Anyone who has been affected by fleas knows how irritating they can be. They sneak into your home and cause trouble for anyone involved. This is why preventing fleas is the most important step when owning a dog. Today we’re going to tell you how to prevent fleas in dogs and what you can do to keep your home free from these pests.
How To Prevent Fleas in Dogs
The old adage still holds true, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The saying works for fleas too. It’s so much easier to put a little bit of work in upfront so you don’t have a big mess to deal with later. The good news is that working to prevent fleas in your home isn’t difficult. Here are a several ways you can help to prevent fleas from taking hold on your pets:
There are many flea prevention products on the market that should work well for your dog. Some of these products come in a liquid form. Usually they instruct you to put a small amount of the product on their back. They suggest putting it in a spot that your dog will be less likely to get to as they should not ingest the medication.
There are also special shampoos you can buy to prevent fleas. You should give your dog a bath weekly with this medicated shampoo to help prevent they from catching fleas. Lastly, you may talk with your vet about medication your dog can ingest. These pills are usually given monthly to stop the spread of fleas.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Many health-conscious people have been speaking the praises of apple cider vinegar. ACV can make your salads taste great, but it can also be used to help prevent fleas on your dogs.
ACV doesn’t actually kill fleas or their eggs. Instead, it makes fleas not want to live on your dog. You can try adding one teaspoon of ACV to a quart of your dog’s drinking water. Adding this small amount should be effective at repelling fleas, but it won’t be enough to bother your dog’s appetite.
You can also make an ACV spray by mixing two parts vinegar and one-part water. Add the mixture to a spray bottle and spray it on your dog’s coat. Or if you prefer not to spray, dip a comb in the mixture and run it through your dog’s coat. Once the mix sinks in, you should have an effective flea prevention barrier.
As a side note, be sure to consult your vet before adding things to your dog’s diet or skin.
Neem oil derives from a tree that is native to India, and has been used for many years for its medical properties. To protect your dog from fleas, mix one-part neem oil and ten parts olive or grape oil. You don’t want to use full strength neem oil on your dog.
Once you’ve properly mixed your oils, dab just a small amount in trouble areas where fleas will infest. These places include their head, ears, tail, shoulders and behind. Just make sure you use it very sparingly. You don’t want your dog to lick the oil or get it on their nose or eyes.
Flea collars are a very popular method of keeping fleas away. They are very easy to use because all you have to do is open the package and put the collar on your dog. Just remember that a flea collar is not a substitute for a regular collar.
Flea collars can be used to prevent fleas, and some can even be used to treat an existing infestation. So be sure to read the package instructions and uses. Some collars can be effective for up to eight months, so be sure you know what type you’ve bought.
Diatomaceous earth is an effective powder that helps to keep all kinds of bugs away. It’s made from fossilized algae and is abrasive to the exoskeleton of many bugs. This means that it will irritate and eventually dispose of bugs quickly.
You can sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the house. It’s especially effective in carpets or other areas where your dog spends a lot of time. After a couple days have passed, go around and vacuum the powder up. That’s all you have to do. Just make sure you do not sprinkle diatomaceous earth directly on any animals as it will cause their skin to dry out.
Cedar chips are a bit more of a commitment. That said, fleas hate the smell of cedar and will avoid it. If you were going to mulch around the garden anyway, use cedar to provide your dog a little protection from fleas.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas Once You’ve Got Them
If your home is already infested, you likely have a big problem on your hands. Here are a few tips to help you make your house a flea-free sanctuary once again.
- Get flea medication for all animals in your home. Even if you have an “inside” cat, fleas can bounce between multiple animals.
- Be sure to bathe any pets you have with a medicated shampoo. This will help remove any “flea dirt” that provides nutrition to young fleas.
- Clean your home very well. Sprinkle a product like borax or diatomaceous earth around the house and let it sit for an hour or two. Be sure no one sits on the carpet until you have gotten it cleaned up.
- Clean all clothing and bedsheets on the hottest setting possible.
- Vacuum your home very well. Reach under couches and in couch cushions, and get all the little spots that you might overlook throughout the year.
Once you manage to get your home back to normal, be sure to continue using a flea preventative product throughout the year to keep your home safe from these pests.