Puppy Flea Control: Treating a flea infestation in a young puppy
Puppy flea control is important because fleas on a very young puppy are more than an irritation. In fact, they can even be fatal, as they can cause anemia.
But most commercial flea control products are not safe for use on puppies younger than 6 weeks. So what do you do if you have a young pup with a flea infestation? The answer is three-fold, treat the puppy, treat the mother and treat the environment.
Puppy Flea Control: Treating the Puppy
While there are flea treatments that are safe for treating puppies, such as Natural Flea and Tick Spray, you should always check with your vet before using a flea product on a puppy.
However, you may decide to play it safe and take the manual route. The best way is to bathe the puppy in a mild puppy shampoo and then remove fleas from the coat with a flea comb.
- Start by standing the puppy in a bath or plastic basin and pour a jug of warm (not hot) water over his coat while holding him by the collar. (Note: If using the bath, put a rubber shower mat down so the puppy doesn’t slip)
- Pour on the puppy shampoo and build up a lather over the entire body, except the head. Be careful not get water or soap in the puppy’s eyes.
- Lather the puppy’s head with shampoo poured onto your hands, being careful again to avoid the eyes and mouth.
- Rinse and dry the puppy’s head thoroughly, before rinsing the rest of the body.
- Rinse the rest of the body with warm water.
- Squeeze excess water from the coat, then lift the dog out of the bath and dry with a towel.
- Be sure that the puppy is kept warm, then begin working through the coat with a flea comb. You’ll find that many of the fleas are dead, and that the live ones struggle to get through the damp fur.
- Remove all fleas from the coat and drop them into a bowl of water with dishwashing liquid, which generally kills them.
Puppy Flea Control: Treating the Mother
If your pup has a flea infestation his mother does too, and unless you treat the mother, the puppy will soon be re-infested.
However, you should never use a standard flea medication on a nursing mother. There are products on the market that claim to be safe, but always speak to your vet first.
If there are other pets in the home, be sure to treat them also.
Puppy Flea Control: Treating the Environment
No flea treatment is complete unless you also treat the environment.
You basically have 2 options, to do it yourself, or call in a professional pest controller. It you use a professional, be sure to let them know that you have pets, so they can use a pet-safe product.
If you go the DIY route, you have a choice of a spray treatment or aerosol “bomb”. Read the instructions and warnings on the can carefully, and take all necessary precautions to avoid exposing your pets to the toxins. That includes small pets like birds, fish and rodents.
Frequent vaccuming will also remove fleas,their eggs and larvae. A useful tip is to put a flea collar in the vacuum cleaner bag, as this will kill the fleas as you vacuum them up.
Pay special attention to skirting boards, corners and other nooks & crannies, as this is where the flea larvae are likely to hide. Also vacuum furniture and curtains and be sure to empty the vacuum cleaner after each use to prevent fleas escaping.
These relatively simple measures will usually provide effective puppy flea control.