Dogs are prone to getting infected with parasites, both internal and external types. As far as external parasites are concerned, fleas are among the most commonly found ones. Fleas are nothing other than minute wingless insects that feed on the blood of their host. Apart from causing extremely annoying symptoms like scratching and biting, flea infestation can also lead to various canine health problems like recurrent ear infections, anemia and dermatitis.
So, it is always advisable to treat the condition at the earliest. While various types of flea medication are used for flea control in adult dogs, puppies may not be treated with the same. This is because the harsh chemicals in these medication may prove fatal for the puppies, especially those below three months of age.
Flea Control in Puppies Under 12 Weeks
As aforementioned, methods adopted for flea control in puppies cannot be the same as that of adult dogs. Mostly, fleas get transmitted to the body of the puppies, through the mother or other dogs in the house. Fleas in puppies cannot be left untreated, as it will cause various health problems. So, treatment is inevitable. But, what is the safe flea treatment for puppies under 12 weeks? Let us find out.
✦ As prescription flea medication is strictly not used for treating puppies, you have to resort to natural methods. Apart from sticking to a single remedy, adopt a combination of natural treatment methods, for this purpose.
✦ First of all, you may try warm baths for treating fleas in puppies. You have to mix a small amount of dish detergent in lukewarm water and use it to wash the puppy. Let the soapy water remain on the body of the puppy for at least five minutes, so that the fleas are killed. You may also use flea shampoo for puppies under 12 weeks (as prescribed by the vet). Make sure to rinse and dry the body of the puppy, as soon as possible.
✦ A natural flea spray can be made by mixing five drops each of lavender oil, eucalyptus oil and cedar wood oil with water taken in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on the body of the puppy at regular intervals (once in every four hours will be sufficient). Fleas detest the smell of these oils and will 'flee' from the body of the puppy.
✦ Other natural remedies for fleas in young puppies include food grade diatomaceous earth that has to be rubbed onto the coat, in small amounts. Diatomaceous earth can also be spread on the bed of the puppy, along with cedar wood chips, so as to get rid of these parasites.
✦ You may also try manual removal of fleas. It can also done with the help of a flea comb for dogs. For making the method more effective, you can use a flea comb that is dipped in soapy water or the above said flea spray.
✦ It is said that there are foods that can help dogs in fighting fleas. This includes garlic, brewer's yeast, flaxseed oil, tuna and sardine. Even yogurt is said to be good for flea control in puppies, if given in small amounts. However, seek the opinion of your pet before giving these supplements to your puppy.
Apart from the above said methods, you have to make sure that the surroundings and other dogs in the house are free of fleas. Otherwise, flea problem can be a persistent or recurring problem for the puppy. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. So, it is always advisable to consult the vet, if your puppy develops a flea problem.