Don’t Stop Worrying About Fleas
Summer may be at an end, but the evenings drawing in mean one good thing – we don’t have to worry about fleas for a few months, do we? Actually this is not true.
PDSA statistics show sales of flea treatments drop around 20% during the winter months. Many owners simply do not realize that fleas are just as active in the winter as the summer months, however contrary to popular belief, vets say fleas do survive during the winter months and your dog’s make the perfect transport to bring them in to your home. Our central heating then provides an ideal breeding ground for fleas as they thrive in these warm conditions.
If you don’t want to share your nice warm home with some unwanted guests, you must take steps to rid your pets of these parasites by carrying out continuous year-round treatment – and that includes the winter months.
There are several ways to achieve this, but the most common are spot-on, oral or flea collars.
Spot-On Flea Treatments
Spot-on flea treatments are by far the most popular. They generally come in pipettes and the liquid is usually applied once per month. They are applied to the scruff of the dog’s neck, directly on the skin with the fur parted, although larger dogs may need the treatment applied to several areas.
There are several common spot-on treatments, but the most often recommended are Bayer’s K9 Advantix II and Merial’s Frontline Plus. They are both effective and generally safe for your dog, aside from the risk of skin irritation, however Advantix generally edges Frontline as it kills a wider range of parasites and repels fleas and ticks to further reduce the risk of your dog picking them up in the first place. However it should be noted that chemicals Advantix uses are poisonous to cats, so in this case Frontline may be the best choice if you share your home with cats as well as dogs.
Oral Flea Treatments
There are an increasing number of oral flea treatments that are put into your dog’s food around once a month. When a pet is treated with one of these, the treatment circulates in the dog’s bloodstream harmlessly. Then, if a flea bites the pet, it ingests the treatment. Some of these treatments simply kill the flea but others use an insect growth regulator.
Once a flea has this in its system it renders its eggs unable to hatch or the larvae unable to grow into adults.
Dog Flea Collars
While topical flea and tick medications work fantastically well for most dogs, some do have reactions. So if your dog has had trouble with spot-on or oral treatments or your veterinarian has advised against them, a flea collar can be an excellent alternative.
Flea collars might sound like an old fashioned thing, but with the advances in technology they now deliver the same chemicals used on spot-on treatments and so provide virtually the same level of protection too. So for roughly the same price as six months of spot-on or oral treatment, collars like the market leader Seresto work for eight months.
Of course there are disadvantages as, like any collar they can get pulled off as your dog goes through undergrowth. It should also be noted that while these collars and the treatments are water-resistant, if your dog spends a lot of time in water the collar will need to be replaced every 5 months.
Even though it is getting colder outside, do not let your guard down. If you treat your dog’s right through the year, you are less likely to need to deal with an infestation in your house. Of course you should ask your vet on the suitability of these products for your dog and the hunting you do with them, but get the right one and you will make both your dog and home far happier.
At HuntEmUp.com, we know sporting dogs. From the time they’re a puppy, through their senior years, we’ll keep you informed on the latest news and information. For more information on Training, Preparing and Caring for your Dogs, read our Hunting and Sporting Dog blog.
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