor-only pets can be attacked by fleas, and suffer from tapeworms, irritation, and hot spots, like pets who explore the outdoors. These sneaky bugs can lurk in your environment for a long time, occasionally popping back up to feed on your pet, so stick to a regular flea prevention routine to avoid issues.
How fleas can be carried indoors
Fleas are sneaky pests, and can enter your home in a variety of ways, so your pet does not need to be outside to pick up fleas. Take a look at how crafty these ectoparasites are:
- Fleas can hitch a ride on your pant legs or shoes, and then leap off once indoors to find a tasty meal.
- Fleas can jump in open doors, windows, or tiny tears in door or window screens to seek out their ideal prey.
- Fleas can pounce on your dog when outdoors, and leap off as soon as they enter your home, since not all flea prevention repels these parasites, and may kill fleas only after they’ve bitten your pet.
If there’s a way to get indoors, fleas have the will. Their favorite meals are dogs and cats, and they are in-tune with finding their next victim, regardless of any wood, brick, or siding that stands in the way. Since fleas are so gifted at getting indoors, the only way to truly protect all your pets, indoor-only ones included, is to invest in high quality, year-round flea control for each pet.
Flea control options
Fortunately for your furry friend, Mill Creek Animal Hospital offers a wide range of flea prevention options designed to suit your pet’s needs. The three main flea prevention types include:
- Topical flea prevention — Many people choose topical flea preventives for their cats, since not all cats are amenable to pills or chewable tablets. Dogs who are wise to the pill-stuffed-in-a-hot-dog trick also do well with topical flea prevention. You can choose from a monthly product, or one administered every three months. Some flea prevention products also prevent heartworms, ticks, or intestinal parasites as an added bonus.
- Oral flea prevention — If you’re not a fan of a greasy residue on your pet’s fur for a day or so as the topical prevention absorbs, a pill or chewable tablet may be a better option. Some pets are chowhounds, and will scarf down pills without any disguise, while others can be tempted by the tasty flavorings and soft chew form of various oral flea preventives. Similar to topical flea preventives, some products can last up to three months, and can also protect your pet against heartworms, ticks, and intestinal parasites.
- Collar flea prevention — The least popular flea prevention option is a flea collar. Most inexpensive products you purchase at a store are relatively ineffective, if they work at all. Pets are prone to react to flea collars, so avoid those not veterinary-approved. You may like to try the Scalibor and Seresto collars, which have been rigorously tested to be safe and effective for months at a time—the Seresto collar, in fact, can protect your pet against fleas and ticks for up to eight months.
To search for high quality flea prevention products for your pet, take some time to peruse our online pharmacy for a product that suits your needs. If you are unsure which flea prevention option will work best for your indoor-only pet, contact our office, and we can walk you through the various products to ensure your furry pal is protected.