How to Prevent Fleas on Dogs
Often times when new pet owner gets a dog for the first time, they worry about the big stuff. Rightfully so. If you’re a first-time dog owner, you’ve got to worry about training, diet, and grooming. What some owners might not realize is that part of grooming is making sure your pet is healthy.
Many dogs are fine with a weekly grooming, but don’t let their easy-going style push flea prevention aside. Fleas on your dog and in your home is something you want to avoid.
If you’ve asked yourself about how to prevent fleas on dogs, you’re in luck because we’ll be exploring this topic today.
What Are Fleas and Why Prevent Them?
The term “flea” refers to a class of insects that are flightless parasites. They survive by latching on their host and drinking their blood. Once on, their super strong claws help keep them on while draining their host.
Fleas themselves aren’t the worst thing that can happen to a dog, but it is extremely uncomfortable for them, and it’s going to be uncomfortable for you when they jump from your dog to you.
Therefore, preventing them from entering your home is your best bet. After all, fleas take the blame for causing the Black Plague. While a common flea is unlikely to cause as much damage, they have been known to cause:
- Hair Loss
- Anemia in extreme cases
How to Prevent Fleas on Your Property
When trying to figure out how to prevent fleas on dogs, the best place to look is your property. Fleas like to hide in tall grasses, so your first step to keep your home flea free is to regularly mow the lawn. Shorter grass gives fleas a less inviting area to hangout in. If they feel unwelcome, they’ll leave.
You can also plant herbs to cut down their numbers. Some plants have been shown to repel fleas because they are high in natural oils. For the most part these plants are pungent even for humans. Some herbs to repel fleas are:
- Lemon balm
You can even keep some of these plants in pots near your door to let fleas know they are not welcome.
Another plant you can use to repel fleas is garlic. It makes sense that Dracula hates garlic because these bloodsuckers hate it too! You can treat your yard with garlic water to repel fleas. All you need to do is soak a few heads of garlic in a gallon or so of water for 12 hours. Strain out the garlic and you’ve got a nice flea preventing potion.
Just be sure not to over use it. While fleas don’t like garlic, there are other beneficial bugs you don’t want to get rid of. Give your lawn one good spray and call it a day.
Another natural remedy for preventing fleas in your yard are nematodes. These are tiny worm like creatures that are great at controlling some of the most common insects like ants, termites and grubs. Once you apply them to your lawn, they’ll get to work taking care of any pesky critters.
A last remedy for your lawn is diatomaceous earth (DE). This stuff is made from ground up diatoms and is completely non-toxic. DE can be used to prevent or control a lot of nuisance bugs because it dries out their bodies and eggs. Just be careful using DE because it can irritate your lungs, as well.
Sprinkle DE in your dog’s favorite outdoor spots to make sure fleas don’t like hanging out there. Again, DE is non-toxic and will not irritate lungs once it settles. So, you can sprinkle it and still know Fido will be completely safe.
How to Prevent Fleas on Dogs
You’ve taken steps to prevent fleas in your yard, now let’s get to the source of the issue, your dog. Even if you take as many steps as possible to keep your yard flea free, your dog will still go out for walks and meet other dogs, so you have to also prevent fleas on them.
But how to prevent fleas on dogs? Here are a few simple products you can use.
Flea and Tick Medications
There are many different flea products you’ve probably seen. From simple topical treatments that can last up to a month, to shampoos that last a much shorter time. If you’re concerned about fleas, a topical medication can be an effective choice.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar will not actually kill fleas or their eggs, but it is a good repellent. You can mix a small amount in your dog’s drinking water, just be sure not to overdo it. You only need about one teaspoon per quart of water, and if your dog doesn’t care for the flavor, feel free to start at a smaller proportion and work your way up.
You can also mix apple cider vinegar 2:1 with water for an effective spray. Spray some onto your dog’s coat and allow it to settle, just be careful not to get in in your dog’s eyes.
A store-bought flea collar is very useful when preventing fleas, but it can also help treat an existing infestation. They usually last a few months as well, but they only treat the area around the neck.
Cedar works well because fleas do not like the smell. You can throw some cedar chips around your property to prevent fleas, but cedarwood oil is also effective when mixed with water. This can be sprayed on your dog to prevent fleas and make them smell great.
With these tips on how to prevent fleas on dogs you can be certain that fleas are not going to infest your home. The most important thing to remember is that fleas are going to thrive if you let them. Keeping a clean home and keeping your dog’s area clean will go a long way in preventing fleas.