Basic Flea Control for Dogs

Flea control for dogs is central to the health and well-being of dogs and humans alike. Preventative and proactive care is best, but sometimes fleas manage to infest your home and cause discomfort and health problems for your dog. When this happens, there are ways to re-establish control over these pesky parasites.

Preventing Flea Infestation

There are many ways to prevent fleas from entering your home. When you are planning to bring a dog home, make sure he is completely free of fleas before bringing him home. You can choose a flea dip or special bath at the vet or just give him a thorough bath at a dog washing place. You can also prepare your house by spraying a natural flea repellent in corners and along walls next to the outdoors. You can also spray your yard in a way that is safe for pets and children. As soon as you adopt your dog, start him on one of the regimes discussed below. Stay consistent with the regime using a calendar or other tracking method.

Flea Collars

You can put a flea collar on your dog to control fleas. Flea collars are very easy to use and many kill fleas as well as killing flea larvae. The collar needs to be loose enough to fit one finger under it while it’s on the dog’s neck. The only disadvantage to a collar can be that for safety, it has to come off if it’s stuck or could choke the dog. Some dogs also really don’t like them and might try to paw them off.

Topical Flea Medicine

The most un-intrusive form of flea control for dogs is a monthly topical flea treatment. Many topical formulas kill adult fleas while also killing the larvae. This stops the flea life cycle thus helping to prevent further outbreaks. The trick is applying the medicine on time each month. Most boxes come with stickers to remind you of the last application and when the next one is due. 

Powders, Sprays and Flea Shampoo

There are other products that can help kill fleas on a dog and on furniture or dog bedding. You can wash your dog with a special flea shampoo and then whey he’s dry, apply a powder or spray all over his body. These are best with a dog who will stay still long enough for you to really cover his entire body including legs, feet and the entire underbelly. Some people don’t prefer powders or sprays because they can aggravate asthma or other breathing sensitivities in humans. Powders and sprays are great for furniture and dog bedding where fleas may be laying eggs.

Natural Solutions

There are some more gentle and environmentally-friendly ways to control fleas. Fleas choke on lavender oil and other natural oils. If you mix the oil with really warm water, it’s great for furniture and bedding. For the dog himself, there are powders that have more natural ingredients. How well these work depend on other cleanliness factors in your home as well as the environment where you live.