Oral vs. Topical Flea Medication for Dogs
Posted by Fuzzy Help on
Fleas are one the most frustrating problems encountered by pet parents. If you are wondering how to get control once-and-for-all, then we have the answers for you. There are many reasons why your flea control program may not be completely successful, but with a comprehensive approach, you can keep your furry friend flea-free all year.
Let’s start with the flea life cycle. Adult fleas live on your dog or cat where they feed and lay eggs. The eggs fall off into the environment where they go through several growth stages, called larvae and pupae. This part is important - only 5% of the fleas are the adults that you see on your pet. The other 95% are the eggs, larvae and pupae, that you can’t even see, and they are living in your carpet, bedding and yard.
Your parasite control plan must address the whole flea life cycle. Use a product that kills adults on the pet and helps control the other stages, too. Pay attention to your environment to remove the babies before they emerge and jump back on your pet. The pesky pupae are pre-adult fleas that are encased in a cocoon and they can survive in the environment for months. They are hunkered down in your home, so you should wash bedding and vacuum floors and furniture to get rid of them.
Be sure you treat every animal in your home, even the cat that never goes outside. Any animal can act as a reservoir for fleas. Animals wandering through your yard can drop off flea eggs and provide a fresh new crop just waiting for your furry friend to pass by and pick them up to start the cycle all over again. The lesson here, don’t stop treating your pet just because you aren’t currently seeing fleas.
Be careful to use the right product, in the right way, and at the right time. Do not apply a dog product to a cat - they require different dosing and some dog products are toxic to cats. Don’t divide doses between pets and do not skip or delay dosing. Also be sure to apply topical products directly to the skin of your pet and not simply on the top of the fur. The pet must also be dry when the product is applied in order for it to work properly.
Does your pet get frequent baths or go swimming a lot? Most flea products are water-resistant, but not completely water-proof. Talk to your veterinarian about options if you have a dog who is frequently wet.
Finally, don’t give up. Even a few fleas can be uncomfortable and spread disease. If you are really struggling, reach out to Fuzzy and we can help find the right solution for you and your beloved pet.