Have you seen fleas on your pets yet this year? Do you have them on a regular flea prevention medicine? Even if your pets don’t spend much time outside – or if you have indoor cats that never go outside – your pets can still get fleas!
Can My Inside Pet Get Fleas?
All pets can get fleas, even ones that almost never (or really never) go outside. Just like mosquitoes can sneak in though an open door or the holes in your window screens, fleas can find their way inside!
Many wild animals (like squirrels, raccoons, and foxes) can carry fleas. Outdoor cats, especially feral cats, also commonly have fleas. As they pass through your yard, they can drop flea eggs, or even fleas in your lawn. When your dog or cat goes outside, the fleas will find him and jump on to hitch a ride (and get a meal).
If any little critters find their way into your home, they can bring fleas inside with them. Even if you never see that mouse hiding in the walls, he can leave lots of flea eggs lying around. As those eggs hatch, the fleas will head out to find another host to live on – probably your cat or dog!
Fleas are attracted to warmth. If you walk though an area with fleas, they can jump onto your clothing or shoes and be carried until they find a more suitable host. Most fleas will live on animals, but can bite people if they can’t find another suitable animal when they are hungry. You can carry fleas on your clothing for a long distance. When you get home, they will jump off you and find your pets!
Even if your dog or cat rarely – or never – goes outside, they can still get fleas. In addition to causing a lot of itching, fleas can cause big problems for our furry family members. Fleas often carry tapeworms, which can cause stomach problems in cats and dogs. A severe flea infestation can be life-threatening, especially to puppies and kittens. Some dogs and cats can become allergic to fleas. Some allergic pets can have severe itching and skin problems with just 1 or 2 fleas.
Once fleas are in your house, they can be very difficult to get rid of. The best way to keep your pet from getting fleas (or to deal with a problem once you have them) is to keep your dogs and cats on a regular flea prevention medicine. We have a variety of options available. Flea prevention comes in a topical medicine, a pill, or a collar. Some of the flea preventions will also protect your pets against ticks, other parasites, or even heartworms.
Does your pet have fleas? We recommend starting a flea prevention medicine before you see the first sign of fleas to keep your dog or cat happy, healthy, and comfortable all summer long. Call us or come in to talk with our veterinary technicians or our veterinarians about which flea prevention medicine will be the best for your furry family member.
Check out our Fleas Resource Page for even more information about fleas!