Thursday, 6 November 2014

The unfortunate truth about fleas that you may be ignoring

Photo by Stacey McIntyre-Gonzalez Copyright©
In denial: The unfortunate truth about fleas that you may be ignoring

Alright pet parents- are you ready to hate me? Because I’m about to tell you something that I have told many pet parents in the past and to my surprise it almost always elicits a furious or begrudging reaction. I’m about to talk about fleas right now so grab your pitch forks and torches.

It has happened to me so many times- good hearted, loving pet parents with only the best intentions for their pets making statements like “my cat has never had fleas in its life and my neighbor's cat has been around the yard and NOW she has fleas!” or “my dog has NEVER had fleas and since I went to the dog park with that new dog he has them!”


The sad truth is that when pet parents come to me looking for advice about fleas they often are more concerned with how their pet got fleas than what to do about the parasitic situation. That’s okay- how they got the fleas is a good question to want an answer for. However many pet parents aren’t looking for answers in the right place.

When a pet parent comes to me with concerns of fleas my first question is always the same- regardless of any habitat changes or introductions to new pets. “What are you using as a monthly flea preventative and when was the last time you used it?”

I’m going to tell a truth that may make you hate me. If you are not using a monthly flea preventative- especially during flea season- you are sending your pet on the front lines without a weapon. Meaning it is only a matter of time that your pet will get fleas. If you have never used a monthly preventive for fleas and your pet has never had fleas do you know what you are? LUCKY! You are the exception- not the rule.

Photo by Stacey McIntyre-Gonzalez Copyright©
Another startling truth I am going to tell that will likely make my readers ears steam is this: one common way a pet contracts fleas is from a human. Yes, WE can carry these vermin into our homes to feast on our “indoor cat.” Although humans don’t make a good lunch for fleas we are perfect for hitching a ride. So it is not always likely that fleas came from another pet or new habitat. Any pet that goes outside without flea protection is extremely susceptible. Fleas are just as likely to hitch a ride on our clothes to get to a new host as they are to ride from one pet to another.

Now here is a fun fact that may make you hate me a little less. I was just like the millions of pet parents across the world- I had no clue that my indoor cat could contact fleas if I never let her outside and never had any outdoor animals in my household. I was one of the loving, caring pet parents who wasn’t trying to do my pet harm- I just didn’t know any better. Now that I know I use a monthly preventative for all of my pets- indoor and outdoor. I was shocked to find that my indoor cat had fleas and when I was told the same thing I just told you by my vet I was a little confused. But I did my research and now I can say I live flea free!


So I hope I have not angered you too much with my truth telling statements because my only purpose was to be frank about fleas and encourage these loving pet parents to research monthly flea preventatives in the off season. That way we can all be ready to protect our families together when sunny springtime arrives again!

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