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May 2012 Pet Health News

 
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CritterCures Pet Health News
3 Easy Steps to Prevent and Fight Fleas
dog scratching

As the weather warms up, the fleas start to come out. Left unchecked, fleas can be an uncomfortable problem for your pet and for you.

Thankfully, there are some easy ways to prevent fleas from being uninvited guests in your home.

Start with these three preventative steps. If you still find fleas, step up and fight them with three more steps.

 

Preventing Fleas

Step One: Keep a Clean House

Don’t give fleas a cozy place to set up. Vacuum all of those crevices that might have dirt and debris. Turn over couch cushions and vacuum underneath them. These are prime hiding spots for fleas.

Step Two: Kill Any Fleas You Might Already Have

Diatomaceous (DIE-at-a-MAY-shuss) earth, which is also called D.E. or Diatomite, is a powder you can sprinkle to get rid of any potential fleas you may have. It’s non-toxic, so won’t hurt pets or kids. D.E. is available in most pet stores.

Borax works in much the same way for your carpets and is also non-toxic. Sprinkle it around and then vacuum it up after a few days.

You can find Borax in most grocery stores.

Step Three: Consider Bonus Defenses

Fleas have been known to avoid cedar chips and eucalyptus leaves. They hate the smell of both.

Use cedar chips around the yard to help prevent fleas from living near your house. Try lining your fence with them.

Indoors, you can use either eucalyptus leaves or cedar chips: both will help. Just make sure your pet can’t get to them too easily. Cedar chips may cause digestive problems if your pet eats them. Eucalyptus can be potentially toxic, but the flea-fighting scent lasts a long time.

 

Fighting Fleas

What if you think your pet already has fleas? Follow these three steps.

Step One: Check for Fleas

Brush your pet over a white towel. If what looks like dirt comes off, this could be flea droppings. Gather some of the ‘dirt’ up and put it in rubbing alcohol. If you see red, that means fleas.

If you don’t see any signs of fleas and your pet is still scratching, it could still be fleas. Some pets have an allergy to flea saliva which can make them itchy even from just one or two bites. So, it can still help to follow the ‘Preventing Fleas’ steps above.

And it can also help to...

Step Two: Give Your Pet a Bath

Bathing your pet will drown any fleas they might have and soothe any itchiness. If you have a cat... good luck.

Step Three: Adjust Your Pet’s Diet

You can make your pet less tasty to fleas by mixing garlic, brewer’s yeast, or nutritional yeast into their food.

If you have a bigger dog, a bit of garlic is safe. Unfortunately, it can be toxic to cats and smaller dogs. Instead, use either brewer’s yeast or nutritional yeast. Both are inactive yeasts so they won’t upset digestive balance.

 

This flea season, take an active role in the fight against fleas. But if you’re still having problems, think about these other options:

 

Dog Hates Baths

Giving your pet a bath is a great way to fight against fleas. Let's hope 'Boomer' doesn't have any fleas to worry about!

4 dogs peeking over the edge.
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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.