How to get Rid of Florida Cat and Dog Fleas
Oh No! You saw some small black things crawling on your pet, notice your cat or dog scratching more often. When you look on their beds you saw flea dirt that looks like pepper on his bed. Now What?!
First, We Need to Know what We are Dealing with
- Fleas are common pests that affect cats and dogs as well as their owners in Florida.
- There are over 2,500 species of this very small + flightless ( but can jump over 5-19 inches !) insects that live as external parasites of mammals and birds.
- Fleas live by biting a human or animal and ingesting the blood of their hosts.
If you notice fleas on your cat or dog, take care of the issue quickly because they multiply fast! It can turn into a serious infestation, causing problems for your pet and you. Here are a few remedies and treatments to eliminate dog and cat fleas:
Topical or Oral Preventatives
The easy + most efficient way to avoid fleas and also to help control any outbreaks if they happen are Veterinary Available Flea Preventions. Why do I say Veterinary?
- Many over the counter options found in big box stores are NOT regulated and lab tested enough to guarantee the medications in them are accurate dosed.
- As a Veterinary Emergency Veterinarian of over 13 years-
- I’ve seen one too many toxicities come into the hospital because of what initially was the CHEAP version- that turned into the most EXPENSIVE outcomes.
- The main medication in the them isn’t effective anymore because the Fleas through the generations have become immune to it and the effectiveness is LOW.
Yes, there are options out there for pets that live in lower risk lifestyles of flea infestations. Examples include:
- Rarely go outside or never do because indoor pad trained
- Yard and Home that is managed by pest control situations etc.
- Spray an apple cider vinegar 50% solution mixed with water on your pet daily as fleas don’t like the smell and taste of it.
- Pre-made supplies that are pet safe have pet safe levels of Essential Oils to deter fleas from wanting to jump on your pets in the first place- but do not kill them once on.
- WONDERCIDE is a good example of a company that offers topicals, sprays and collars that use CEDARWOOD as the main prevention ingredient.
- Wondercide can be found on Amazon or locally at The Doggie Bag Boutique in Lakeland, Florida.
Yard + Home Management
One of the first solutions to fleas is to bathe your cat or dog. A milk soap and lukewarm water can help eliminate fleas from your dog’s skin or fur. Be sure to talk to your vet first if you are thinking about using flea shampoo. As much as a bath can help your pet, it is not a must. If you are worried about how your fur baby will react, it’s okay to skip this step. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian and what’s suitable for your cat or dog.
- Use a fine-tooth flea comb to comb your pet’s hair. Dipping the comb in a mixture of soap and water will help to catch the fleas, keeping them from jumping away while trying to get the current infestation under control.
- Bath the entire body with warm water and dog shampoo- Flea prevention shampoos can aide during this time.
PRO TIP: If you are using TOPICAL/LIQUID flea medications will be washed away if bathed after apply up to 30 days after. These Topical medications resides in the oil glands on the pet, so if you wash the pet, you wash away the oil, thus the flea prevention.