There are many reasons dogs have fleas. But knowing how and why these pesky creatures bother your precious pup may help you to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Encounters with other animals:
Dogs often become infested with fleas when they come in touch with other animals. One of the most common ways of contracting fleas is through playing with other dogs. Even if your dog goes outside for a walk or a stroll, he may be around flea infested dogs that could affect your pet’s hygiene. So be cautious when your dog is around other animals. If you see a nearby animal scratching, play it safe, and keep your distance. Fleas can jump 13 inches horizontally, so keep in mind that your dog can contract fleas even if he doesn’t directly touch another animal.
In addition to roaming around with other dogs, your dog may also encounter cats, rabbits, opossums and certain raccoons that climb trees and walk on fences. Often dogs take the hot pursuit of these animals and pounce on them. This contact may result in your dog contracting fleas. So if your home is close to where stray cats and animals play, keep your gates closed so that your dog may not venture out and contract fleas.
Walking your dog in areas where fleas abound:
When dogs roam about in dirty and squalid conditions, they can also become infested with fleas. Fleas have strong back legs, and they can jump from one host animal to another. These pesky insects often breed on unsuspecting hosts such as dogs and multiply, leaving your poor animal scratching.
If your dog wanders into a dark and moist place or a covered area such as a basement or even the garden cellar, he may contract fleas. Woodpiles and grass, along with dry leaves can accumulate in the soil. This may cause fleas to migrate to your dog’s coat and warm up to the body. If you keep your yard free of debris, you can lessen the chances of a flea infestation.
Contracting fleas in dog kennels:
Kennels are also an area where your dog may pick up fleas. Talk with kennel owners to ensure they take precautions to keep the kennel free of fleas. Ask if they confine any animals who are infested with fleas, After all, there are bound to be animals with flea problems at times. But if kennel personnel keep these flea-ridden animals away from the other animals staying at the kennel, they can prevent the fleas from infesting other animals.
Attracting fleas due to a weakened immune system:
Fleas are attracted to dogs whose immune systems are not functioning well. This is why you may have noticed that fleas will leave certain dogs alone (the healthier ones) while targeting others. By keeping your dog as healthy as possible, you will enhance his immune system, making him less “attractive” to fleas and other blood-sucking insects.
How to improve your dog’s immune system:
There are several ways you can enhance your dog’s immune system. When your dog’s immune system functions well, your chances of having a flea problem will lessen. But other benefits of a healthy immune system include a healthier and happier dog who will probably live a longer life and spend less time visiting your veterinarian (saving you money in the long run!).
Provide proper nutrition:
Proper nutrition from high-quality foods will enhance your dog’s immune system and help to prevent disease. These foods will give your dog’s organs and body systems the nutrients they need to perform optimally.
Avoid poisoning your dog with chemicals and other toxins:
Unfortunately, chemicals are found all around us and our precious pets. They act as poisons in the body and can weaken the immune system and lead to all kinds of health problems. Follow these suggestions to lessen your dog’s toxic load.
- Feed dog foods and treats that are free of these harmful chemicals: BHT, BHA and Ethoxyquin.
- Provide filtered water that is free of toxins, including chlorine and fluoride.
- Use household cleaning products that contain no chemicals. You will be amazed at how well some of these products work – without using toxic chemicals!
- Give flea preventatives that are free of chemicals, especially permethrin, fipronil, imidacloprid, methoprene, and pyriproxyfen. These are known to cause serious health issues in animals, ranging from skin irritations to seizures and death.
- Bathe with chemical-free shampoos.
In summary, by knowing the various ways your dog can contract fleas, you can become proactive and lessen the chances of having flea problems. As an added benefit, you can simultaneously help your dog become more healthy and happy!
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