The rise in temperatures also brings an increase in pests that plague pets, like fleas. If you notice your pet excessively scratching or see small specks of black on your pet's skin (this is known as flea dirt), it is likely that your pet has fleas. You have may even spot a flea or two crawling directly on your pet. This is especially troubling if your pet is taking flea medicine. Check out four things you should do if it seems like your pet's flea medication isn't working.
1. Treat Your Pet's Surroundings for Fleas
It isn't enough to apply flea medication to your pet. You also need to treat your pet's surroundings for fleas, including your home. Remove fleas in your home by vacuuming affected areas with a bagged vacuum cleaner every other day for a couple of weeks. Don't forget your pet's bedding or any other bedding that your pet comes into contact with. You can wash the items in hot water to kill the fleas.
Make sure that you animals your pet comes into contact with are also on flea prevention medication. In severe cases you may need to treat your home with a product designed to kill fleas.
2. Rethink the Dosage
The dosage for oral and topical medications usually varies based on your pet's weight. If your pet has grown or gained weight, the dosage may not be sufficient. Drop by your veterinarian's office to get an accurate weight on your pet and see that you are using the proper dosage.
3. Check Your Technique
Technique matters when you are using topical flea medication. You need to make sure that you are completely parting your pet's hair and applying the flea medication directly to your pet's skin. This is important, as the medication combines with the oils of your pet's skin to ward off pests. Many pet owners make the mistake of applying the medicine to the fur, rather than the skin. You also need to apply the medicine between the shoulders so that your pet can not lick it off.
If your pet's skin is irritated, this can cause the medication to not be effective. Get any skin issues under control before applying topical flea medication.
4. Change Your Flea Regimen
Some pet owners make the mistake of only treating their pet for fleas when they notice that their pets are infested. However, it is much for effective to prevent, rather than treat, a flea problem. For the best results, apply a flea preventative to your pet year round.
If all else fails, reach out to your local vet (like those at After Hours Veterinary Emergency Clinic Inc) for help.