Whether you have a dog or a cat, chances are you will find yourself in need of ridding them of fleas at least once.  Below are a few suggestions to help you with the task.

 Keep an Eye on Your Pet
Watch your pet for commons signs and symptoms of a flea infestation such as excessive biting and scratching, particularly around the tail and lower back areas. Check for raw patches of skin where your dog or cat may have been scratching at fleas for some time. Another bit of evidence is “flea debris,” specks of dried blood that are black in color.
 
Flea Collars and Powders
If you have caught the problem relatively early, it may be possible to eliminate fleas by simply using flea collars and powders. There are several brands and types to choose from, and many contain a special comb with fine teeth that is designed to remove fleas from fur.

Flea Baths

It’s helpful to bathe your pet frequently using a specially formulated soap or treatment. It’s necessary to take into consideration the type of fur or coat your pet has when bathing. This is particularly true for dogs as some breeds have essential oils that shouldn’t be washed away with soap and water more than once or twice a year. If bathing in a flea bath isn’t an option for your pet, consult your vet for other alternatives.

Monthly Medication
There are pills available for your pet to take on a monthly basis that will prevent fleas from reproducing, but they do not kill the ones that have already reached adulthood. There are also multi-purpose medications and products available that are designed to prevent fleas from reproducing as well as controlling heartworm, hookworms, whipworms and roundworms.

Fleas will always exist, but with careful planning and proper treatment, they need not become a problem for you or your pet.

Skin Irritation in Dogs

Dogs can suffer from skin problems the same as humans.  How you treat the particular problem will depend on what is causing it.  Below I will cover the most common skin irritations in dogs.


One of the most common problems in dogs is the presence of fleas and ticks, which are parasites that live on the surface of the skin and feed on the dog’s blood. These parasites’ saliva causes skin irritation and results in intense scratching.

There are preventive products available for use on a monthly basis that will prevent this type of infestation.
 
Mange is a skin problem caused by mites that burrow underneath the dog’s skin, causing intense and even agonizing itching. Bald spots or inflamed red skin are common symptoms of mange. Two types of mange exist in dogs: sarcoptic mange and demodectic mange, depending on the kind of mite involved.

Mange or scabies causes intense itching in the dog as the mites burrow under the skin and even lay their eggs there. Scabies can infect humans as well and cause itchiness, although infection in humans usually disappears by itself after a while. However, it is still important for people to seek treatment if they get infected.

The best way to kill the mites is to soak your dog in a lime and sulfur medicated dip for 10 to 15 minutes a few times in a week. The dip should not be washed off, but left to dry on your dog’s skin and fur.

During this time, it’s best to watch your dog closely and prevent him from licking himself dry. It is best to check with your vet if your dog is itching and you can’t find any parasites.  It is possible he is experiencing an allergy or simply his coat is too dry.  The vet will be able to help diagnose his exact problem.

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