When I was growing up, my mom had a groom and board business for cats and dogs that she operated out of our home. She loved it, and not long after, so would I. It is why I created this pet sitting business, and why pets of all types are so important to me.
My mom and I both cared for pets deeply. But we would both admit there is one thing that we hate: fleas. It is as true 30 years ago as it is today. Back then, as soon as a dog came into our home it got a flea dip bath, because we had to control the fleas.
There weren’t the same products as there are today available to help eliminate fleas, the pesky and annoying critters that:
Cause itchy bites.
May cause tapeworms
Rob your pet of much needed nutrients.
My mom knew how important a flea free business was to her clients, and so did I. Every year, I dread receiving a phone call or text that says “Kim! My kitty has fleas, even though she never goes outside! What happened?”
We do everything we can to prevent fleas. But the truth is that it is so easy for dogs and cats to get fleas, that pet owners have to be diligent and make good decisions with their pets. Consider the following:
Always do a safe preventative treatment, like a topical or oral. They work within 24 hours and can last for one to three months. Be very careful about non-brand name products and consider asking for them from your vet, as some products can do serious harm to your pet.
Treat Your Yard – There are pest control companies that can treat your yard for fleas. It is not a 100% effective solution, nor will it reduce fleas from your neighbor’s properties, dog parks, etc., but it will decrease the chances of fleas coming indoors to attack your pets.
Use Flea Combs Often – Flea combs are a good way to keep your pet groomed while also eliminating fleas. Flea combs also provide something that flea medication does not – they are able to help you remove fleas before they bite, rather than kill fleas after they bite.
20 Mule Team – There is a laundry additive called Borax that from the 20 Mule Team brand that is very effective at killing fleas, their eggs, and even some other insects without any sprays. My mom loved using this product. She would sprinkle it all over the carpet, wait 8 to 24 hours, and then vacuum it all up in an empty bag. Borax dries and eventually kills fleas, their eggs, and other pests. Even though Borax is not too dangerous for humans and dogs, it is still a good idea to be careful around kids and pets just like you would any detergent. It can be harmful if inhaled or consumed.
Close Your Doors/Windows – Even if your pet never stepped foot outside, they would still be at risk for fleas that enter your home through the doors and windows – even screened in porches! Checking them for air pockets and keeping them sealed is a good way to make sure your home stays flea free.
As pet sitters, we have seen how upset your pet becomes when they experience fleas, and how stressful it can be for owners. It’s a good idea to remember that you have many prevention strategies available, most of which are simple and effective for preventing flea infestations.