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Win the War in Dog Grooming - Control Those Fleas!

Posted by Awesome Doggies

Every year many dog owners fight the same battle: the fight against fleas. You groom and bathe him. But during your next dog grooming session, you use that flea comb and discover white and black specks; the white spots are their eggs and the black is, well, flea poop. Oh no, here we go again! Those pesky bloodsuckers still managed to take up residence in your dog’s fur—and they don’t even pay you rent! Instead they cause your dog to scratch and, in severe infestations, anemia; they could even give him a disease such as tapeworm or typhus.

So how do you rid your beloved canine of fleas? Well, you have to understand some flea basics first.


Flea Facts

To completely eliminate fleas, you must upset their productive cycle. A humid, moist environment is just what fleas love to live in—which explains why they aren’t much of a problem in the winter months.

If an adult flea doesn’t have a host to live in and feed on, it’ll be dead within a few days; yet once it calls a dog home, it’ll survive for 4 months! After a nice blood meal, the male will find a female and they’ll “get it on”. Once she gives birth, the eggs fall off and then hatch wherever they lay—on your sofa, underneath your bed covers, in your rugs, etc. Then one day, those baby fleas will go off and find their own place to live….that could be another of your pets or even you. Then the entire cycle begins again.

This is why it’s important to not only kill the adult fleas, but every last egg and larva as well.

Popular Products

Most of the older remedies were poisonous to your pooch; but the new products of today are less harmful and provide him with better protection against fleas. Each veterinarian has their own preference as to which treatment they like better. But usually there are three well-known selections: pills which you give to your mutt monthly, a spot-on that’s applied between his shoulders every month and sprays for your yard that work for about 3 months. While some of these choices are expensive, the good thing is that they work!

  • Advantage II – Containing the active ingredient imidacloprid, this waterproof spot-on liquid will kill fleas in 12 hours that are presently on your dog. If your pup has lice, this topical kills them too.
  • K9 Advantix II – This liquid medical treatment is waterproof and contains permethrin and imidacloprid. It kills fleas, ticks and mosquitoes in 12 hours.
  • Program Flavor Tabs – These pills contain lufenuron and are to be given monthly.
  • Frontline Plus – This waterproof topical has S-methoprene and fipronil. Within 24-48 hours, fleas in every life stage and ticks will be dead.
  • Capstar – A pill consisting of nitenpyram is given daily to your pooch. It’ll start killing those fleas in just 30 minutes!
  • Revolution – This spot-on waterproof liquid consists of selamectin. Kills not only fleas but heartworms and ticks too.
  • Sentinel Flavor Tabs or Spectrum – This pill, given once a month, kills and prevents fleas; but also protects against heartworms, hookworms, roundworms and whipworms. Spectrum prevents and kills all of those plus tapeworms. 
Here in San Diego our fleas are quite spunky and in some parts of town the fleas have become immune to certain chemicals. Capstar is a brief satisfactory solution—but do you really want to give your pooch a pill each day? While many people have had good luck with Frontline Plus and you may see some terrific sales online or in stores for these other products, most of them aren’t that effective on our tough fleas.

Even though we haven’t explored it here, there are some excellent natural flea control remedies for your pets as well as your home that you could try too.  (Lily, find and link with our previous blog posts that talk about natural flea control)
Many dog owners—and those owned by cats—think that flea and tick collars will work; especially if they purchase those costly electronic flea collars. The truth is, none of these collars do a very good job. Why? Flea collars use only one active ingredient, permethrin, and fleas have built up a tolerance to it.

If you find that there isn’t any over-the-counter product that rids your dog of those troublesome fleas, speak with your veterinarian about a prescription for Comfortis. We find that product works the best for our Awesome pups, but it does require a veterinary prescription.

Help! The Flea Cleanup Didn't Work

You've had a groomer out to clean up your dog for fleas, but now what? Well, there are three other things you need to do to complete the process of ridding your life (and your dog’s) of those horrible critters.

Provide treatment for all. If you have a multi-pet household, you can’t treat just your infected dog. In order to rid your home of fleas, you have to use that product on all of your fur babies.
Your home will need treatment. For controlling fleas inside, sprays and foggers are a good solution. Make sure you just buy non-toxic, safe for pets, indoor-use only insecticidal sprays and foggers. Also, a thorough vacuuming once a week is helpful—and don’t forget to vacuum underneath mattresses and cushions. That’s a popular flea hangout! Be sure to remove the bag from your vacuum cleaner, wrap in plastic, and dispose.
Your yard might need treatment too. If you have suspicions that fleas are coming from your yard, call a pest control company, or buy a spray that will kill fleas but isn’t harmful to people or animals.
There’s no doubt that fleas are irritating—to both you and your pup—but they could also damage your dog's health. If you use the newest product available and stick with a constant flea control method, your pooch can be safe and comfy from almost all flea issues. That will make your dog very happy—and you too!

The next step is to get your cherished dog on a regular bath and grooming schedule. That’s where we come in! Contact us today to make an appointment.
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