Many pets are allergic to fleas and their bites cause FAD - Flea Allergy Dermatitis. For pets with FAD, a single flea bit can mean severe itching for a few weeks. That's why it's important to use a good form of flea prevention on your pet, especially if they have FAD.
|Photo via Sandy Schultz|
One thing I heard a lot from clients at the veterinary hospital was "Oh, he doesn't have fleas so we don't need any flea prevention" or "The dog only goes out to use the bathroom" or "The cat is indoor only". Let me just say that it's OK to admit that you saw a flea on your pet the other day. It's normal, it happens. You don't have to be in flea denial. And if you aren't in flea denial, have you ever actually looked for fleas on your pet?
When I was a vet tech, one of the clients nicknamed me "The Flea Girl". It's not exactly a name I was really proud of, but I got the name because about 80% (just guessing, it might actually be higher) of the pets that I saw at the hospital I would find a flea on.
Many clients' excuse was "Oh, he must of got that one single flea while he was here". Possible I suppose, but still unlikely. Especially since I just found another one.
Many pet parents these days like to try more natural solutions to the pesky flea problem. Which is fine, but you just need to be more diligent in using them. In many cases, natural flea products need to be used on a daily basis. You should probably be checking your dog or cat for fleas daily if you are using natural flea repellent products to make sure they are working. I do it with my own dog, especially when it warms up outside.
In fact, I was just checking her today and found 2 fleas. Uh oh! Time to get that flea prevention out. Here's what I do and where I look during Shiner's routine flea inspection. Fleas like to live in certain places on a dog or cat's body.
- First, check the back of the neck. Pull back the fur and look for moving black fleas or "flea dirt" which is flea poop. Check behind the base of the ears too.
- Next, check the base of your dog or cat's tail. Another popular spot for fleas on pets.
- Lastly, check the back of your pet's hind legs.
- Feel free to look all over your pet's body after checking these places, but just remember that these spots are favorites for fleas.
- Flea combs are a great tool to use, especially for cats.
Stay healthy and NOT itchy this Spring! If you're pro-active, you can nip the problem in the bud before it gets out of hand. Let us know what kinds of flea prevention you like to use for your dog or cat in the comments!