Bug Off (How You Can Prevent Fleas on Puppies)
Pardon the pun, but fleas are quite possibly the biggest bugaboo that a puppy can face. These little bugs are much more than merely annoying - they can be dangerous to your little buddy. As such, it’s important that you take getting rid of your pup’s flea problems fast.
Why Are Fleas Such a Problem for My Pup?
The biggest misconception regarding fleas and dogs is the notion that they live on your pup. Although it may seem like this is the case, this is not accurate. The truth is, fleas live in grass or carpeting if they are indoors.
When fleas come and hang out on your dog, they aren't looking for a nice place to stay; they are looking for food - specifically, blood. This could be a big issue for puppies, as their size and frailness make them ill-equipped to handle the bloodsuckers. As a result, your puppy could end up suffering from a wide host of unpleasant conditions, ranging from hair loss and itching to even anemia.
What’s more, fleas have a tendency to carry tapeworms. These tapeworms could potentially find their way into your pup, where even more nefarious damage can be caused. If your puppy has fleas, you may want to keep an eye out for dried tapeworm segments in your pup’s stool to make sure he’s not a potential carrier for these particularly nasty creatures.
How do I Get Rid of Fleas on My Puppy?
There are several methods that you can use in order to rid your puppy of a potential flea problem. The most common method that you can use is to bathe your little buddy. Doing so is a process that’s a little more delicate in comparison to giving a larger dog a bath, so make sure you conduct this act with a great deal of care.
Fleas can show up on a puppy almost immediately. If you have a pup that is less than four weeks and notice he has fleas, then bathing him may not be the best option. Rather, you will want to groom your wee pooch with a flea comb or pluck the fleas off his body very carefully with tweezers.
An alternate method that you can use to rid your pup of fleas is to incorporate the power of citrus. Fleas tend to find freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice to be repulsive, so lightly rubbing some juice on your puppy's fur could act as a shield of sorts to keep them away. With that said, it should be noted that you should only use the juice of the fruit for this method, as using the rind to apply the citrus could cause irritation and illness.
What Can I do to Prevent Fleas in the First Place?
The best way you can prevent fleas from finding and pouncing on your puppy is to maintain a clean home. Fleas, like other bugs, thrive on environments that are kept less than tip-top, so keeping your home clean will thwart their desire to hang out. This preventative measure oftentimes just extends to routine maintenance, such as laundering your dog’s bedding and vacuuming the carpet.
If you have a lawn that your dog likes to hang out in, you may also want to consider adding some critters that naturally prey on fleas. For example, small worms known as nematodes tend to thrive off the consumption of flea larva, and can quickly lower the local flea population that may otherwise thrive in your yard. Lady bugs and fire ants are also known to be effective predators that can lower the presence of fleas, although the latter bugs may require the establishment of a controlled environment.
Be Strong for Your Little Guy!
Because your puppy is just starting out in this world, he is going to need a little extra love in order to help him get through this ordeal. So whatever method you decide to utilize in order to help your buddy out, be sure to do so with the maximum amount of care and gentleness you can possibly dole out. Your pup will thank you for it, and may even take going through the ordeal as an opportunity to bond with you.