If you’re the proud owner of a fresh-faced, innocent little puppy, any possible exhaustion is sweetened by the overwhelming affection you have for them. In addition to puppy-proofing your house, yard, and car, you have your work cut out for you regarding parasites. Fleas on puppies too young to receive their first dose of parasite prevention can be common, but there’s a lot you can do to safeguard your puppy’s well-being until then.
Consider the Timeline
Because their developing immune system isn’t fully equipped to fight the effects of parasites, puppies are more likely to harbor them. They are warm, moist, and incredibly inviting to blood-sucking bugs. Responsible for the spread of tapeworms, fleas can also cause intense irritation to a growing puppy. They can also infest your home. In other words, protecting a puppy from fleas (and other parasites) is paramount to their healthy development.
Worth the Wait
Dogs benefit from year-round, broad-spectrum parasite prevention medication to limit the profound effects that internal and external parasites can have on their health. However, puppies younger than 7-8 weeks of age, especially if underweight, are not yet ready to receive their first dose. Their internal organs are highly sensitive to the ingredients in flea medications and can present scary side effects to the drugs, including respiration issues, drooling, vomiting, paralysis, shaking, seizures, and more.
What Can You Do?
Fleas on puppies have a harder time feeding and laying eggs if they are routinely washed off. Bathing your puppy in warm, soapy water can help with flea removal and can soothe skin irritation from their bites. You can also use a flea comb to pick out any fleas from your puppy’s coat between baths.
Keep your house as clean as possible to remove any eggs and fleas. Vacuum daily and wash your puppy’s bedding at least once a week.
Until your puppy is vaccinated from contagious diseases (between 8-12 weeks of age), you want to keep them away from public places, like dog parks. This is also helpful in your approach to reducing your puppy’s exposure to fleas (and other parasites). Take extra care regarding who your puppy interacts with, and limit lengthy meetings with unfamiliar animals and people.
A Look at Your Puppy’s Future
Depending on the right flea medication that works best for you and your puppy, you can start to give them doses between 8-14 weeks. We are happy to help you find the right product that meets their weight and lifestyle needs. Some products are oral, others are a topical application. No matter which product you decide on, we can guarantee that it’s a worthwhile alternative to a flea infestation, tapeworms, or flea allergy dermatitis.
No Fleas on Puppies
We recommend scheduling your puppy’s first wellness exam as soon as possible. From there, we can determine a timeline for all their vaccinations and parasite prevention needs. When they are off to a great start, you’re maximizing their optimal, lifelong wellness. Give us a call at (757) 253-0656. Our staff at Godspeed Animal Care is always here for you.