Flea Control for Your Dog

As summer approaches, flea numbers increase and your dog is in their sights.
These little biting insects survive by drinking his blood, and at the same time
causing an itchy reaction in his skin.

There are several very effective ways to keep fleas under control, but it takes a
consistent effort on your part.

If you are going to keep your dog free of fleas this summer, you need to attack them
from two angles. Firstly, killing the fleas that are on your dog, and secondly, killing
the immature fleas that are in his environment.

On Your Dog

Many people rely on a flea shampoo to keep their fleas under control. These aren't very effective because once they are rinsed off, they don't have any effect. Flea collars and powders are not a good choice either, because there are newer products that are safer and work better.

One of the most convenient ways of killing adult fleas is to use a liquid spot on product such as Advantage or Frontline. They are applied to the skin on the back of your dog's neck, and they kill fleas for about one month. Some monthly spot on products also kill heart worm and intestinal worms, which is very convenient.

If you are concerned about putting a chemical on your dog's skin, you may prefer to use a flea tablet. Capstar has a very fast killing effect, with dead fleas dropping off your dog within half an hour, but it doesn't last very long. This is a good product if your dog has lots of fleas and you want to get rid of them quickly before using a monthly product.

Comfortis is another tablet that can be given to control fleas. It contains spinosad, and its effect lasts for a month. It is extremely effective. Spinosad is also included in Trifexis, along with other ingredients that control heart worm and intestinal worms, for an all round parasite control product.

Environmental Flea Control

For every flea you find on your dog, there are a hundred in his environment in the form of eggs, larvae and pupae. You can spend a lot of time and money killing adult fleas on your dog but unless you attack them in the ground and in his bedding, there will always be more fleas ready to jump on him.

The best way of doing this is to use an insect growth regulator. This is a chemical that stops the flea egg from developing into an adult, effectively breaking its life cycle.

An insect growth regulator is included in Sentinel, a monthly tablet that also controls heart worm and intestinal worms.

Alternatively, you can use a fogger spray that releases a gas that penetrates all areas of your home. These foggers usually contain an insecticide to kill adult fleas as well as an insect growth regulator to control the intermediate life stages that are in your carpet and soft furnishings.

Effective flea control takes a two pronged approach - kill the fleas that are on your dog, and stop the immature fleas in the environment developing into adults. This can take quite a bit of work on your part, but it's worth it. Your dog will be able to enjoy the summer months without being troubled by itchy flea bites.