I may be a little extra cautious – but I treat my pets all year round with flea products. I know that many people think that is crazy because (good) flea products aren’t cheap. The more I consider it, though, the happier I am with my decision.
I have indoor cats, both rescued as feral cats. They’ve already lived the flea bag (and internal parasite) lifestyle and I don’t intend on sending them back to that. As a veterinary technician and a good cat mom, I feel that I have the responsibility to keep them comfortable. For the sake of educating our clients, I want to outline the many reasons why you should be treating your pets all year round.
- The temperatures have been staying warmer for longer into the year and becoming warmer earlier, meaning fleas will be around for longer periods of time.
- Think your indoor pets are safe? Think again. Fleas can easily jump onto your clothing and you can carry them into your house. If you have company over and their pets have fleas, it’s a quick and easy transfer to your pets.
- If you live in an apartment building, it’s easy for fleas to transfer from one apartment to another via heating ducts, carpets, people walking down hallways, etc. All it takes is one person in your building to not be treating for fleas.
- Say you were to move into a new apartment/house. The vibrations of movement around the place can wake up the pupae, if present. They will then hatch into fleas. Fleas can remain in their pupae state for months, to even years.
- Getting rid of fleas … is a pain in the butt! Ask anybody who’s ever had a flea infestation. You need to treat every pet in your house for several consecutive months and often times need to treat your home with a premise spray. Not only is this costly, but incredibly time-consuming and annoying. Now imagine you are your pet, who is battling a flea infestation for several months (itchy, scratchy, and annoying).
- When you’re dealing with fleas, there’s always the possibility that you could be dealing with tapeworms too. Fleas are an intermediate host for tapeworms, meaning if your pet has fleas, there’s always the possibility that they’ve got tapeworms as well (which is zoonotic – meaning it can be transferred to people)!
- Some animals have something called a “flea allergy dermatitis”. Simply put, this is a severe reaction to flea bites. Many times pets present as being incredibly itchy, scabby, and with areas of fur loss. Due to this flea allergy dermatitis, it really only takes one flea to cause a reaction – so often owners come in and insist that their pet doesn’t have any fleas. Perhaps they don’t, but one jumped on and bit them, and jumped back off.
Maybe I’m too cautious, but with this many reasons to treat your pets, the cost of flea meds once a month (or once every 3 months if you’re using Bravecto!), outweighs all the risks of not treating. It gives you peace of mind, and your pets will be happy and itch free!
Written by Kirsty Riemersma, Registered Veterinary Technician