Most pet owners worry about flea infestations, especially once the warmer season begins as this is when the pests become more abundant again. Common household pets, like dogs and cats, can easily get fleas from other animals and also from their surroundings. Fleas can cause health problems in pets, and these could bite and cause skin irritation in humans as well. Therefore, if you live with your beloved furry friend, you should also be responsible enough to protect it from fleas and other pests because, by doing so, you’re also protecting your health.
Many kinds of products can be used against fleas, such as shampoos, powders, sprays, and spot-on treatments. These can be used to kill adult fleas, and also larvae and eggs. A number of existing products should be used regularly in order to prevent the fleas from infesting a pet again. As for spot-on treatments, these are usually in liquid or gel form and are applied onto certain spots. Aside from these, there are also medicated collars that can help in preventing a flea infestation.
Using Flea Products Safely
Keep in mind that substances that are used against fleas and other pests are created in order to deter or exterminate certain types of insects. According to the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), such products do contain chemicals that are not safe for both animals and humans. Because of this very nature of flea products, it’s always wise to use them with caution.
Here are some important reminders when using flea treatments.
1. Consult a vet first before application. A lot of people just grab the first type of flea product that they find. This isn’t a good idea because treatment is based on a number of factors, such as the severity and type of infestation, and the age, health, or habits of the animal to be treated. For instance, a person might think that his dog has fleas but it actually has scabies. Or, an unknowing pet owner might use a strong substance on a puppy, which can severely affect the health of the young animal. Therefore, it is best to visit a vet first so that he can give you recommendations on what products to use.
2. Do not use a “universal” flea product for all your pets. If you keep dogs, cats, rabbits, and many other animals at home, avoid using the same flea treatment on all of them. A shampoo that might be safe and apt to use on a dog could be toxic to cats or rabbits, for instance. So, before using something on your pet, discuss your options with a vet first.
3. Follow label instructions. Labels have a purpose, and that is to let users know how to properly apply or use certain products. It is especially important to follow them when treating your pet because these are medicated items that contain substances that are potentially harmful to health. If you fail to follow directions or if you apply the product incorrectly, this could do more harm than good. Not only can this cause skin irritation and other health problems, but improper use could also lead to poisoning.
4. Be aware of common symptoms that indicate poisoning. Flea treatments contain dangerous substances, like pyrethrins, which can harm your pet. When actively treating your dog or cat, it is good to know the common signs that indicate toxicity so that you can bring your animal to an animal hospital as soon as possible. Watch out for the following – extreme drooling, shaking or muscle tremors, nausea and vomiting, and seizures. An animal could also show signs of hyperactivity followed by sleepiness or unconsciousness.
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The author of this post, Claire Brent, is a freelancer who often blogs about pest management. She hopes that her articles, which have also been used by rovepestcontrol.com, will encourage and help readers.