Get Rid of Fleas on your Pet

Edited by Debbie, Anonymous, Ephraim, Adrian Penaflor and 19 others

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How to get Rid of Fleas on your Pet

Fleas are an annoying blood sucking parasite that feeds on the blood of our pets. It is sad to see how many cats and dogs suffer from this problem. Even simple symptoms can be fatal if left untreated. The symptoms for these pets are constant itching as they feel the fleas bite on their skin. It can even get to a point where it irritates the animal so bad that they bite at the fleas causing bald patches in certain areas of their body.

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How can we get rid of these pesky critters and provide our pets some relief? Be careful about purchasing flea collars from the store. A lot of them have chemicals in that can make your pet sick. There are natural ways on how you can get rid of them. However, when you choose to use over-the-counter flea control products, make sure that you follow the manufacturer's instruction.

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Bring but that happy and gregarious pet with the right flea control and treatment.


Ways to Get Rid of Flea on Pets

  • Dawn dish Detergent. Place your pet in a nice warm tub of lukewarm water. Squirt a little amount of the product on their coat and lightly scrub it all over the body. Give more attention to the back, the tail area and between the shoulders. Fleas like to harbor there. Be careful not to get the detergent in their eyes.
  • Tea tree oil. Just add a couple drops to their regular shampoo and rub on their fur during a bath.
  • Avon's Skin So Soft Bath Oil. While your body love the oil, fleas hate it. Use 1 and 1/2 ounces of oil to 1 gallon of water and use the solution as a bath.
  • Diatomaceous Earth ( Go for the Food Grade Kind, not the Pool Grade) The product is a fossilized powder substance derived from the bottom of lakes, people use to kill insects and parasites. You can directly sprinkle it on your carpets or rub some on your pet's fur. Caution: The Pool Grade kind has TOXIC Chemicals in it so make sure you get the FOOD GRADE type.

Flea-related Illnesses on Dogs

Fleas reproduce so quickly and the next thing you know, your pet is already heavily-infested. When it is not given proper and immediate attention, it could lead to some ailments on your pets. Check out the common diseases caused by fleas so you will get a heads-up whether your cat or your dog already needs the vet's intervention.

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Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)

Saliva from fleas can cause allergy to dogs and can cause so much discomfort. Even a single bite from a flea can already make a dog suffer. The worst case of FAD leads to bacterial infection on the skin. It is characterized by red and inflamed skin. Some common symptoms of FAD are:

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  • scabies on neck and back
  • scratching
  • biting or licking of dogs on their back, groin or neck.
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When dogs ingest food which contains eggs of the tapeworm, your pet gets infected with the worm. The dog's body becomes a perfect host until the eggs become adult worms. These worms eat up all the nutrients which should supposedly be used by the dog. The worms eating up all the nutrients lead to nutrient deficiency then results in debilitation and weight loss. Do not wonder why your pet does not get bigger or fatter. It is because the parasites are all enjoying the nutrients. Diarrhea and constipation is likely to happen for serious infestation. Dogs also easily gets fatigued and a noticeably loss of appetite. When you see these symptoms, have its stool tested for farther evaluation.

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Flea-Bite Anemia

Just like us, there is a required red blood cell number for dogs. It needs to be maintained so for them to stay healthy and active. Dogs also suffer from anemia; a condition when too much blood is lost. They develop anemia when too much blood is sucked out from them. Even one flea can cause anemia to dogs. In fact, a single flea has the capability to bite a dog a hundred time in just a day. So imagine a dozen of fleas infesting your dog. Lethargy ad weakness are two common symptoms. You should also check the dog's gums. If they are pale, see a vet right away.

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Flea-related Illnesses on Cats

Bartonella henselae Infection

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Also called Cat Scratch Fever, this affects cats and people as well. When a person gets scratched by a cat infected with bartonella henselae, he too gets infected. It is actually hard to diagnose the disease at first glance because it does not show any symptoms of the diseases. For years, vets thought that B.henselae bacteria did not cause any disease to cats but more recent studies have LED to some of these observations:

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  • infected cats can experience fevers which cannot be explained
  • muscle pains
  • cardio-linings inflammed
  • lymph nodes become enlarged and may lead to anemia
  • poor reproduction rate

Mycoplasma Infection

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Also known as Feline Mycoplasma, this disease on cats is due to infection from parasitic bacteria called Mycoplasma haemofelis. When left untreated, this can be fatal to your pet. The bacteria causing this disease finds a host that it can cling to and thrive on the cat's red blood cells. The cat's immune system reacts to these antibodies which then triggers too much work for the spleen. The spleen destroys the infected cell where too much blood is lost which later results to anemia. A mycoplasma-infected cats suffers from :

