Kick the flea not the dog

Howard Baker - RN BSN

Hobo the Wonder Dog and I kick the flea and hope you do too. Dog fleas (ctenocephalides canis) are common pest in our area. Fleas not only affect Fido they also cause problems for his owner. The adage: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is no truer than when talking about fleas. From egg to adult, fleas multiply quickly in only 12 days. One flea can build an army of 600 in a matter of days and 600 can become an invasion of hundreds of thousands of fleas before you know what is happening.

Several years ago a friend took in a stray cat for an overnight stay until she could find the rightful owner. The next morning the cat was out of her house and she was off for a two-week tropical vacation. What happened next is hard to say — but when she returned home two weeks later in the middle of the night she was tired, sleepy and retired to bed. The next morning she woke with itchy red bumps on her legs not giving it much thought continued to get ready for her day. As she walked though her house she began to notice black specks on her pant legs and attempts to brush them off only made them worse—the harder she brushed them off the more seemed to appear. At this moment she realized she had been invaded by fleas. My friend had no idea of the battles instore to reclaim her home and defeat the mighty flea. Her battles lasted for about eight weeks and cost her hundreds of dollars and sleepless nights from itchy flea bites.

I won’t bore you with the lifecycle of the mighty flea. Remember, a flea can lay 50 eggs per day, hatch in six days, and complete their lifecycle in about three to six weeks. Fleas can survive in carpets and cracks in hardwood floors for weeks. I recommend hiring a professional when possible and doing your research on products and processes if you choose to go it alone. Remember, a day wasted by no action can compound your problems in a very significant way.

If you find a flea on your dog — don’t panic. Hopefully you have a flea and tick prevention program in place for your dog. If not, it is a good idea to discuss a prevention treatment plan that best fits your budget and health of your dog. Hobo the Wonder Dog uses NexGard® to help control ticks and fleas, the cost is about twenty dollars a month and we have not had any issues with fleas or ticks. My dog Skyler has complications taking oral flea and tick medications and we use a Seresto® Flea and Tick collar which last about eight months, making the final cost per month about seven dollars.

The products mentioned above should not be considered an endorsement by Hobo the Wonder Dog. Flea prevention medication regardless if over the counter or prescription should be discussed with your veterinarian. Nothing can replace the relationship between you, your pet, and your veterinarian. When it comes to fleas—trust me “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Kick the flea!

Life is better with a dog! Woof!

Hobo the Wonder Dog, Your guide to travel, health and fun. Please follow Hobo on Facebook at Hobo the Wonder Dog or contact us at: [email protected]

Howard Baker


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