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Back from Austin’s natural parks: Dealing with Fleas on Your Dog

Every pet owner in Austin, Texas, will have to deal with the nuisance of fleas, ticks, and mites at some point in their pet's life. If left untreated, these pests can take over your pet's skin and coat, making it crucial to keep them under control. This article provides insights on how to handle this issue, especially for those who use pet sitting services or dog boarding facilities.

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At some point in your dog's life, especially after you just returned from a fun dog-friendly vacation out in the natural areas of Texas, you might notice something unsettling - fleas. These tiny nuisances are not exclusive to pets that are dirty or unkempt. In fact, they might even prefer a clean coat, making your freshly groomed pet an attractive host.

Fleas, mites, and ticks are parasites with a short lifespan, but they reproduce quickly. A single female flea can lay up to 25 eggs a day, which means a small problem can escalate quickly if not addressed. They thrive in warm conditions, making the spring and summer seasons in Austin, Texas, a prime time for these pests.

The key to managing this issue is early detection. This means regularly inspecting your dog's coat, especially if they've recently been to a dog park with water or have been swimming in dog-friendly outdoor spots around Austin (which we don’t advise). Fleas are tiny creatures that can even look like dirt, so it's important to examine your dog's fur closely. Check under their ears and around their legs, as fleas prefer warm places. You might also spot flea egg sacks and flea droppings in their fur.

What should you do?

When you spot a flea problem, it's important to act quickly. Instead of rushing to the pet store to buy over-the-counter treatments, it's advisable to seek professional help right away. Your local vet clinic or another Austin-based program might have some recommendations. Some vets even prescribe oral treatments if the problem is severe.

If you choose to shop for the products yourself, read the labels carefully to ensure you're not inadvertently harming your pet. Never allow your pet to ingest any of the products you use; they are highly poisonous. It's also important to protect their eyes from these harsh chemicals.

Remember, it's not just your pet that needs treatment. Fleas can survive in almost anything in your home - furniture, rugs, and bedding. Any flea treatments will be pointless if the flea's eggs or fleas themselves remain in your living space.

To clean your home properly, sanitize and clean the areas where the pet sleeps. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may need to discard blankets that have become infested with eggs. Often, washing the affected bedding in hot water and some flea shampoo should do the trick.

Fleas can become a nightmare for any pet owner. Rather stop the problem early - check your regularly, and use a preventative product approved by your vet. Whether you're enjoying the best places out in Austin, Texas with your dog or just relaxing at home, keeping your pet flea-free is essential for their comfort and health.

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