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Seasonal Pet Tips in Dartmouth: Flea Basics & Prevention 101

Flea Prevention and ManagementOne of the most common seasonal pet tips that gets discussed regarding vet care for cats and dogs is how to prevent or get rid of fleas. Once you get fleas inside your home, it can be very difficult to get rid of them. They are not just a nuisance for our furry friends, but they can also go after humans and spread all sorts of disease and illness. Speak with your provider of veterinary care in Massachusetts for ways that you can keep your pet safe in the South Coast region when you visit your local Dartmouth animal hospital.

Tolerance & Life-Cycle
Is there such as thing as 100 percent flea prevention? Unfortunately, there are two factors that work against this ideal. The first is tolerance of the flea toward flea products. Just like other insects, fleas can become immune to some of the best insecticides on the market. So despite our best efforts, we can create an entire population that isn’t bothered by flea products. The best way to avoid creating these “super fleas” in your area, is to change out products every now and again. This will keep the fleas sensitive to the products that you use. You can also use a product known as a “flea sterilizer”, which will prevent a group of fleas that have become immune to insecticides from passing on the immunity gene to future generations.

The flea’s own life-cycle is the next detriment to 100 percent eradication of fleas from one’s home. While you might see a lot of adult fleas – and kill them – it is important to understand that nearly 60 percent of the fleas inside your home are in what is known as the larval stage. They spin themselves a tiny cocoon to live in – where they can stay for up to five months – as they develop into a pupa and then into an adult. They stay there until vibrations or the presence of carbon dioxide from a breathing animal provides it with the signal to emerge, jump on to the animal (or human) and start feeding. Flea products only work on emerged adult fleas, so even if you kill all of the adults there are still many more waiting to emerge.

Management & Prevention
The best way to 100 percent eliminate fleas from your home is to work together with your provider who specializes in vet care for cats and dogs to create a two-pronged attack. Your veterinarian at the Dartmouth animal hospital can help you to find safe and effective ways to enforce seasonal pet tips and prevention methods that will keep your home flea free. If you already have fleas, speak with veterinary care in Massachusetts about treatments that are appropriate for your pet and home, as well as flea combs, flea baths, flea and tick prevention medications and other options that will help you take control.

Basic sanitation techniques can also be applied to help get rid of flea larvae and stop the life-cycle from repeating. Here are some tips that every pet owner should employ to keep pests at bay. Doing these tasks will eliminate 30 percent of larvae and up to 60 percent of flea eggs and adult fleas!

  • change pet beds frequently & wash all blankets, pillows and washable cushions
  • vacuum thoroughly all furniture, carpets, beds and bedding
  • also vacuum underneath furniture, cushions, beds, chairs and at baseboards
  • if you have hardwood floors, vacuum the cracks thoroughly – fleas love to hide there
  • toss out vacuum bags immediately after cleaning

Keep your backyard and other areas where your pet goes outdoors properly trimmed. Fleas like trees, leaves and shrubs where they can find moist, cool and shady spots. Rake out leaves, trim back shrubs, keep trees trimmed and you will help to prevent any type of flea infestation outdoors. If you already have an outdoor infestation, speak with your Dartmouth animal hospital about suggestions for outside pest control, such as predatory nematodes which can be added to the soil, that have been effective in you area for treatment and are pet-friendly and safe.

An Ounce of Prevention
When it comes to fleas, ticks and vet care for cats and dogs, this is definitely a situation where the old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is accurate. The more you can do to prevent a flea infestation from ever happening in the first place is the very best seasonal pet tips that you can use year-round to protect your pets. Veterinary care in Massachusetts takes a pro-active approach, especially when it comes to preventable diseases, pest infestations and other harmful situations for area pets and the people who love them. For more information on how to keep your home pest-free and healthy, contact Anchor Animal Hospital by calling 508-996-3731. Whether you need a basic veterinary check-up or require vaccinations, treatments or emergency care, you can count on our Dartmouth animal hospital to take good care of your family pet.