Protect Yourself Against Pet Fleas

556

dogs2As winter weather bites and the central heating is turned up around the UK, pet owners could inadvertently be turning their homes into a flea’s paradise, says leading veterinary charity PDSA.

In as little as six months, a single flea on a dog or cat coat can multiply into 100, which in turn will lay thousands of eggs around your house. These develop into adult fleas within a matter of weeks – feeding off both you and your pet! This can cause serious skin problems and, in smaller animals such as kittens, can even prove fatal.

Fortunately, timely protection can prevent serious outbreaks, though greater awareness is essential, according to PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Sean Wensley says: “It is vital that owners use the correct flea treatments and dosage for their pet. Using a dog flea treatment on a cat can result in fatal poisoning, as can increasing the recommended dosage, so always consult your vet for advice on the best flea treatment to use.”

Owners should also remember that flea products obtained from pet shops and supermarkets may not be as safe and effective as those obtained from veterinary practices.

“Remember that treating your pet is only part of the solution. If your pet is already infested you will have to treat the rest of your home too. Everything your dog or cat comes into contact with should be treated with an appropriate product, or it is highly likely that the fleas will come back.”

Fleas can cause serious health problems; they are one of the most common causes of skin problems in dogs and cats, and in severe cases, smaller animals, particularly kittens, can die from anaemia, due to blood loss from the feeding fleas.

Did you know?

  • ·Fleas thrive in a warm environment, which is why they increase during the summer and in the winter, when the central heating is switched on.
  • ·Fleas can feed for up to three hours from one site, and can eat up to 140% of their own body weight in blood every day.
  • ·Flea eggs, larvae and pupae can be carried around the house on the soles of our shoes.
  • ·Fleas can jump 20cm high, 120cm long and will jump around 10,000 times when looking for a dog or cat host.