Monday, March 25, 2013

Flea Prevention: Your Cost $15/mth.. My Cost $2-5/mth for flea, heartworm, and intestinal parasite prevention

If there is anything good about this long, long winter, it is the affect it has on the fleas. Last year, we barely had a winter and there was a huge population explosion of fleas as soon as it was warm enough. So for everyday its freezing outside, I just tell myself, that's one less flea.

With as many animals that live and pass through T.Paws Rescue, it is vital to keep the fleas at bay. I actually have a three step process that I do here at T.Paws to prepare for the fleas. But the secret that seems to garner the most attention is below.

I walked through a national pet supply chain the other day where I know many of the employees. While I was standing at the counter, I looked at them and said "You better hope none of your customers buy my book Secrets of a Vet Tech". They asked me why.

I pointed to the flea preventative nearby that was $84 for a six month supply. "Do you know how much I spend per dog for flea AND heartworm AND intestinal parasite prevention each month?"

My answer was "between $2-5 per pet per month using safe nationally known products".

They all looked around to make sure the boss was not nearby and took my business card.

While you will have to buy the book to get the entire secret, I will tell you that prevention begins the day it is warm enough for a flea to be "awake" and ready to go. If you buy my book a little too late and you already have a huge flea problem, there are three steps to getting rid of them.
  • Treat the inside of the house (remove all pets)
  • While outside, treat the pet with a topical flea product
  • Once the pets are safely inside, treat the outside. 
Skip any of these steps, and you will lose the flea battle.  Another thing that will cause you to lose the flea battle is bathing your pet just before applying a topical flea preventative. The oils of the skin work like a highway transporting the flea preventative all over the body. Get rid of the oils, and you get rid of the transport system. Wait at least 2 days after bathing a pet to apply.

A word about cheap flea products make with Phenothrin (a toxin long ago banned as a lawn pesticide) and permethrin a neurotoxin. DON'T USE THEM. Actually that was three words, but you get my point. I've known many the pet who has died using these products. Read the label to be sure that your flea preventative doesn't contain any of these ingredients. 

Next time I'll cover the ever dreaded Flea Allergy Dermatitis.

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