Why does my pet still have fleas

Finding fleas on your dog or cat but not sure why? Here are some common reasons as well as solutions to try:

1. Your pet is not on a flea preventative. This might seem obvious, but sometimes pet owners will think that another member of the household has been taking care of things like flea prevention. Make sure everyone is on the same page so important tasks like heartworm and flea prevention aren’t missed.

2. Your pet is not on an effective flea preventative. Flea and tick medications are most definitely not all created equal, though advertisers may try to convince you otherwise. The less expensive topical flea medications are made from the same active ingredients found in old fashioned “flea dips.” These ingredients do okay killing any fleas on your pet at the time of application, but they have very poor residual activity so they aren’t effective for more than 24- 48 hours. They also have a narrow safety margin, so they should not be applied more frequently than stated on the label. New generation flea medications like Advantage, Frontline, and Seresto collars are worth spending a little more because they are much safer, much more effective, and are proven to work for several weeks.

3. Your dog’s lifestyle is shortening the efficacy of the flea prevention. Topical preventatives accumulate in the oil (sebaceous) glands of the skin. These medications are waterproof to a point, but repeated swimming or bathing will eventually impact their efficacy. If your dog is bathed or goes swimming more than about once a week, consider trying an oral preventative like Bravecto or Nexguard.

4. Your yard is infested with fleas. Pets are not the only source of fleas – they can be carried by squirrels, raccoons and other wild animals. Stray dogs and cats can also be a source. Fleas are resourceful so they can survive even extreme weather. If there is a large population of fleas in your yard, you may still see some fleas on your pet for a while even when using an effective flea preventative because new fleas will jump on each time they go outside. Currently there are not any effective flea repellents to keep fleas from ever jumping on your pet.  Preventatives must be used for a minimum of 3 months the break the life cycle of fleas, although with our mild climate, year round is the best option. If you suspect your yard may have a large population of fleas because you continue to find fleas on your pets, consider having your yard treated