Dog Flea Prevention

Dog flea prevention is a multi-pronged affair. You have to keep fleas off your dog, out of your home and out of your lawn. Since flea eggs and larvae can live in carpets, upholstery, linens and even floorboard cracks, controlling fleas in the environment is no easy task.

Controlling Fleas On Your Dog

There are a wide range of flea control products that you can use on your dog. Some of them are very effective at flea control, while others aren't so effective. What you choose will depend largely on your personal preferences.

Flea and tick collars can be effective at keeping fleas off your dog if you use them right. You'll know you've achieved a proper fit for the collar if you can put two fingers between the collar and your dog's neck. Cut off any extra length that might be left over. Read the package carefully; some collars may become less effective if they get wet, and most are only effective for about three months.

Flea shampoos may kill fleas that are already on your dog, but most aren't effective at preventing future flea infestation. Dips, however, may not only kill fleas that are on the dog, but may provide protection against fleas for months into the future. Some sprays are also effective at preventing reinfestation. Oral and injectable medications are available that, administered monthly, will kill flea eggs and larvae; however, these medications don't kill adult fleas, so you'll still need to use some other dog flea prevention method.

Flea combs are a non-toxic option; they're safe for use on sick, pregnant and very young animals. Use a comb that has 32 teeth per inch. You'll need to comb over your dog's entire body, placing the fleas you find in soapy water. Of course, flea treatment with a flea comb is time-consuming.

The easiest way to keep fleas of your dog is to use a monthly topical flea repellent, like Frontline or Advantage. These treatments can protect your dog even if some fleas remain in the environment.

Controlling Fleas in Your Home

To control fleas in your home, you'll need to vacuum thoroughly every day. Concentrate on high traffic areas, and areas under drapes and furniture; also, vacuum every day in the area where your dog sleeps. Dispose of the vacuum bag right away each time, as flea eggs, larvae and adult fleas can survive inside it.

Use an insecticide to kill adult fleas, eggs and larvae inside the home. Use a product that contains an insecticide and an insect growth regulator. Your vet can help you choose a product that will kill fleas without harming your pets or other members of your household.

Wash your dog's bedding each week and treat it with an insecticide. Clean and treat your car, dog carrier, garage and basement.

Controlling Fleas in Your Lawn

Fleas like soil that is moist, warm and shady; mowing your lawn regular can keep fleas out of your lawn. Keep your lawn free of debris. You may decide to treat the lawn every one to three weeks with an outdoor flea treatment.