Fall is flea season.
When the weather starts to get colder, we all like to head inside.
So do fleas.
In fact, moving from summer to fall can be pretty bad for flea issues for your dog, and you may start to notice the problem, particularly if your dog is indoors.
First, if your dogs don't have fleas, get them on prevention by visiting your veterinarian. While you can get various flea prevention products from big box stores, this is the time of year you want to be sure to get it right. You don't want a flea infestation in your home as you move into winter and the holidays. Your veterinarian has the best flea prevention options for you.
If your pets do get fleas, there are a few things to know about treatment.
First, flea baths only give residual protection. That means that once the animal is dry, there is no more effect. Flea baths are only effective while the animal is wet, so it's not the best long-term treatment. The only reason to do a flea bath is if you have a dog that's really itchy and irritated. Keep in mind that flea shampoos can be very drying to the skin, and that most shampoos, flea-specific or not, will actually kill a flea. For sensitive skin, bathing with an oatmeal/soothing shampoo bath would be better.
Then, get an oral treatment from your vet.
Don't forget to check your pet's environment. If they have fleas, their bed (and your couch) may too.
At the shop, we regularly treat our environment for fleas using an insect growth regulator that lasts 180 days. We also use vacuuming and cleaning protocols. If an animal comes in with fleas, we give them an oral treatment to kill fleas in 30 minutes and keep them away from other animals. They're washed immediately, and we make sure the fleas are dead. We'll call the owners to let them know what the situation is. The kennel the animal is kept in is sprayed with an animal-safe (and people-safe) spray that we spritz and wipe down the cage with.
Keep an eye on your pet. It's better to be proactive rather than wait for a flea infestation. If your pet has never had fleas before, don't be surprised if, as the weather starts to turn colder, they pick them up from outside or being around or where other animals have been.