The weather is getting warmer and flea season is coming. I know many struggle with their pets and keeping fleas at bay, but I don’t seem to have too much of a problem with it. I have lots of friends who stop by and ask how I do it, how I have so many pets in small quarters and I never have a real problem with fleas. It’s not that I have “never” had a problem with fleas, it’s that I have lived through the disasters and have come to a routine that works well for me and my pets.
I am still just a pet owner like you, who has experimented with all the products out there and have come to my own conclusions. There are so many types of flea products out there, and so many costly prescriptions as well, but in the end, we are using some type of pesticide on our pet to kill a pest, so choose wisely. I choose to use non-prescription drops on my pets.
There are many other steps I take for a flea free environment. Having 2 large dogs and 4 cats in a small city bungalow is not an easy feat. I do not treat them during the winter months for fleas, as its not really necessary, but when the weather starts to hit the 50’s and 60’s on a regular basis I know its time to start treating “my babies.” The yard is first, it gets its first mowing and a good spraying with flea spray. K9 Cuisine carries several natural varieties that would make a good choice to start with.
Now several years ago, I noticed that the company that makes the hair products that I like started making dog shampoos and such. Of course, I had to have them for my best friends! I still use them today; they are mild, condition well, and smell delightful. I currently use the PetHead shampoos on my dogs and their wipes on my cats. Their watermelon and pineapple scents are great!
I run warm bath water in the tub and yell, “Bath time!” Everyone scatters and hides. I swear they do know what I’m saying most of the time! I usually locate Linus first as he is the easier of the two dogs, and coax and drag him to the bathroom. The shampoos that I use are mild, and do not contain anything for fleas. They condition and make them feel good. After a good scrubbing, rinsing, and drying both dogs are back to being happy. Then there are 4 cats that I simply grab up one at a time, and use the scented wipes on, which they love.
Now that the yard is clean and sprayed, the animals are all clean and glistening, the next step is the bedding and the house. I clean all the dog beds and give them a good spray with a natural flea spray and wash all the bedding. This includes washing my own bedding because I can’t keep Linus off my bed. The next place to focus is the floors and furniture, and all I can say is invest in a good vacuum. Vacuum everyday. If you have carpet, sprinkle with a bit of baking soda before vacuuming. I am lucky enough to have hardwoods, but it is still key to keep the fleas at a minimum is good housekeeping.
I’m sure none of this is news. Cleanliness and good housekeeping are basics of flea control, but finding mild products that make you and your pet happy while doing the job of controlling fleas can be key to long term success. K9 Cuisine carries Natural Chemistry yard spray and a full line of PetHead products. Now the flea drops I use, I do get the generics with fipronil to save money. However, I also wait 24-48 hours AFTER their baths before applying their drops. They work much better by doing this. These drops are designed to work with the oils in the dogs’ skin, if you put it on right after their bath; the oils have been washed away. I give it a couple days, and then use the drops.
Now, this is a once a month routine until the first frost. All the cats are indoors only so I give them drops every other month. Last summer was pretty hot, and while everyone I knew was fighting flea infestations, I only seen 3 or 4 total.
This is just my routine, and what works for me. I hope it can work for you too. Many of the products that I use such as the yard sprays and the Pethead shampoos can be found here. If this type of routine does not work for you, talk to your veterinarian about finding a routine, and the right products for you and your pet family
If you have any ideas or suggestions for controlling the flea population on our pets, please let us know! We would love to hear from you!