Let’s face it: every dog loves a good lick. But if you see your pooch licking its belly and legs a bit too enthusiastically, perhaps it’s time for a conversation with your vet. After all, we’re still in the summer months, a time many of us pet parents refer to as flea season. . . or is it?
Fun fact for ya: fleas can attack all year long—and they can even get to your indoor pets! (*mic drop*) But never fear, we’ve rounded up intel from a latest report from Banfield on skin allergies and fleas. Here’s what you need to know about those pesky things, and how you can protect your furry friends.
Flea allergies – Yes, It’s A Thing
Fleas aren’t just annoying – they can cause an allergic reaction in your dogs. Over the past 10 years, Banfield has seen a spike in cases of flea allergies, going from 12.5% to more than 67%. And, there’s no hiding from ‘em. Fleas are found all across the U.S. It’s the proteins found in their saliva that can cause your pet to have an allergic reaction. Oh, and your kitty is twice as likely to get fleas than your dog.
Here’s what that looks like: major itching. Intense itching. Skin-damaging itching. You’ll know something is off with your pet right away. The itching could last a few weeks. Other things to watch for include bleeding, hair loss and pink bumps across your pet’s skin. You’ll see a rash on your dog somewhere on their back legs, or perhaps their stomach. And with cats, rashes are typically on their face and neck.
Year-round Protection Is A Must
Winter included. Even fleas love a cozy home when it’s snowing outside. But the real issue with fleas is that you don’t notice them until they’ve already nibbled at your dog’s skin like they’re hitting the happy hour buffet. Fleas are a pain to remove—so why not just prevent them altogether?
When you see fleas on your animal, you’re only seeing a sliver of the problem. You’re not seeing the greater infestation, hiding within your home. To effectively treat fleas, first thoroughly comb through your pet’s fur using a flea brush. Then, bathe them with a special flea shampoo. For the allergic reactions, get with your vet – they’ll likely prescribe you an antibiotic or antihistamine. And of course, keep up with your preventative flea treatments!
As for your home, first vacuum like it’s your favorite thing in the world. Don’t forget the nooks and crannies like baseboards, bedding and couch cushions…those suckers can hide anywhere! And finally, it’s recommended that you spray an indoor insecticide. Look for ones that contain “IGR”, Insect Growth Regulator. Whew!
We’re itchy just talking about it!