What should I do if my pet has fleas?

No matter how clean you keep your home – or pet, for that matter – fleas can be a problem. The last thing any animal lover wants is for their pet to be uncomfortable, so thankfully there are plenty of steps you can take to get rid of these pesky parasites.

Before you begin thinking about treatment, however, you should confirm that your pet definitely has fleas. Early signs of fleas include scratching and other evidence of discomfort – your pet may begin biting its own coat, for example.

If this is the case, try running a fine metal comb through your pet’s fur, as often you’ll be able to see the fleas on the comb afterwards. If you can’t see any, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your pet doesn’t have fleas. Some animals (particularly cats) are very clean and will groom the fleas out of their fur before you’ve had a chance to check properly.

If you’re in any doubt, you can carry out a flea check very simply at home. All you need to do is position your pet on a piece of white paper and rub its back for a minute or so. If your pet does have fleas, the flea faeces will show up on the white paper.

The first option you could consider is garlic juice. Fleas don’t like the smell of garlic juice, so by simply combing it through your pet’s fur, you should be able to get rid of the pests. Garlic juice has a couple of other advantages: firstly, it’s great for cleaning paws and ears, so you can multi-task and clean your pet while eliminating the fleas. Secondly, it can be used to soothe scratches and abrasions, whether these are from flea-related scratching or just due to everyday scrapes and bumps.

Another option for treating your dog for fleas is a hygienic shampoo containing a healthy natural ingredient like tea tree oil. Hygienic shampoo can help to relieve the discomfort of fleas, whilst also helping to maintain your pooch’s healthy coat. Tea tree oil hygienic shampoo can also be used to help soothe your dog’s skin if it has been irritated by other causes – or alternatively if your dog suffers from dry skin.

For cats, you could try a spray  such as our Tea Tree Conditioning Spray from John Paul Pet, which works effectively alongside other cat flea treatments and can also help prevent another infestation in the short term.

Finally, if you’re uncertain about which course of treatment to take for your pet, remember that you can always consult your vet, who should be able to offer you further guidance.

To read more articles about caring for your pet click here.

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