Fleas 101

Depending on the season and where you live, fleas can be a big problem. Unfortunately, if you live in warmer climates, fleas can be a year-long concern. While some colder areas have a few months to rest easy, fleas are never far from finding their next home. What’s more is that these small pests are nothing more than a pain and concern for you, your home, and your pet’s health.
The Health Concerns for Cats and Dogs
Fleas can cause a number of health concerns for your pet. Fleas can cause flea allergy dermatitis - a very common dog and cat skin disease, and hair loss from excessive itching and scratching. Anemia is also associated with flea bites. Dogs and cats who are suffering from anemia may have pale skin, chills, weariness, and shortness of breath. During peak season, taking the time to avoid a full infestation can have a lasting impact towards your pet’s health and happiness.

Flea Protection for Dogs and Pets

At Advecta, our mission is to keep dogs, cats, and pets of all kinds healthy and happy by providing effective, convenient, and safe protection from fleas and other harmful insects. We're proud to offer a wide array of flea protection products for pets, ranging from monthly treatments to outdoor flea yard spray. But while prevention is important, it's also critical to know the dangers and the signs of fleas – so here's a crash course on fleas in pets.

Where Do Fleas Live?

Fleas can cause a major problem for pets of all kinds, and that problem can be amplified depending on the season and climate that you live in. Warmer climates mean fleas are likely a year-round problem, and while colder climates usually provide at least a few months of respite, it's always possible fleas, in their various life stages, can become a nuisance. And that's a problem because fleas can cause a number of issues for your pet, you and your home.

Pet Health Problems Caused by Fleas

More than being just a nuisance, fleas can give rise to a variety of health problems for your pet. While any flea presence is a problem, the health impact on your pet can increase as the flea population multiplies. A few of the most common health problems that come from fleas include:

  • Hair Loss: Excessive itching and scratching can cause your pet to lose hair in the infested area.
  • Flea Allergy Dermatitis: This is a common skin disease for both dogs and cats caused by an allergic reaction to flea saliva.
  • Anemia: Flea infestations can lead to anemia, which can cause symptoms like chills, weariness, shortness of breath, and pale skin.

How to Tell If Your Pet Has Fleas

Prevention is always the best medicine when fighting fleas, but it's also important to know the signs of a flea infestation in case your pet gets one. Here are the major indicators that your pet may have fleas:

  1. Excessive scratching, biting, and chewing. When fleas bite, they secrete saliva that can linger in the skin and cause an itching sensation. This often causes flea allergy dermatitis, and excessive scratching can give rise to other problems like hair loss or secondary bacterial skin infection.
  2. Flea Dirt. Noticing any tiny black spots on the fur or skin of your pet that look a bit like black pepper? It may very well be flea dirt. Flea dirt is made up of tiny pellets of flea waste and blood that fleas excrete after they suck blood from your pet. If you're trying to decide whether your pet has flea dirt or regular old dirt, try using a moistened paper towel to grab the spots. Because flea dirt is made largely from blood, it should leave a brownish-red stain on the paper towel.

How Often Should I Treat My Dog for Fleas?

Even if your dog isn't showing signs of fleas, it's still important to consider using a dog flea treatment on a regular basis. And if you do find fleas on your dog, taking steps to treat them is even more critical. But whether your dog is showing symptoms of fleas or not, how frequently should you treat a dog for fleas?

The answer, as it turns out, depends on the treatment method you're using. It's imperative to follow directions for any flea treatment thoroughly and carefully as the directions will outline key items such as application frequency, application method, how soon after an application you can bathe your pet to ensure maximum product effectiveness, and more.

For flea prevention, a collar or a spot-on treatment like Advecta may be sufficient. However, if you discover your dog does have fleas, you'll likely also want to use an indoor and outdoor flea spray as well as a flea shampoo or topical flea spray. While topical flea products like shampoos and sprays will help kill fleas currently on your dog, to truly address the problem, you need to eliminate the flea eggs and larvae that live in your carpets, furniture, and your dog's bedding. That's where indoor and outdoor flea sprays come in handy.

How Often Should I Treat My Cat for Fleas?

Fleas can infest cats in the same way they do dogs, so it's important to use regular preventive flea treatments as well as flea treatment products whenever signs of fleas become apparent.

As with dogs, you should use a collar or topical spot-on cat flea treatment like Advecta to prevent fleas in the first place. However, if your cat shows signs of fleas, you'll need to use similar flea treatment products to eliminate the existing population. Again, while collars and spot-on cat flea treatments will kill fleas, eggs, and larvae in the cat's coat, you'll still want to consider using other products like an indoor and outdoor flea spray to eliminate egg and larvae populations in carpets, furniture, bedding, and yards:

Get Flea Protection for Your Pet Today

Fleas are a menace to fun-loving pets everywhere, and if you think your pet may be suffering from fleas, Advecta can help. Our flea and tick treatments contain the same active ingredients as leading brands and will eliminate fleas, flea eggs, and other harmful pests, protecting your pet from the negative health effects of flea infestation. Help your furry friend get back to being comfortable and calm: find a location for our flea treatment products today!
Signs Your Pet Has Fleas
1. Excessive scratching or chewing. Flea bites secrete saliva that causes an itching sensation on the skin. This can lead to many problems including flea allergy dermatitis and secondary bacterial skin infections.
2. If you notice any black peppered spots in the fur and on the skin it might very well be flea dirt. Flea dirt is flea waste and blood that develops as the flea bites and sucks the blood out of the pet. If you are unsure whether the spots are flea dirt, use a moist paper towel and grab the spots, flea dirt will leave a brownish-red stain.
3. Noticeable skin problems such as hair loss, rashes, or hot spots are a common sign of fleas. Flea saliva can cause this if your pet suffers from a serious allergic reaction.
4. If you have not found any trace of fleas, but your pet continues to scratch, consider taking your pet to the veterinarian for a professional help.