My Pet Has Fleas! What Now?

Happy pet terrier dog scratching chin with leg
A candid image of the family pet mongrel dog. He is scratching his chin with his hind leg. This can be a sign a dog has parasites such as fleas or ticks. Dogs routinely pick them up on walks and it is vital for owners to regularly give them prevention and cure treatment. Image taken in Ko Lanta, Krabi, Thailand.

Fleas are the bane of a pet owner’s existence. These creepy crawly creatures can elicit a shudder in even the bravest dog or cat parent. If your pet has the unfortunate experience of getting fleas, Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital wants to help you get rid of them as quickly as possible:

Call the Vet

In order to fully get rid of fleas, you will need help from your veterinarian. Cats and dogs who have fleas require medication to completely get rid of these annoying parasites. Our veterinary team will be able to tell you what products you need to have at home to make sure your house is free and clear of any additional fleas.

Give Your Pet a Flea Bath

Bathing your pet in warm water is often enough to remove the fleas from your pet’s coat and skin. Your veterinarian might recommend using a special flea shampoo to ensure you get rid of all of them, but lukewarm water and gentle soap are usually all you need for an effective flea bath. 

Use a Flea Comb

Although it is a little on the gross side, using a flea comb is one of the best ways to remove fleas and their feces from your pet’s coat. These combs have special bristles that can collect fleas as you move them through your pet’s fur. Keep a bowl of warm water nearby so you can dunk the comb and kill any fleas you remove. 

Depend on Flea Preventives

Once your veterinarian gives you the all-clear that the fleas are gone, be sure to talk to them about getting your pet set up on a monthly flea preventive. This will help you avoid dealing with a flea infestation in the future. You can also do the following to reduce the risk of your pet coming into contact with fleas in your home:

  • Take Care of the Lawn: Fleas are attracted to tall grass and areas full of a lot of brush or wood. Make your yard unattractive to fleas by practicing proper lawn care and removing these temptations.
  • Vacuum Regularly: Vacuuming can help suck up any fleas that might have found their way into your home. You should pay special attention to any areas where your pet spends a lot of time—like a sofa or a pet bed. Not only will your house be cleaner, but it will be much less likely to harbor any fleas. Be sure to wash any blankets, bed covers, linens or soft toys that your pet uses often as well.
  • Use Caution with Strays: Stray pets are often flea-ridden, so if you find any strays and want to offer a helping hand, be sure to keep them away from your pets until you are sure they don’t have any fleas. Keep them contained outside or in a kennel or carrier until they see the vet, so you can be sure they will not bring fleas into your home or onto your pets.

Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital is here to help you with every step of your pet’s care. From flea and tick preventives to general wellness exams, we offer the services you need to keep your pets healthy through every stage of life. To learn more, visit us online or call (916) 624‑PETS (7387).