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postheadericon You might think that fleas are nothing more than a minor irritant, like mosquitoes, but if you’ve ever seen a dog with a severe flea infestation, you’ll think otherwise

You might think that fleas are nothing more than a minor irritant, like mosquitoes, but if you’ve ever seen a dog with a severe flea infestation, you’ll think otherwise.

Dogs can develop skin allergies, balding, skin rashes, dermatitis and other conditions including worms if fleas are not controlled. In severe cases, the dog will become restless.

Flea bite allergy is a common condition that causes the dog to scratch incessantly. If the scratching does not provide sufficient relief, the dog will bite at his skin and tear out patches of hair trying to get rid of the itch.

Dogs can become extremely irritated and sensitive to other disturbances, such as a family member attempting to play with the dog or even to pet him. Dogs in distress are likely to bite family members out of frustration.

It’s important, therefore, to make sure that your dog is clear of fleas. This can be difficult if your dog has the run of the yard or goes on frequent trips to the park or is allowed to run free. Fleas are everywhere and are spread by wild animals. Squirrels are a particularly troublesome source as they tend to carry them from nest to ground on a regular basis.

While it’s not feasible to eliminate fleas from your yard, it is relatively easy to rid them from inside your house and from your dog.

There are many products available that will do the trick. You can get flea collars for your pet, use a flea spray or bathe your dog with flea soap. Some products that you give your dog orally will protect your dog for up to a year. If you have multiple pets, treat them all so the fleas have nowhere to hide and cannot be transferred to your treated animals.

Of course, treating the dog isn’t enough. Fleas jump off your dog from time to time and hide in carpets, bedding, and other soft materials. If your dog has his own chair or is allowed on your furniture, the fleas will take refuge there until feeding time. Then, they will seek the closest source of food which includes humans, dogs and other household animals.

To be sure you get rid of as many fleas as possible, take the animal bedding outside and shake it out, then spray it well with a flea repellent. Better yet, wash it if possible. Spray into the carpets and along the baseboards of your rooms, especially those where the dog and any other house pets hang out.

Follow the directions on the flea treatment products for best results. It will likely take several treatments before the fleas are all gone, but they will return. It’s important to maintain monthly spraying during the warm months when fleas proliferate to ensure the best protection for your animals and your family.

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