According to The Florida Entomologist, there are 19 out of the 2,200 known species of fleas currently in Florida. Despite this, there are still plenty of fleas around, presenting a common problem for dogs. Preventing fleas and other pests from affecting your dog is best, otherwise quick treatment is needed as dogs can quickly become irritated and have an allergic reaction to a flea’s saliva. Keeping your dog free from pests keeps them happy and healthy, just as they should be.
Practice good doggy hygiene
Dogs should be bathed at least once every three months, but no more than weekly as it can disrupt their skin and fur’s natural oils that are necessary to keep them healthy. Bathing your dog with a shampoo that fights off fleas and other pests can help to keep their fur free of them, but bath time is also a great opportunity to give them a thorough check over. Your dog will be an easy target if they have any open wounds or small cuts, so check for these too and be extra vigilant to monitor the area while it’s healing. For dogs that have wrinkly skin and folds, such as bulldogs, it’s important to check in between the folds for pests that are hiding, as well as gently cleaning the skin to keep it healthy.
Know when pests are active to avoid them
Some pests are more active at certain times of the day. For example, mosquitoes will be most problematic first thing in the morning and in the early evening, just after sunset, so try to keep your dog indoors at these times. Ticks will be around throughout the day but can be avoided by staying away from long grass, such as the edge of lawns and wild areas, as this is where they tend to live. Fleas will also be active all day and Florida’s climate means that they’re a problem all year round, instead of just in summer months. The best way to avoid fleas, as well as other pests, is to use regular preventative treatments, such as tablets and spot-on medications.
Keep bedding clean
Fleas and other common pests can live on surfaces that your dog may come into contact with, like their beds, blankets, and the rug that they love to roll around on. Regularly vacuum floors and wash and air their beds to ensure pests aren’t lingering on them. For pampered pooches that sleep on your bed and couch it’s a good idea to vacuum these too and regularly wash covers. Putting a dog blanket on top during the day can help to make cleaning easier as the blanket can regularly go in with the laundry.
If your dog or any other pets have fleas or other pests you should keep them away from other animals until they’ve been treated. Always use preventative treatments and regularly check your dog over to look for any pests. Make sure treatment for a dog with an infestation is treated promptly as they can be allergic to pests and become irritated and sore very quickly.