How To Keep Your Dog Free of Fleas

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How To Keep Your Dog Free of Fleas

by Kelly Marshall



Fleas are more than just disgusting; they will carry several serious diseases, parasites and even weaken your dog?s immune system. Also, fleas can bite the other pets & people in your house, leading to infestations, allergic reactions and possibly allergies & skin rashes. Fleas can be found almost everywhere on Earth, although they are usually more abundant in warm climates and in more southern or tropical locations. Keep in mind that dogs in kennels or anywhere where they frequently interact with other dogs are at a higher risk for flea infestations since not all dog owners are responsible with flea prevention.

Luckily, there are many effective topical solutions and other vet prescribed treatments to control & eliminate fleas in the house and on your dog?s body. Several of the herbal and homeopathic flea controls are not quite as effective but still serve a purpose. There are also many ineffective and bogus over-the-counter flea control products that just don?t work. Before picking flea control program, discuss with your vet and decide what will be the best approach for you and your dog.

The Life Cycle of a Flea

Despite being very annoying, fleas really do have an amazing life cycle and it is easy to see why they are so abundant around the world. A flea?s whole lifecycle protects them and gives them the best possible opportunity to reproduce, which they do in very large numbers. To understand the life cycle of the flea the stages will be outlined below:

Eggs ? the eggs are spawned in your dog?s hair and are not attached to the root, instead, they are just deposited on the skin. This means that the eggs can drop off the dog onto bedding (yours or theirs), furniture, or even onto other pets. These eggs can survive for years under the right conditions. Each female flea can lay roughly 15-20 eggs per day and about 600 eggs during her entire lifespan. The eggs hatch very quickly in time periods ranging from a two days to two weeks, depending on the climate and other conditions.

Larva ? roughly 30% of the fleas on a dog are in the larva stage at any given time. There are actually three distinct stages to larva but it is essential to understand that the larva are blind and avoid light at all costs. Dark areas are where they prefer to live. Creases in bedding and furniture are prime locations for larva to be discovered. They eat dried blood found in adult flea feces and dead skin. During this time they are not a true since they do not really suck blood or affect the dog?s health. The larva stage will last between two weeks to a month or longer.

Pupa ? the larva spins a cocoon and develops for between five days to fourteen days. During this time they do not eat anything but the cocoon might cause irritation to the dog?s skin if it is on the body or in the bedding.

Adult fleas ? adult fleas are the ones that do the biting and cause irritation. They bite the skin & suck small amounts of blood from the host, be it a dog, cat, other animal or human. Fleas will cause allergic reactions in most species that lead to scabs, dry and flaky patches of skin and possibly hair loss. Adult fleas will not reproduce without ingesting blood, but they can drop into a form of hibernation for many months if there is no blood available.

Be sure to plan for routine flea control and management for your dog. Carefully watch for any of the signs of fleas, like flea dirt, in the dog?s coat. Flea dirt looks like small round dark balls that appear similar to large, black sand grains close to the skin. This is a positive sign of flea infestations and requires immediate treatment.

Shop today for flea control products & unique dog supplies such as raised dog feeders, high quality pet beds, and dog bowls at Oh My Dog Supplies. And for more high quality dog articles, check for more from Kelly Marshall.



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