Home Infestations: Why Your Pet Needs Protection from 1-800-PetMeds

posted: 05/05/2015      view all 1-800-PetMeds coupon posts    Print
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Home Infestations: Why your pet Needs Protection
Dr. Dym's Advice For Your Pet
Hi Pet parent,

Is your pet prepared for flea season?

Clients always ask me, "Dr. Dym, is it a good idea to use flea prevention treatments all year round?"

The answer is, "Absolutely", and the most important time to treat is in the spring.

This is the time of year when dormant fleas hatch from their cocoons, and they're hungry for blood. That's why spring is the worst time of year for pets to be unprotected. Once your pet gets fleas, be prepared for an all-out war as they breed and continue to multiply in your home.

Let me share this "horror story" about a dog named Lucy.
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A Surprising Tale

Last spring, her pet parents noticed Lucy chewing and licking her coat. When they examined Lucy they found two little fleas. Lucy got a flea dip. After that, Lucy seemed fine and her pet parents thought their problem was solved.

That was in April. At the end of May, Lucy and her family headed to their vacation home for the summer. Lucy still showed no evidence of fleas.

Three months later, the happy family returned home from vacation and everything seemed to be fine. But they woke up the next morning itchy and covered with flea bites - and Lucy was at the foot of the bed, desperately scratching and chewing at her coat. That's when they realized that their home was infested with thousands of fleas!

There's a good lesson to be learned here. It's never just one or two fleas. If you see just one flea, there could already be more than 100 offspring and adult fleas living in your home. It's those GENERATIONS of fleas that follow that turn an annoying problem into a full-blown nightmare.
Discover: Reveal the hidden world of fleas »
How fleas multiply
How fleas multiply

Fleas can live about 100 days and produce 2,000 offspring in their lifetime.

While one adult flea is feeding on your pet's blood, it will lay up to 50 eggs a day. The eggs fall off and nest in your carpets, blankets and cushions. In less than two weeks, those eggs turn into larvae.

A week later, the larvae spin silk cocoons. They emerge from the cocoons as adult fleas. In ideal conditions, this can happen in a week. But fleas can adapt to their environment. They can live for a long time without food.

When temperatures are cold or when there are no animals to feed on, developing fleas can stay inside that cocoon for up to a full year! When they finally sense a blood supply nearby, they emerge as adult fleas with very healthy appetites - ready to consume 15 times their body size in blood!
What you can't see can hurt you
What you can't see can hurt you

Here's the lesson. You may not see a flea, but that doesn't mean it's not there.

Flea season starts in the spring, but it is a year-round problem. Fleas flourish in the warm temperatures of spring and summer. But when temperatures drop, only the outdoor flea population remains dormant inside their cocoons. The fleas living inside your warm home will continue to mature and multiply, which is why your pet needs year-round protection. When you treat only the pet and ignore the home environment, 90% of that developing flea population will survive to continue the nightmare.

The best advice is to prevent the problem before it starts by using a good preventative flea treatment. And if your pet does have fleas, early detection and treatment will help control the severity of the situation.
Why your pet is at risk?
Why your pet is at risk

Dogs love to be outdoors, and spring is your pet's favorite time of year. The same is true if you have an outdoor cat. After being cooped up in the house all winter, our pets want nothing more than to get outside and start exploring! They love the warm weather. Our pets love being outdoors at this time of year, but spring is the most dangerous season for fleas. And the outdoor activities our pets love increase their risk of exposure to fleas, ticks and other parasites.

Even indoor cats need protection. Other pets can bring fleas inside the home. Flea eggs can attach to your shoes or clothes and be brought into the house where they will quickly develop and multiply. They can also get into your home or patio enclosure when doors and windows open and close. So even if your cat is not roaming around outdoors, flea exposure is still a problem.

Fleas will continue to feed on your pet's blood throughout their lifespan. And generations to come will do the exact same thing. A flea can consume up to 15 times its own body weight in blood. So as they continue feeding on your pet, significant blood loss can occur over time. your pet could even develop anemia. And if your pet is sensitive to flea saliva, a single bite can cause an allergic reaction.
How to tell if your pet has fleas

Monitor your pet for fleas on a regular basis. Check your pet's coat thoroughly with a good flea comb. Look for fleas, eggs and "flea dirt" (the discharge fleas leave on your pet's skin). It looks like specks of black pepper. Watch your pet for these signs:

Read Itching, chewing and licking
Read Skin lesions, hot spots or scabs
Read Hair Loss
Prevention and Treatment

The best way to deal with flea infestations is to prevent them before they happen. For the best protection, treat your pet year-round. Use a good treatment like K9 Advantix II®, Flea4X Plus, Frontline Plus, NexGard, Trifexis and more. They are safe and easy to use.

Once fleas are detected, act quickly and be thorough. If you skip any of these steps, your problem could continue.

Read Treat your pet
Read Treat any other pets in the home - even if they are indoor pets or if they appear symptom-free
Read Treat your environment - both inside and outside your home. The appropriate treatment method will depend on the severity of the problem.
I hope this information helps you protect your pet and your home from flea infestations all year round.

Until next time,
Dr. Michael Dym
P.S. Always be careful to follow dosage instructions. Each treatment is developed specifically for the type, size and weight of the pet. Never use a dog treatment on your cat. Don't use your big dog's treatment for smaller dogs. These medications are safe when used as directed, so always follow product and veterinary recommendations.

P.P.S. Remember, the outdoor activities your pets love increase their risk of contracting fleas. But even for an inside pet, the risk is very real. The only solution is to regularly check your pet for signs of flea infestation, and never let a flea problem go untreated.
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