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Posted August 21st, 2012 under Austin Pet Sitting

How to Protect Your Pet from Fleas

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How to Protect Your Pet from Fleas

A responsible pet owner knows how important it is to ensure a measure of protection from fleas for their beloved pet. Fleas are wingless, blood-sucking parasites that feed on humans and animals alike. There are over 2000 types of fleas and mostly specific to the kind of animals they invade. However on the home-front, it is always the cat and dog fleas that are most prevalent.

Why Are Fleas Bad For Your Pet And You?

In 99.9% of all flea infestation problems, the most common nuisance is the canine and feline fleas. Fleas can cause a number of diseases in pets and humans. In most cases, flea bites will cause skin irritation. In the absence of proper protection from fleas, these bites may lead to other conditions that include dermatitis due to allergy, flea anemia, cat scratch fever that are detrimental to the humans, tapeworm infection to the intestines of pets and humans and sometimes to the extent of life-threatening infections on your pet. Flea bites transmit bacteria that can also cause Lyme disease to animals and humans.

Many pet owners do not realize that fleas can kill. A heavy infestation by these blood-sucking parasites can slowly but surely cause life-threatening blood loss. Therefore, adopting precautions to protect pets from fleas with preventative medication is easier and less expensive than controlling an infestation. It would be an even costlier affair to treat your pet for an illness caused by the infestation later on.

How to Detect a Flea Infestation?

Your pet's protection from fleas starts with early detection. The easiest way to notice any signs of flea problem is when your pet is continually scratching itself. It is even more likely if your pet spends a lot of time outdoors. Check your pet's bedding to detect any salt-and-pepper looking grains as these could be the flea eggs and faeces. If you rub them with a small amount of water and the grains turn red, it is evident that you have a flea infestation. This is because flea faeces contain the dried blood of your pet. To protect pets from the fleas, you may also want to look under your pet's coat, especially around the neck and base of its tail where fleas prefers to lay their eggs. Sometimes, it is easy to notice adult fleas crawling on top of the fur or scabs on your pet's skin caused by flea bites.

How to Get Rid Of Fleas?

A positive detection of fleas means getting an urgent measure not only to protect pets, but to treat any harmful effects that are developing. There are several methods to use but it is would be wise to consult a veterinarian to get a more effective result. The most basic method is to put a flea collar round your pet's neck to keep the fleas off. Topical treatments are available from the veterinarian or any pet store. With proper consultation from the veterinarian, oral medications may be required if there is indication of internal larvae infestation.

In general, a basic and regular home grooming regimen is the best protection from fleas for your pet. Complementing the basic grooming kit, you can add in a flea shampoo, powder or dip that can help remove those minor once-in-a-while flea invasions. Spotting them early means stopping the invasion from becoming a major infestation. Flea combs can be helpful too as it removes up to 60% of the fleas on your pet. Getting rid of the fleas on your pet does not end there. For more protection from fleas, you will have to clean house too.

Always remember that when you adopt measures to protect pets from fleas, you are also taking preventive measures to protect you and your family from the detrimental effects of flea invasion.

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