One of my greatest fears as a pet owner came true the other day...my dog has fleas.
My dog had been itching herself pretty constantly for the past month or so. She always has allergy flare ups this time of year, so I really didn’t think anything of it. In a few more weeks she’ll be fine when the temperatures really start to drop and fall is here.
It wasn’t until she came up and snuggled up against me on the couch that I noticed a bunch of bite marks and scabs under her fur. I immediately scheduled a vet visit, and figured they would give me some allergy medication for her to take.
Fast forward, and the second my vet starts to do an examination, a cluster of fleas was revealed deep in her fur. My heart immediately sank, and a million things rushed through my head. How long has she had fleas? How is it going to be treated? Will she be OK? Does my house need to be fumigated?
Luckily, my vet assured me that every thing would be fine, and we came up with a plan on how to get rid of these fleas. I always knew that fleas could be a threat to my dog, but you just never think that they’re going to come for your dog.
In a recent episode of Solutionaries, we talked about possible solutions people face when they have cats and dogs at home. Because of my dog having fleas, I’ve learned of a few possible solutions to dealing with fleas when your pet gets the pesky little bugs. Some are more obvious than others, but they were all (mostly) new information to me.
Let’s go over some possible solutions to dealing with fleas.
Flea and tick prevention
This is the most obvious way to make sure that your pets never gets fleas. There are a few different ways you can go about flea prevention. There are topicals (like Frontline), that you apply to the fur of your pet once a month, and there are also chewable pills they can take.
If you never want to deal with fleas, just make sure you’re doing your flea prevention with your pet. I forgot to this summer, which is most likely why my dog ended up getting fleas. Lesson learned!
Vacuum your home...a lot
The first thing the vet told me when my dog had fleas was to go home and wash all the bedding in my home, Second thing was to vacuum every surface of my home.
I didn’t know this, but fleas will lay eggs, and they love to lay them in carpets and couches. The vet gave my dog something that will kill all the fleas that were currently on her body, but if there are eggs that hatch on my carpet, it’s possible my dog could get them again.
It’s obviously a giant pain, but I’ve vacuumed every thing in my house every day since I found out she has fleas. It’s just a risk I am not willing to take. Plus, my house has never been cleaner before, and you can’t argue with a clean house, right?
Oh, and make sure you empty your vacuum cleaner outside into the trash! You don’t want those flea eggs to grow inside your trash and potentially get out again!
Spray your backyard with flea killer
If your dog doesn’t travel much, or spend time with other dogs, then they probably got fleas from your backyard. My dog just goes on walks, so I’m assuming she got fleas from my backyard. That means there are probably fleas growing in my backyard as I write this.
That’s why you may want to spray your backyard with some sort of flea killer. There are tons of different types on the market, but just do your research so that you’re buying the safest flea killer for your backyard. It may even be a good idea to spray your backyard at night, so you have lots of hours before your dog goes back there again.
Sprinkle baking soda on your carpet and couches
This was a tip I received from a friend who both of her dogs had fleas. She told me to dust baking soda all over my carpets and couches, and then vacuum it up. The idea is that the baking soda will kill any eggs that may be living in your carpet.
I’ve read online from PetMD that there is no evidence that baking soda will actually kill flea eggs, but it’s still not a bad idea to do, just for the peace of mind. Plus, it will leave your carpets smelling nice, so that’s an added bonus.
Have you ever experienced fleas? How did you get rid of them? Did you use any home remedies? Let us know in the comments!