There are numerous products that will kill adult fleas on your
dog. However, they vary in the duration of their effects.
1. Flea shampoos, sprays, and powders. Most products will kill
any fleas present on your dog at the time of application, but
many have no lasting effect - your dog may have more fleas
within 24 hours of being treated. When using a flea shampoo,
always begin on the dog's head, face, and ears so the fleas
won't run for shelter in those hard to reach areas. Be extra
careful not to drip any solution in your pet's eyes. Applying the
solution with a sponge is helpful. All shampoos should be
rinsed thoroughly from the coat.
Some of the newer, more effective sprays can be a valuable
part of the overall treatment plan. They kill adult fleas rapidly
and are safe enough to use daily, if necessary. Flea sprays
containing insect growth regulators (IGR's) are helpful in
managing the overall problem because they help to break the
flea life cycle. Be sure to read the label when using any of
these products, because they might be recommended for once
a week application, instead of daily.
Flea powders are easy to use - simply sprinkle on your dog's
2 Flea rinses or dips. These may be effective for four to five
days, depending on the product. The rinse is applied after the
dog has been shampooed and not rinsed out and left to dry
on the dog's coat. You need to dip the entire dog from nose to
tail. Follow directions carefully regarding frequency throughout
the flea season.
Pet shops and supermarkets sell a huge variety of flea dips
and shampoos for your pet. If your dog has only a few fleas,
there's no reason why you can't treat him yourself. Make sure
to follow the label instructions on whatever product you buy,
and pay close attention to age restrictions. Many products are
not suitable for young puppies. Never use cat products on
As with flea shampoos, when using a flea dip, always begin
on the dog's head, face, and ears so the fleas won't run for
shelter in those hard to reach areas. Be extra careful not to
drip any solution in your pet's eyes. Applying the solution with
a sponge is helpful.
You might want to take your dog to the veterinarian where
either an assistant or a groomer on staff will dip your pet, or
take your dog to a grooming shop for flea treatment.
3. Sprays containing flea growth regulators which are called
IGR's. These sprays are usually applied weekly and the
growth regulators help break the flea's life cycle.
4. Flea collars. Flea collars are an easy, economical, and useful
method of flea control when used before you see fleas, but
aren't very effective if you already a flea problem. Flea collars
are on the dog and working 24 hours per day. However, they
are not very effective in climates that are especially conducive
to flea reproduction. Many people don't like the smell of
insecticidal flea collars or the smell and oily feeling the
insecticide leaves on their hands after petting a dog wearing
one. But, they are a lot better than nothing!
Many flea collars, such as the Ovitrol Plus or Ovitrol Plus II
sold by veterinarians, kill adult fleas and also make flea eggs
sterile. These are generally called Egg-Stopper Collars and
contain insect growth regulating ingredients, which prevents
egg from hatching.
Some dogs are sensitive to flea collars and develop a skin
irritation under the collar, so if this happens, you should
remove the collar and use another method of flea control.
In addition, there are High Tech Electronic Flea Collars for
dogs that emit powerful ultrasonic pulses. They are supposed
to be inaudible and harmless to pets and humans but, fleas
Do-it-yourself Low Tech Herbal flea collar - effects last
approximately one month:
Buy a soft untreated flea collar. Mix 1/2 teaspoon rubbing
alcohol, essential oils of 1 drop cedar wood oil, 1 drop
lavender, 1 drop citronella, 1 drop thyme oil. Open the
contents of four garlic capsules into mixture. Soak flea collar
until it has absorbed sufficient mixture soaked through, then
5. Spot-on products. Advantage? and Frontline? are two
brand name products that are applied topically to a small area
of the dog's skin and they effectively kill fleas for at least a
month. They are purchased in small vials that contain one
dose for various sizes of dogs. They kill adult fleas, usually
before the flea has the opportunity to bite your dog.
When using some of the new residual topical treatments such
as the spray and the liquid applied to the dog's neck, you may
find environmental control will become much less a concern. In
some cases, treating the dog with these new products will
effectively control the environmental problem.
6. The pill. (Program?) This product prevents flea eggs from
hatching when administered orally to pets once a month at
mealtime. Dogs are fed Program in tablet form. Different tablet
sizes and suspension doses are prescribed according to the
animal's weight. When an adult female flea bites a Program-
treated dog, the flea ingests the active ingredient (lufenuron)
which then passes into her eggs and prevents them from
hatching. Program is dispensed only through veterinarians.
This drug does not kill the adult fleas on your dog, but it does
break the flea life cycle by preventing hatching of the next
generation of flea eggs. In effect, it kills the next generation
A similar product called Sentinel contains both the flea control
ingredient and heartworm medication all in one dosage.
7. Natural methods include essential herbal oils, essential
fatty acids, garlic, and/or B vitamins tend to make the animal
less tasty to fleas. You can supplement with garlic or brewers
yeast tablets. Some animals are allergic to brewers yeast, so
watch closely the first week or so to make sure the itching
doesn't get worse.
8. Flea Combs. Run the comb through your pet's hair and
gather a bit of hair and "flea dirt". Daily flea combing may
seem like a tedious process, but you can trap some of them in
the comb. Be sure to drown them in soapy water, because
fleas can jump out of plain water.
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