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Hello friends of Southern Divine! Christina here with the SDKPG Barking Post for this week!

Now that the weather outside will be getting cooler, I want to talk to you all about those itchy bugs that we all know! Fleas. Here in the south fleas are the pest that has entered our lives at least once I am sure. Most fleas have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The lifecycle of fleas can be very quick or last many months to years depending on the environmental conditions throughout the life stages. The average life cycle of a flea is about 100 days. If conditions are favorable, these insects can even live indoors for up to a year! Here at the salon we do offer flea baths for your pup.

1: My pup only goes outside to potty! Where is she getting them from?

All it takes is a wild animal to cross through your yard. Fleas are carried by anything from a stray cat, squirrels or raccoons.

2: My pup is on prevention and still has fleas! What should I do?

There are at least 2 reasons that this is happening:

A: The prevention you are using is topical. Topicals are good however their downfall is preventing the bugs from hitching a ride. In order for them to work; the insect has to bite the animal.

B: Your yard is not protected from fleas. If you have the ability to have your yard (and home) treated for fleas this is ideal in preventing an infestation.

C: Cleanliness: Keeping your pet's bedding and toys washed in hot water with a dabble of bleach or vinegar does well in killing off any eggs. Maintaining rugs and carpets in similar ways is also a great way to help prevent eggs from hatching.

3: My pet is allergic to the topicals. What can I use?

Thankfully there are alternatives to the liquid flea preventative. Most veterinarians carry multiple options for flea care.

A: Collars like the Seresto (last 6-8months depending on the brand and can be removed if an allergic reaction occurs)

B: Chewable (used similarly to the monthly heartworm chew)

C: Pill (used similarly to the chewable but in pill form)

4: I don't agree with using insecticides on my pet. What options do I have?

If you have a short hair pet this is pretty easy to maintain. There are many options for all natural sprays (safe for daily use) that when used with daily checks for bugs with a flea comb can do the job just fine. If you have a long-coated pet this can be a lot more difficult. Fleas love to hang out in warm areas of your pet: sanitary, abdomen, armpits and ears. Of course, they don't Stay in these areas but are great places to begin your search for any tiny pests.

Not all methods of prevention will work for everyone and not all methods are available to everyone. The main thing is that we do what we can to protect all of our pets from fleas. Fleas are always more than simply fleas. Some of them carry heartworms which are very dangerous to our pets and all fleas if left alone run the risk of causing anemia in our pets. The most important thing to remember when purchasing a method of prevention is to buy it from a reputable source, such as your vet. If you choose to go to a local pet store, be sure to look at the expiration date. Expired dates can cause adverse reactions in your pet.

Wishing you a "flea free fall"

SDK Groomer, Christina

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