Are you aware of the many ways fleas can impact you and your pet? Read these common flea myths to test your knowledge.
1. Myth: Fleas are no big deal.
In reality: You have probably heard the expression, “breeding like rabbits”? Well, rabbits have nothing on fleas. A few fleas can turn into a massive infestation in a hurry. If your pet is sensitive to flea saliva it takes only a few bites to make your pet very uncomfortable. Fleas often harbor other blood borne diseases that can be transmitted to your pet as well as humans through a bite from a flea. For the safety of you and your pet we recommend monthly flea preventative for all your furry friends.
2. Myth: Flea preventative is only needed in summer.
In reality: In many warm, humid areas, fleas thrive year-round. In more seasonal climates, like Traverse City, a warm spring or fall can extend the flea season to 9 or 10 months of the year. Since fleas can survive on your pet, inside your home, and outdoors! Year round control is the best means to keep your pet free of fleas.
3. Myth: I don’t need flea control if I don’t see them.
In reality: Just because you don’t see fleas doesn’t mean they aren’t there. We can use a special comb to detect fleas and their waste (flea dirt). Even if your pet is clean he/she can pick up fleas at any time. Preventative measures will decrease the risk of an infestation in your home.
4. Myth: I can get good flea products at the pet store.
In reality: Many over-the-counter flea control products are not as potent and therefore not as effective as the prescription products you can get from your veterinarian. Some are even toxic, especially if administered incorrectly. We are here to help you decide on the best product for your pet’s lifestyle (does your pet swim? hunt?) and show you how to apply it correctly. When using a flea product always make sure you are following the product instructions and make sure it is appropriate for your dog or cat’s weight.
5. Myth: I treat for fleas once- the fleas are gone.
In reality: One of the biggest mistakes pet owners make is to stop giving a flea product after the fleas go away. One of the reasons you need to provide consistent control is many pets can become sensitive to fleas if they are intermittently exposed to them. If you notice fleas on your pet, treat them for one month, and three months later they come back, then you treat them again and three months later they come back again… It is under these circumstances your pet is more likely to develop flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). FAD is a miserable condition that causes intense itching of the skin, sores (usually along your pet’s back and base of tail), and hair loss. This is another example why monthly prevention year round is so important.
6. Myth: I only need to treat the pet with fleas!
In reality: All pets in your household need to be treated— especially the cats (a flea’s favorite host). Some pets are more sensitive to fleas than others and if you treat only the pet that is scratching then it is likely to become reinfested by other pets that also have fleas but are not being treated. You will never clean up an infestation by only treating one animal in the house.
7. Myth: I can’t afford monthly flea preventative.
In reality: Can you afford to change the oil in your car to keep it running smoothly and help cut down on expensive repairs? Providing preventive health measures for your pet is the same approach. Compared to the cost of treating flea related illnesses for you and your pet or having to paying someone to decontaminate your home—monthly flea control is a low cost alternative (ASK US ABOUT RECEIVING FREE PRODUCT WHEN YOU PURCHASE 3 OR 6 DOSES OF OUR FLEA AND TICK PREVENTATIVES). If you can’t afford to pay for a year’s worth at a time, ask us about setting up a realistic program that works for you.
8. Myth: My pet stays in the yard and won’t get fleas.
In reality: Your yard is constantly being visited by wildlife such as raccoons, squirrels, opossums, and other neighborhood pets (cats are notorious roamers). These animals can spread fleas and flea eggs which will harbor in your soil, gardens, bushes, and mulch waiting for your pet when he goes outside.
9. Myth: All flea preventatives only kill fleas.
In reality: Flea products are often combined with agents that control other parasites as well. There are many prescription products now available to help protect your pets from fleas, ticks, and intestinal worms. These parasites carry diseases that can be transmitted to you as well. So keeping pets on flea control is best for the whole family.
10. Myth: Flea products are toxic.
In reality: Unlike “natural” products, prescription flea control agents have been extensively tested and approved by the FDA. Our staff uses these products on our pets as well. We would be happy to answer any questions you have about flea product use and safety.