Flea Season Prevention: Keep Your Pet Safe and Healthy!

We are at the height of flea season in the New York area, which means it is vital to continue to take as many precautions as possible to keep your pet safe!
Fleas are resilient insects with a lifespan of 6 to 12 months. Within that time, a pair of fleas could produce millions of offspring, whom can potentially harm your pet. They can cause reactions in your pet varying from a mild skin irritation to severe allergic reactions. Because fleas feed on blood, an extreme infestation can cause anemia or even death in animals (TWC).

All cats and dogs are susceptible to flea infestations. Some symptoms to look out for are excessive scratching, scabs and dark specs known as “flea dirt,” and in extreme cases, lethargic behaviors and pale lips and gums (TWC).

Flea season is greatly influenced by weather conditions such as temperature and humidity. From May through October, New York pets are at the highest risk of being exposed to fleas because of the weather.
Different flea control products work in different ways, have varying levels of effectiveness and kill different flea stages. Using a combination of products at the same time will help you be most effective. Here are some flea control “tips from the experts” to keep in mind.
  • Regularly vacuum any place your pets spend time in your house, as carpet provides a perfect habitat for immature fleas – any bedding or blankets your pets come into contact with should also be washed regularly
  • If you have multiple cats or dogs, treat them at the same time for fleas since they can pass from pet to pet – this will help ensure that fleas won’t have an animal to act as the host agent
  • Take extra care if you live in an area that has a higher prevalence of fleas
  • Given that flea eggs can survive for up to one year without hatching, pet owners should not only treat pets year round but also treat them for life
  • Because fleas can take up to eight months to reach adulthood, it is important to use a monthly preventive product that can kill fleas at all life stages

Some other simple reminders according to the American Animal Hospital Association : dips, shampoos, powders and sprays will usually kill the adult fleas on your pet so regularly use these products along with a flea comb; wash blankets, bedding and carpets once a week using a disinfectant on washable surfaces and an insecticide or insect growth regulator in cracks and crevices every 2-4 weeks; spray shady parts of your yard with insecticide or apply nematodes (microscopic worms that kill flea larvae and cocoons) once a month (TWC).
Always consult your veterinarian before fighting fleas, especially when considering using toxic products that are found all over the market today. Even if you purchase an over-the-counter product, it’s wise to consult your veterinarian for safety concerns.
Contact The Bregman Vet Group to schedule an appointment today if you suspect your pet may be infected with fleas, or for more information on flea safety. 

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