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  • depression
  • fever
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • possible enlargement of lymph nodes and spleen
  • weakness
  • pale color

Flea Control Tips

  1. 1
    "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Before we get our pets' lives into jeopardy, it would be better if you know how to control or prevent fleas from attacking.
    The best guard against flea infection is sanitation. Nothing else can beat this precaution. Change the bedding of your pets regularly. Vacuuming gets rid of eggs and larvae. After bedding change, go run your vacuum. This will also eliminate the dried blood under bedding where fleas get their food supply.
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  2. 2
    Keep a good pet hygiene.
    Regular baths and a flea comb are your pets' best guard against flea attack. Use a gentle anti-insecticide soap to get rid of the parasites. Giving your pets a regular combing does not only help control fleas but it can also be a good way to pamper them. Animals also love massages.
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  3. 3
    Use Insect Growth Regulators.
    This pest control comes in different forms with sprays as the most common. They intervene with flea reproduction and kills live larvae and eggs. Flea regulators are vet-recommended so it will be best to consult one first before attempting to use it.
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  1. 1
    Never delay seeing a vet when you notice sudden changes in your pet's stool, mood and some physical changes.
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  2. 2
    Make sure to read the label before using any pest control.
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  3. 3
    Keep out any products from children's reach.
    Ingestion of chemicals can be fatal.
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Questions and Answers

Is Epsom salt sharp enough to kill fleas?

Yes, Epsom salt is sharp enough to kill fleas. Epsom salt is also known as magnesium sulfate, and can be used in many ways, like treating aching and painful muscles, in agriculture, and used as a laxative, blackhead treatment and many more. Epsom salt contains ingredients which eliminate fleas and other pests. The salt will cause dehydration and dry out the bodies of fleas. Epsom salt contains oxygen, water, sulfur, and magnesium.

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Yes, Epsom salt can help to relieve your dog from fleas. Along with Epsom talk you can use a basic flea collar or Advantix that can be used for your dog to get rid of their fleas.

How to treat fleas on a cat with epsom salt?

To treat fleas on a cat, you can soak him on warm water with epsom salt for five minutes. But if your cat does not prefer to be soaked in warm water, you can soak a towel in the water and epsom salt, then wrap the towel on your cat. Leave it for several minutes. You can do this twice a day and continue until the fleas are gone.

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This will be a very difficult task because cats hat water with a passion. You will need to give your cat a bath with the Epsom salt in order for it to take affect against the fleas on their body. Prepare a bath for the cat and place an ample amount of Epsom salt into the water and batch your cat. The best way will be to completely place your bath into the water vs. washing the cat while they are not submerged in water.

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I only use home remedies, nothing harsh because I keep pets in house & have small grand kids?

We have small dogs inside our home, when you sit on our couches, fleas start jumping on you. Grand-daughters legs are all spotted from flea bites

  1. 1
    Vacuum furniture, curtains (if possible), and floor on a daily basis.
    Before vacuuming, put mothballs in the dust tank to kill off the live fleas.
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  2. 2
    Clear bushes around your house so that the dog is almost always subjected to sunlight as fleas to not like that.
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  3. 3
    Wash pets and your items every day.
    This includes pillows and bed sheets.
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  4. 4
    Please look for a lot of additional tips in "I need a home remedy that will not harm my dog Fleas are driving him crazy and we live in the country" on this page.
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I need a home remedy that will not harm my dog. Fleas are driving him crazy and we live in the country.

My dog is infested with fleas :(

  1. 1
    Make a flea trap.
    Mix water with dish soap in a shallow container and place it under a light source. The fleas will be trapped in the solution.
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  2. 2
    Comb your dog's hair daily.
    Flea combs that are much better for that have dense bristles.
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  3. 3
    Boil citrus solution, cool it down and add yeast and sprinkle the solution on the hair.
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  4. 4
    Strew salt on your carpets.
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  5. 5
    Dogs only (not cats!):
    tea tree, cedar, citrus, rosemary, or eucalyptus oil baths. Add these in 1:100 (oil-to-water) proportions just to be safe. You can, for example, use empty syringes without needles to measure the proportions of oil when adding it to water.
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  6. 6
    Spread eucalyptus leaves and cedar wood chips across your lawn.
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  7. 7
    Dust the furniture with a mix of botanic dust and boric acid for a day.
    Wash the furniture afterwards.
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Can just a regular human shampoo and conditioner (tea tree) get rid of fleas on a cat?

