Toys4pets Products

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

September 2008 Newsletter

This month we are going to give you information on how fleas survive and what you can do to get rid of them, on your pet and in your home. At lot of this information has been borrowed from research that we have done on this subject.

Fleas are insects that feed on the blood of mammals. Dog fleas are the most common parasite found on dogs. Some fleas prefer cat blood or the blood of other mammals but will but will settle for dog blood when there is nothing else around. Fleas can multiply very rapidly, they need warm, humid weather and will and will also bite humans.

Fleas can be seen with our human eyes. They are brown to black in color, fleas are wingless with laterally compressed bodies. Adult fleas are extremely powerful jumpers.

Fleas can cause your dog to become irritated and cause discomfort. Some dogs develop an allergy to flea saliva known as flea allergy dermatitis. The saliva causes the dog to itch and bite itself, causing hair loss and skin infection. Fleas also carry tapeworms and can cause anemia.

If you think your pet has fleas, inspect places where your dog sleeps for flea dirt. Flea dirt is a small dark speck and is actually flea feces which consists of digested blood. If you add a few drops of water to these specks, your water will turn reddish brown. Comb your dog with a flea comb (very fine toothed comb) around the neck, belly and tail. If you've noticed flea dirt and your dog has been scratching, chances are very good you'll see some between the teeth of the comb!

If you find that your pet has fleas, you must not only treat the pet but also treat your home. Most of a fleas life cycle is spent off the pet and develop in four stages: egg, larva, pupa(cocoon) and adult. The adults live on your pet, gorging on blood and laying eggs. The eggs will fall off your pet and into the yard, your carpet, your furniture and other areas.

If the eggs survive, they hatch and pass into the larva and pupa stages and can lie dormant for months. When they become adults, the fleas jump unto your pet and start the cycle all over again. Each female flea can lay more than 500 eggs, it only takes a few weeks before both your dog and your home have a serious problem.

In treating a flea problem, you will have to treat your dog, your home and your pet's outside environment. Start first with your pet. Give your pet a daily combing with a fine tooth flea comb, this will capture some of the fleas. Immediately drop your comb into a solution hot water and dish soap. This solution will kill them.

You can also purchase a flea shampoo and give your dog a bath. Read the directions carefully! Start by shampooing the pet head, using your fingers to work the shampoo around the pet's chin, neck and ears. Work the soap back from the head, over the body, belly and legs, and on the tip of the tail. Rinse well with warm water and towel your dog dry. Drying should be done in a room that has already been treated for fleas. This includes vacuuming this room. Flea dips are also effective. As with all preparations containing insecticides, read the directions carefully. Sponge your pet with the dip, starting with the head and moving towards the tail. Be careful to avoid eyes and do not use dips if your pet has open sores.

Always remove the flea collar before your pets bath or dip and do not put it back on for 24 hours, this is done to avoid over exposure to insecticides. A new flea collar should be taken out of the package and aired for 24 hours before putting it on your pet to reduce the possibility of skin irritation and should be the proper size for your pet. If the skin under the collar becomes irritated or the hair falls out, remove the collar. Some pets will not be able to tolerate flea collars.

Remember when using flea shampoos, dip, sprays, powders and collars, that all of these can be toxic to your pet and and mus be used with extreme caution. Using more than one product can result in overdosing and possibly poisoning your pet with insecticides. Read all label instructions.

Your home and your yard will also need to be treated if your pet gets fleas. Start by cleaning your house thoroughly. Mop floors and vacuum carpets and upholstered furniture. After vacuuming, remove the bag and throw it away. (Flea collars make an excellent addition to your vacuum cleaner bag because the collar will kill the fleas swept up into the bag) All pet bedding, pet toys, and throw rugs must be washed.

Foggers and sprays made of chemical insecticides can be used to treat your home. Commercial services, will come to your home and apply a non-toxic powder to your carpets. The white powder--consisting of something called a desiccant-- kills fleas, pupae and eggs by abrading their outer coverings and drying them out. (Diatomaceous Earth is a naturally occurring, nontoxic desiccant that is widely available) The powder is worked into your carpets with a brush and is invisible after application. Within a few weeks, your pet and your home should be completely flea-less with the exception of those fleas brought in from the outside--which are unable to reproduce once they are exposed to the desiccant. This can be an expensive service. We offer a unique flea trap that is cordless, light weight, portable and highly effective to rid your room of fleas, swiftly and efficiently. It is chemical-free and environmentally friendly. An intense light attracts the insects and trap them on a disposable adhesive sheet. Price is $59.99 each and has to be special ordered. Contact us at See pic below.

Any product that is applied directly to your pet should be made specifically for pet and directions should be followed explicitly. (Products made for dogs should not be used for cats) Some pets will still have reverse reactions to flea preparations or will develop a cumulative toxic effect to insecticides that are used repeatedly. Although collars, dips, flea baths may seem to be a more economical way of treating flea infestations , in the long run they are more expensive since treat most be repeated--and the risks the health of the pet. Discuss options with your veterinarian or breeder and be willing to invest in effective, safe solutions.

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