The Rio Grande Valley is notorious for its hot and humid weather. Do you know which particular insect loves and thrives in our southern environment? The pesky flea. A flea’s preferred temperature for survival is between 65 and 80 degrees with a humidity level of around 75% and 85%. This can be worrisome and hindering for pet owners. For most that have tried everything and feel as if there’s no hope left, no need to worry! We have a few tips to keep your pet and home free of flea infestations.
An Indoor Flea Problem
Adult fleas spend most of their time deep within the fur of your dog. Unfortunately, the fleas you already see on your pet are just the tip of the iceberg. When an adult flea is spotted, it means that there can be countless flea eggs and larvae already in the environment. Along with starting your pet on consistent flea and tick preventatives approved by our veterinarians, a thorough vacuuming is also recommended in order to get rid of flea eggs that may already be in your home. Make sure to change the vacuum bag or clean out the vacuum canister after vacuuming each room to reduce the chances of spreading eggs.
Washing your dog’s bedding regularly throughout the year is also a good way to reduce fleas and other pests around the home. Keep in mind that getting rid of fleas takes time and effort, and in cases of severe infestation, a professional exterminator may be needed.
Get Off of My Dog!
It’s tough to watch our beloved dogs scratch and bite endlessly when dealing with fleas. This can result in scars, bruising and hair loss. With so many prescription flea products to choose from, which one is best for your dog?
Prescription Oral Preventatives
The newest flea and tick treatment available for our canine friends are flavored chewable tabs that are given by mouth either once a month or every 12 weeks, depending on the type you choose. They start to work mere hours after being ingested and are one of the most effective flea and tick preventatives we have to offer.
Oral flea and tick medications are not affected by sunlight, frequent bathing or swimming and are usually gobbled up like a treat that makes dosing as easy as it gets. Valley Animal Hospital offers two brands of oral preventatives and they are prescription medications, so if your dog hasn’t been in to see us for a while, give us a call to set up your appointment today!
Once-a-month topical flea and tick medications are an easy option. They are applied by parting the fur between the shoulder blades near the base of the neck and emptying the contents of a single dose vial directly onto the skin. There are different brands to choose from, so speak to one of our vets about which you should use.
Bathing, swimming and sunlight can sometimes reduce the effectiveness of topical medications, so be sure to discuss this when choosing the right flea medication for your dog. It’s also important to be aware that some tick medications can be very harmful to cats and should only be used as directed. Here at Valley Animal Hospital, our staff would love to help you find the perfect flea and tick preventative for your pets.
Some medicated flea and tick collars can be effective in ridding your dog of fleas if used properly. The great thing about these collars is that they’re long lasting and relatively comfortable, especially if your dog is already used to wearing a collar. Although there are several flea and tick collars that our veterinarians may recommend for your dog, many over-the-counter flea collars are ineffective and may be potentially harmful to your pet, so make sure to discuss your flea and tick needs with us so that we can help you find the right fit.
Flea sprays can be a temporary, easy and effective way to treat your pet and the surrounding environment for fleas. As with any pesticide, care must be taken to use flea sprays correctly so as to avoid any negative or harmful side effects. There are many brands of anti-flea sprays to choose from, so speak with one of our pet doctors to help you decide which brand is best for your needs.
Flea and tick shampoos are a temporary solution at best. Improvements in the safety and effectiveness of oral and topical prescription flea and tick medications have almost completely replaced the need for stinky and sometimes dangerous flea and tick shampoos and dips. Always consult a veterinarian before using shampoos or dips on young or sick dogs.
Helping Your Dog be Healthy and Safe
We’ll do anything to keep our dogs safe and healthy. Our doctors here at Valley Animal Hospital are well aware of the many issues pets face along with the remedies and treatments to help them feel better. If you’re pet is suffering from a flea infestation, then schedule a visit with us today. We’re conveniently located in Pharr near McAllen and San Juan.