I have two kittens and they have fleas. Could I put regular shampoo on them or will that not work?

The answer is "No", especially with tea tree products. What is fine for a human might be very poisonous for your cat. Human shampoo containing tea tree has up to 50 allowed dosages of terpenes for cats, which is either absorbed by the skin or licked off. A 0.1%-1% solution of tea tree oil may help some skin conditions for your cat. Be careful: a lot of remedies sold in cheap stores can prove fatal!

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Moreover, tea tree oil should be stored away from curious cats!

To avoid using any veterinary medicine

  • use a flea comb two times a week to check your cat for fleas and hunt them;
  • vacuum the floor every day to eliminate any eggs or fleas.
  • bathing once a week. Please follow this tutorial to see how it is performed: "How to Groom Your Cat".
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As an extra solution, always make sure you buy a product that has been locally tested by a friend and acquaintance and is safe to use. Make sure that you choose it along with a veterinary doctor's consultation that may help you with choosing a shampoo or drops for the nape of the neck area. Please be cautious when using products for kittens younger than six months! Always mention it to the veterinary and read the instructions for the remedy carefully.

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Could I use epsom salt on an abscess that my hamster has on his front, left paw?

I don't know if an epsom salt paste would work to get rid of the abscess or not, so I just want to make sure it's not toxic to hamsters if it were to be ingested.. I have tried: Nothing. I think it was caused by: My hamster does chew on his cage everyday, so the only possibility I can think of would be perhaps he hurt himself somehow by falling, or maybe he just cleaned his paw too often...

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You have to be very careful. Epsom salts are near to safe when applied directly to the skin, but do not let your hamster eat the salt or lick its paw, as it may cause dehydration or diarrhea. You will need only 10 minutes a day. Use very warm water (just be sure it will not hurt the hamster) with Epsom salt and either soak the paw in the Epsom salt solution or just apply a compress (a cloth around the paw) with it for 10 minutes daily. Then, wash the paw carefully with water.

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Can I give my kitty an Epsom salt bath for her itchy skin. How much of the Epsom salt in a bath tub of warm water?

She had fleas one day and I comb her through and through and then the next day I comb through all of her fur and nothing there. Its not a very big flea infestation, its just one or two every so often, like fleas aren't jumping off of her, and when I give her a bath with just some water and dawn nothing is coming off. I may see one flea but no blood or eggs and I scrub her really well. Even with flea shampoo one flea would come off

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First of all, it is good that you have the flea comb for your cat and comb it often!

It is relatively safe to give your cat this bath. Mix about eight tablespoons (120 ml) of Epsom Salt in a gallon (4 liters) of warm water. Be sure not to add more of Epsom Salt, as it is not the safest remedy! Keep your cat's head above water all of the time and use a new sponge or a clean cloth to wash it. Do it twice a day. You can give her a bath in the morning and wipe it thoroughly with a wet cloth soaked in the solution in the evening, for example.

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Also, clean your house by vacuuming it daily to avoid fleas laying eggs or jumping off the carpets onto the cat. This is a preventive measure that is absolutely necessary to perform if you see fleas reappearing all of a sudden on your cat.

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Be sure to check our cat section on VisiHow: it has tips on how to wash and groom cats too!

Do you know how to kill fleas with Dawn dishsoap?

Is it true that Dawn dish soap kills fleas on your pet?. I have tried: I have tried killing fleas on my pet with a pet collar.

Original Dawn Dish Soap does kill the fleas on pets as it breaks down the flea's exoskeletons system. You have to keep the sudsy soap on for at least 5 minutes and then comb out the dead fleas with a special flea comb or tight fine tooth comb. Now keep in mind that the dish soap will not prevent fleas occurring again so you will need to do regular dawn dips as well as create flea traps with dish soap and a little water in a shallow bowl on the floor around your house, the fleas will jump in and die. Also vacuum carpets daily and wash any pet bedding including comforters and sheets if your pet sleeps on your bed.

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Is it safe to dust my cat and dog with epsom salts And how often would I use It?

I have used baking soda on my animals but I am wondering about using the epsom salts if it is more effective. Thanks Kim

Epsom Salt is an effective treatment to kill fleas because of the magnesium sulfate. Dusting them with epsom salt will not kill the fleas though. You will need to make a soluble solution and soak the pets in that water for at least 5 minutes. You could put the liquid in a spray bottle and mist the pets and then rinse off after 5 minutes or let the solution dry if your pets do not have sensitive skin.

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