How to Rid Your Dog of Fleas

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How to Rid Your Dog of Fleas
 

Most animals will suffer from flea infestations at some stage in their lifetime; many will catch fleas at least once a year. Your pet’s susceptibility will depend on its lifestyle and the amount of contact it has with other animals.

The majority of fleas you have to tackle will be ctenocephalides felis, a cat flea. If dealt with quickly, these fleas are not dangerous to the animal. But because they feed on blood, fleas can quickly cause problems for animals and humans.

Consequences of Flea Infestations in Dogs

If you fail to deal with fleas swiftly, there are consequences for both your dog and your family:

  • The dog may become more troubled by fleas and may scratch and bite his fur to remove them. This can cause infections and bald patches and will require immediate veterinary treatment.
  • Your dog may contract tapeworms, which are carried by fleas.
  • Fleas may spread to other animals that visit your home, widening the circle of infestation.
  • Fleas that become established in the home may lay eggs in soft furnishings, rugs and carpets, making them more difficult to treat.
  • If a flea infestation is allowed to take hold, you may eventually need to employ a professional to deal with the problem.

The most affordable way to deal with fleas is to purchase the supplies you need for treatment and prevention on eBay. You will find everything you need in the Flea Remedies category within the Dogs main category.

Diagnosing Fleas in Dogs

The first sign of a flea problem is usually scratching; depending on the colour of your dog’s fur, you may also notice moving brown insects, or tiny brown dots in the fur. The insects are fleas and the dots are flea dirt, a sure sign that fleas are present in your dog’s coat.

Many pet owners think fleas only breed in warm weather, but this is not the case. If you have central heating in your home, you may have fleas breeding in the home all year round. It is therefore important to stay vigilant and continue to treat fleas regularly, even during winter.

Flea Control Products for Dogs

Flea control products for dogs fall into two categories; items that must be purchased with a prescription, and items that do not:

  • When buying prescription items on eBay, you will need to obtain the prescription from your vet and forward it to your eBay seller once you have paid for the item. The seller will then dispense the item and post it to you. For more information, contact your eBay seller.
  • You should telephone your vet for advice before purchasing non-prescription flea control products if your dog is on any other medication.

When deciding how to treat your pet, search eBay for the following flea control products. Many will be found in the Flea Remedies category.

Spot-on flea treatments

Spot-on treatments are supplied in small tubes, or ampules, which contain exactly the right dose for one month’s flea prevention. The liquid is applied directly to the skin on the back of the neck; this is to prevent the dog licking the area. Popular brands include Frontline and Bob Martin.

If you have more than one pet, need to monitor them to ensure they do not groom each other when the spot-on liquid has been applied. Remember to select the right ampule size depending on the weight of your dog.

Flea collars

Flea collars for dogs can be purchased on eBay individually or in bulk. Most are waterproof so can be worn on walks and while the dog is being bathed. Choose between a collar containing chemical treatments or natural plant extracts, and check which other pests may be prevented; some collars repel ticks or mosquitos as well as fleas. Also, check the age limit; some dog flea collars are not suitable for puppies.

Flea shampoo

eBay sellers provide branded and unbranded flea shampoos with a variety of chemical or natural ingredients. Some natural shampoos contain herbs and essential oils, including rosemary, citrus, citronella, clove and/or eucalyptus.

Flea spray

Like shampoos, flea sprays are formulated with a variety of different ingredients. Some general flea treatments can be diluted with water and decanted into spray bottles for easy application.

If your dog is nervous, look for a ‘silent spray’ that will not startle him when it is applied.

Flea comb

Search eBay for an electronic flea comb that will kill fleas already living on your dog by generating a weak electrical charge. Flea combs should be used in conjunction with other products that kill fleas around the home.

Flea powder

Insecticidal flea powder can be applied to your dog’s fur and bedding, much like flea spray. Many brands also provide a degree of anti-fungal protection.

Flea Control Products for Your Home

Treating your dog only treats around 5 per cent of the fleas causing the infestation. The rest will be living in your home. Without treating the home as well as the dog, the flea eggs will hatch and re-infest your dog within one or two weeks. It is therefore crucial to treat soft furnishings, carpets and other areas where fleas could be living and laying eggs.

These products are listed in the Flea Remedies category.

