What are fleas and how do I prevent them?

We all know fleas are a nuisance! They make our pets and us itch, and they can be a real struggle to eliminate once you have them.

Get ‘Flea Free’

Fleas can also be the bearers of tapeworm eggs which is why we recommend treating for both fleas and worms year-round. Fleas can be picked up from the environment, from socialising with other pets and even brought in by you!

Fleas live in carpets, flooring and anywhere there is a nook or cranny where they feel safe. Fleas will hop on your pet for lunch and then hop off, so if you find a flea on your pet there will undoubtedly be more in your home. Treating a home with flea spray can be costly so prevention is far better than cure.

Fleas are the most common parasite found on dogs. They can cause extreme discomfort when they bite and they carry tapeworm. Newly hatched fleas also do not tend to be fussy and will bite humans as well!

puppy tick advice

How to spot fleas

A common misconception amongst pet owners is that flea infestations are clearly visible or that the pet only has one or two fleas because they have only seen a couple at a time! The reality is that 5% of the flea infestation is on your pet and that 95% of the problem is actually in the environment where the various stages of the flea are developing! It is only when they have matured that they will jump on your pet to feed. If the environment remains untreated, an infestation can continue for 3 years, even without an animal present.

Fleas can also be quite sneaky, hiding deep in the fur. Often the only evidence of a flea infestation seen is the ‘flea dirt’ they leave behind.

It is important to prevent fleas from infesting in the first place by treating your pet regularly with comprehensive flea treatments available from us – as vet prescribed products really are the best on the market. An initial treatment product needs to be used in conjunction with a household insecticide spray to treat the developing stages of the flea in your home.

We will always advise you of the most appropriate treatment to suit your pet’s individual needs. Please remember that these products are only available from vets and are prescription medicines. This means that your pet needs to be seen annually in order for us to re-prescribe them to you. The surgery will provide flea check-ups free of charge, as necessary, to make this as easy as possible for you.

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