‘Tis autumn: the seasonal rebirth, the onset of rainfall. The colours begin their transformation, and the trees start to shed. And Fido and Fluffy are itching, scratching away again. Yep, it’s flea season. In general, flea season commences early spring and ends late autumn, but fleas’ peak activity remains between late summer and early autumn in most of Canada.

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Why you should be concerned about fleas.

It is extremely important to protect your pets from fleas. Fleas are not only a discomfort for your pets, but are actually amongst the most common causes of skin disease in both cats and dogs, and can become a serious issue. Fleas are huge culprits for transmitting diseases, causing hair loss, anemia, and rash. Not to mention conditions can be much worse if your pet has a flea allergy.

The quickest way to check for fleas is to look for small black particles in the area of your pet’s tail, and make sure to also examine their sleeping areas and kennels. If your pet looks like he or she is safe from harm, it would still be wise to take precautionary steps.


Five tips to keep the pesky fleas at bay.

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For dogs:

1. Bathe your dog regularly.

The general rule of thumb on the frequency of bathing your dog is once a month. But it’s okay to bathe your dog more often as long as you’re using a hydrating and high-quality shampoo that won’t dry out your pooch’s skin. Getting rid of odours and grime can actually help keep fleas away. And besides, can you really leave your dog unbathed for more than a month as the weather gets wetter and muddier?

2. Avoid mucky dog parks.

Dog parks are perfectly fine, but from experience, as a frequent dog park goer, certain dog parks do get littered with dog poop by irresponsible dog owners. If you and Fido are dog park regulars, keep a close eye, and frequent baths are all the more important.

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For cats:

1. Give your cat a good rinse.

We already know cats hate water and are great at self-grooming, but if your cat frequents the outdoors, you’ll definitely still want to keep it clean! Give your cat a good rinse, and opt for a flea-repellent shampoo with infused lavender or citrus. This would benefit dogs as well, but because cats aren’t bathed nearly as often, a flea-repellent shampoo would be particularly beneficial.

2. Limit outdoor activity.

Fleas are much more common in outdoor cats than indoor cats. If you have an outdoor cat, it might be a good idea to keep Fluffy indoor for a while as fleas may be firmly established where your cat frequents most. The good news is, outdoor flea control is probably a lot easier than indoor flea control!


For both dog and cats:

3. Use a flea comb.

Both dogs and cats will benefit from a good flea comb session. Make sure the comb gets close to the skin and work out the hair slowly, and remember to check for hiding spots like under the tail, armpits, skin creases, etc. And have a pail of soapy, warm water ready to drown any fleeing fleas.

4. Clean your house and your yard.

Not to sound like a mom nagging a teenager, but seriously, clean your house and your yard! A flea can lay about fifty eggs a day, so the longer you put off vacuuming and mopping, the stronger that flea army is becoming. Use a home-safe and pet-safe flea repellent to clean the house. And don’t neglect the yard! Get rid of any leaf piles, debris, and any clutters that fleas may be likely to aggregate.

5. Use flea repellents.

This one seems all too obvious, but make sure the product you’re using is safe for you and your pets. Vinegar sprays, essential oil shampoos, and diatomaceous earth are all popular natural ways to get rid of fleas. Diatomaceous earth is a natural, non-toxic substance made from crushed fossils of freshwater and marine life. While deadly to insects, this substance is completely safe for animals.

Hopefully these tips will get your loved ones through the flea season. But when in doubt, ask your veterinarian or a professional. If a flea infestation gets serious, a professional advice would be more than necessary.


Daniel is a Digital Marketing and Content Strategist at SPUD. He graduated from UBC with a degree in English and International Relations with a focus on environmental topics. A wordsmith by day and a bookman by night, he's a self-proclaimed gastronomic snob, a buck-a-shuck addict, a sub-par skier, and a devoted kingsguard of the oxford comma. He also frequents the dog park with a schnauzer named Duke. | Instagram: @dannnyellow

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