Canine Wellness Series - Part 1 - Fleas

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Regardless of whether your dog is a “senior citizen” or a “young pup”, they all come with certain health concerns.  This series will address some of the most frequently asked questions regarding your pet’s health and wellness.

Depending on where you live, battling fleas (and all the problems that they bring with them), never really ends.  Keep in mind that treating your pet is just one step in winning the flea war.  Treating your home and yard is absolutely essential. With the marketplace full of products that all claim to be the very best at controlling and killing fleas it’s important to use what works best for you, in your area.

Many people in the colder parts of the country believe that they are “safe” in using their flea prevention during the “warmer” months.  Unfortunately, a large portion of the country doesn’t get cold enough for a long enough period to kill fleas.  According to parasitologist Dr. Michael Dryden temperatures would have to be 37 degrees for 10 days or 33 degrees for 5 days to kill fleas.  It is for this reason that we should keep our dogs on flea prevention all year.  As the “mom” of 5 four-leggers, I do keep mine on prevention year round.  

There are four stages of the life cycle of the flea.  The adult flea constitutes only about 5% of the entire flea population, when you consider all four stages of the life cycle.  Fleas lay their eggs on your pet, but the eggs do not always stick and may fall off into the environment.  The entire life cycle of the flea can be completed in 14 – 21 days with the proper temperature and humidity conditions.  If you see one flea, there may be more than 100 offspring or adults nearby!
Adult Flea
Options for treating your pet include topicals, flea & tick collars, shampoos and dips and oral treatments.

Premise treatments include foggers, carpet powders and sprays and flea traps.

When treating your yard, you will want to start as close to your home as possible and work outward.  In addition to sprays, nematodes (microscopic parasites) are also very effective.  

If you have any questions regarding the best options for your pet and premises, or if you need help with training and/or behavioral issues, please don’t hesitate to call or email me!

Renee Jones-Lewis is a certified professional dog trainer, having received instruction from canine behaviorist Dr. Pamela Reid, plus nationally acclaimed trainers: Patricia McConnell, Pia Silvani, and Jean Donaldson, to name a few. She serves as a Pet Marketing and Canine Specialist for JeffersPet and

Questions about this article, training or non-emergent health concerns are welcome. Renee can be reached most days from 9am – 5pm Central Time (Mon-Fri) at 1-800-JEFFERS (533-3377) ext 381 or by email rsjones@jefferspet. com.

Information given here is meant to be helpful and/or educational. It is, in no way, intended to supersede, challenge or supplant the diagnosis, treatment or advice of a licensed veterinarian.

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  • MB from New Philadelphia

    Is there anything I can do for young puppies? We have 5, 7week old pups and they have fleas really bad! The dad brought them in and we have been trying to find safe ways to get rid of them since. Most flea meds suggest 12weeks and older but we want to be able to re-home these guys in a few weeks but not with fleas!

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