Dog is man’s best friend and most people treat their furry pet guards as part of their families. This means that dogs also receive utmost care from their owners, which include food, shelter, clothing, health, and love. With regard health, dogs are usually infested by fleas, which are wingless parasites that have mouthparts designed for piercing their skin and sucking their blood. But how can dog owners manage and prevent the fleas?
According to Pet Education, adult fleas spend most of their time on their hosts, such as dogs, while their eggs, larva, and pupa can be found in the dog’s surroundings. As per the publication, simple household items like rugs, carpet, and bed sheets may contain a number of them. Thus, flea management stands as a process requiring multiple steps, which covers treating one’s pet and the environment.
The use of a flea collar is a prodigious way to get rid of fleas without the application of topical agents; thus, allowing a consistent approach to flea control, according to Everyday Roots. As per the publication, one will need 3 to 5 drops of lavender oil or cedar oil, 1 to 33 tablespoons of water, an eye dropper (optional), and the dog’s collar or bandana. The person dilutes 2 to 3 drops of oil in 1 to 3 tablespoons of water. About 5 to 10 drops of the mixture is applied to the bandana and are rubbed to the sides of the fabric together. A bandana is selected to be the flea collar and it is preferred over a regular dog collar, since it can be taken on and off and it does not smell. The bandana is tied around the dog’s neck and the oil mixture is reapplied to it every week. Along with the use of a flea collar, 1 to 2 drops of the oil diluted with about a tablespoon of olive oil can also be applied to the base of the dog’s tail.
Aside from the flea collar, shampoos and flea combs can be used to treat fleas and prevent them from coming back. According to Pet Education, flea and tick shampoos can be used to get rid of the parasite thriving on one’s pet dog. They can be effectively used by working the shampoo over the dog’s whole body and is left on for at least 10 minutes before rinsing it off. Some shampoos also contain pyrethrins, contact poison that immediately penetrate the nervous system of an insect. The use of flea combs is also beneficial to one’s pet dog, since he loves the strokes of the comb through his coat. Also, flea combs are non-toxic and can be safely used on juvenile, ill, or pregnant dogs. As per the publication, the comb should have 32 teeth and the fleas that are combed off are placed in detergent water to kill them. The main disadvantage of using flea combs is it takes significant amount of time combing the dog’s fur, especially in breeds like shih tzu, along with its inefficiency when it comes to dogs with flea bite hypersensitivity.
A mixture of lemon and water can also be used when using flea combs. According to Everyday Roots, lemons contain a chemical called limonene, which acts as flea killer and repellant that is harmless to dogs. Few slices of freshly cut lemon are added to a pot of water and the mixture is let steep overnight. Then, the comb or brush is dipped in the cooled mixture and is run through the dog’s fur. Sponge can be used as an alternative for dogs with very short fur.
Overall, dog fleas can be managed with proper hygiene and sanitation of the dog, as well as its internal and external environment. Regular appointment with the veterinarian also helps check the general health status of one’s pet dog.