How to get rid of fleas in your home and on your pet

Dr Karen Heskin from Pets at Home explains how to keep your pet and home protected from fleas.

How to get rid of fleas in your home and your pet
Published: April 25, 2022 at 1:02 pm

Fleas can be a real pain for pets with infestations potentially leaving them itchy, feeling unwell and even leading to other problems such as anaemia and tapeworm. We recommend checking your pet over every day, especially after being outside in wet weather. The good news is that fleas can easily be treated, but prevention is always better than cure, so we’d recommend signing up to our monthly subscription service to help keep on top of treatments.

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How to spot the signs of fleas in your pets

Fleas can cause a great deal of discomfort and annoyance for your pet, so if you notice certain changes in their behaviour, including scratching or biting at their skin, the pesky parasites may well be to blame.

It’s important to keep a close eye on your furry friend’s behaviour and know what signs you need to look out for.

Scratching or biting, grooming excessively, red patches of skin, pale gums and hair loss can all be symptoms of having fleas. If your pet is showing any of these signs, it’s best to act quickly and consult with your vet, so they can advise you on the next steps and recommend the best treatment.

How to check for fleas

It’s a good idea to get in the habit of regularly checking your pet for fleas to make sure there aren’t any lurking about.

You should do a thorough check through your pet’s fur and keep an extra close eye on the armpits, groin area, back of the neck and base of the tail, as these are popular flea hideouts.

To make regular checks effortless and pain-free, it’s best to carry these out when grooming your pet, which is also an important part of bonding time.

It’s important to remember that fleas don’t just affect cats and dogs. In fact, they can become a problem for most furry pets, such as rabbits and hamsters. That’s why it’s important that any other pets in the home are also treated, if necessary.

 

How to treat your pet for fleas

According to the experts, preventing a flea infestation is much easier than curing one and the best way to protect your pet from fleas is having a regular treatment routine in place.

While fleas thrive in warm, wet weather, they live year-round. It’s worth setting a monthly reminder on your phone or, even better, consider a subscription service, like Pets at Home’s, to get tailored treatments from £4 a month which get delivered straight through your letterbox for free.

Treatments for your pet are usually hassle-free as they generally come as ‘spot on’ products that are quick and easy to administer.

Can you use a dog flea treatment on a cat?

Just remember that not all flea treatments are the same and you should never use a dog flea treatment on a cat, for example, as the ingredients in the product could be toxic for them.

How to get rid of fleas in your home

Flea larvae hatch from eggs and they can live almost anywhere in your home – from your pet’s bedding to your carpets and soft furnishings.

Fleas usually emerge when your home is warm or if they feel a vibration from footsteps on floors. Just one flea can produce more than half a million others in eight weeks and it can take up to three months, or more, to get rid of an infestation.

It’s best to regularly give your pet’s bedding a hot wash and clean cushions, sofas and carpets where your dog or cat likes to relax to help kill any flea eggs, larvae and pupae that could be there. You should also replace your vacuum dust bag or filter, as fleas can survive inside..

For maximum protection, consider treating your home with a household flea product to help eliminate any remaining pests. Please follow the instructions for these products carefully to ensure you and your pets are kept safe.

Even with regular cleaning and checks, fleas can still find their way to your four-legged friend.

Regular check-ups with your vet will help make sure that your pet is happy and healthy – and that no fleas have decided to make their home on your furry companion.

If you need help finding the right vet, Pets at Home Group has a network of over 450 vet practices across the UK offering the very highest level of care for your pets.

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Top image by Getty Images

Authors

Dr Karen Heskin
Dr Karen HeskinVeterinary surgeon and head of pets at Pets at Home

Head of pets at Pets at Home, Dr. Karen Heskin BVSc CertSAO MRCVS, is a veterinary surgeon with considerable experience of general practice, orthopaedic referrals, and anaesthesia. She has also worked in the veterinary pharmaceutical and human healthcare industries.

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