Flea spray for the home

For serious infestations, or homes with multiple pets, vets usually recommend insecticide sprays that work for up to 12 months. Brands include Indorex and Staykil. These sprays must be applied on freshly vacuumed floors (both carpeted and wood), away from children and animals.

After application, the property should be well ventilated for at least 30 minutes to allow the fumes to escape.

Flea bombs

Flea bombs, also called flea foggers, are designed to fumigate entire rooms in the home. The effects normally last up to 6 months.

Flea powder

As above. Flea powder can be applied directly to your dog’s bed.

Flea trap

Flea traps create heat and are designed to mimic an animal’s body. Once the fleas enter the trap, they stick to the glue disc inside. Flea traps can be placed around the home to lure fleas out of carpets and furniture; most flea traps sold on eBay come with replacement discs, but you can also buy spares from eBay sellers.

There are other measures you can take to minimise the amount of fleas in the home:

  • Wash your dog’s bedding in the washing machine on a 60-degree cycle, or allow to heat up in the tumble dryer for at least 15 minutes.
  • You may prefer to dispose of the bedding and purchase a replacement dog basket on eBay from the Beds and Baskets category.
  • Sprinkle carpets with baking soda before vacuuming to dry out flea eggs. Ensure pets are not allowed to walk on the carpet while it is being treated.
  • Vacuum your mattress thoroughly and regularly on both sides.
  • Avoid contact with any animal that already has fleas.

Natural Flea Control

Many dog owners prefer not to use chemicals, or wish to limit their exposure to chemicals in the home. Natural flea control is a good way to kill fleas without exposing your dog to harsh flea prevention products. You may need to explore several different eBay categories to find these items.

Boric acid

Boric acid (Borax) offers natural protection against insects and is safe for use in a domestic setting. Sprinkle it around the home liberally, leave for 12 hours and vacuum away. Do not apply directly on the dog’s fur and cover your nose and mouth while working with the product.

Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth can be sprinkled around the home and on your dog’s fur. Leave for 3-4 days before vacuuming and/or brushing away.

Rosemary

Fleas are repelled by the scent of rosemary. Make a solution by mixing two cups of dried rosemary from eBay into two pints of water and boiling for 30 minutes. Dilute with another 6 pints of water (so that the solution is tepid) and pour through the dog’s fur. This is best applied on a hot day so that the dog’s fur can dry naturally.

Essential oils

Citrus, clove, lavender and eucalyptus oils are effective flea repellents. They can be purchased easily on eBay and must be mixed with water. Citronella, often found in anti-mosquito products, is also useful for repelling fleas.

Take care not to use essential oils anywhere near cats, and avoid using tea tree oil in any natural flea remedy.

When buying natural flea control products, or making your own, bear in mind:

  • Natural flea control products may need to be used more frequently than chemicals to maintain their effectiveness. Do not be tempted to use stronger concentrations instead.
  • Although natural products are normally gentle, your dog’s skin may react to some substances. Keep a close eye on your dog to ensure the products you are using do not cause allergies or rashes.
  • If you notice any unusual behaviour, illness or skin reactions on your dog, consult a vet immediately.

Complimentary Products

While treating your dog and your home for fleas, explore related products on eBay to ensure that your home and its occupants are comfortable, and your pet is treated for related problems.

Worming tablets

Fleas carry tapeworms, so if your pet has been bitten, it is wise to treat them with a worming tablet. Vets normally recommend that dogs are wormed every three months.

Anti-itch spray for pets

Choose from a variety of soothing anti-itch products if your pet is still scratching after a flea infestation. Check with your vet if the condition does not improve; repeated scratching can lead to infection.

Anti-itch products for humans

Calamine lotion and petroleum jelly can soothe the inflamed areas left on human skin after a flea bite.

How to Buy Flea Control Products on eBay

In this guide, we have looked at a very wide range of flea prevention products, all of which can be purchased on eBay. When choosing the products you need, remember:

  • Many eBay sellers can dispense prescription flea control products. Ask your vet for the prescription, then buy the items on eBay for considerable savings on the shelf price.
  • Buy multiple flea control items from the same seller for discounts on postage and packaging. Also, check for bulk discounts on products you will use every month, or every three months, so that you have a constant supply.
  • If you need to deal with a flea problem urgently, look for a seller that offers affordable express postage or local collection.
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