Every pet owner needs to know how to fend off fleas. It's inevitable that you'll need to deal with these parasites at some point during your dog's life. It can be especially difficult to get rid of fleas from young dogs. Here are my tips on how to get rid of fleas on puppies.
Dogs are ideal hosts for fleas. According to the Center for Disease Control, there are more than 2,000 species of fleas! These creatures survive best in warm, humid climates. Being parasites, they must feed off of the blood of a host animal to survive.
Before you learn how to get rid of fleas on puppies, it is important to understand how fleas survive and reproduce. During its life cycle, a flea changes from an egg, to larva, to pupae and finally into an adult flea.
An adult female flea can live for more than three weeks and lay 20-30 eggs each day! Fleas can also survive for more than 100 days without a blood meal, which means they can easily survive on carpeting, bedding, furniture or other areas that your dog spends his time.
If your pup has contracted fleas, there is a good chance that they have infested your house as well. To put it simply, home remedies for fleas on puppies will not be effective unless you get rid of the fleas in your home. If you don't, your pet will become infested with fleas again in no time.
How to Get Rid of Fleas on Puppies
Puppies cannot handle most of the harsh chemicals and insecticides found in over-the-counter flea treatments. Many prescription flea medications are also too strong for a puppy's system. The best thing to do before treating your puppy for fleas is to speak with your veterinarian about the safety of the treatment.
Your veterinarian may recommend an oral treatment or topical remedy. There are a few available that are suitable for use on puppies. Your vet's recommendation will be based on your pup's age.
If there is a topical or oral treatment available, it would be your best bet to kill the fleas as quickly as possible. Dead fleas are easy to wash away, and topical/oral treatments will also work to keep eggs from hatching and prevent re-infestation.
Natural is the way to go
Natural treatments and home remedies are much safer for young puppies. While these types of treatments are not always 100% effective, they do not use harmful chemicals and insecticides.
There are commercial sprays that are made with natural ingredients, so they are completely safe for puppies. These sprays are safe to use on your dog and around your home. I like using them, because it's 1 product that can cover all of your bases.
I recommend Vet's Best Flea and Tick Home Spray. This is the spray that I use on my dogs, and it is definitely effective! You can read all the details and see the full list of ingredients in my detailed product review.
I also recommend using a flea comb dipped in a water/dish soap mixture. The dish soap actually breaks down the exoskeleton of the flea and kills it from the outside in. You can also give your puppy a bath using dish soap instead of traditional dog shampoo. You'll want to give him a second wash with puppy shampoo to ensure that the dish soap doesn't dry out his skin and coat.
Finally, you'll need to ensure that you treat your home to kill any fleas that may be lurking in carpeting or on bedding. Your vacuum will be your best weapon in the war against fleas. And, be sure that you keep treating your home for weeks after the initial infestation.
Fleas can live for about 100 days without a blood meal. This means that they can lurk in your carpeting or on your dog's bedding for more than 3 months! If you don't treat your home properly, your dog will be infested with fleas again in no time.
My last piece of advice is to discuss a flea preventative with your veterinarian. You may need to wait until your pup is 12+ weeks old, but using a preventative as soon as possible will save you a lot of money in the long run. You won't need to spend money to treat fleas or any of the health problems they can cause.