Should your dog wear a flea collar? Are they safe? Here is all you should know about this pet flea control option.
As part of measures to contain a flea problem, flea collars are worn around the necks of pets to kill fleas.
Fleas are known to target pets with dogs being among their favorite hosts. When worn, flea collars are designed to slowly release pesticides that gradually but surely kill fleas and other pests.
While using flea collars for pest control, safety concerns are vital for any pet owner. They need to know if your pets are safe while putting on flea collars is paramount. This is what we intend to discuss.
Here, we’ll be providing answers to the question asked above.
How Flea Collars Work
Before we get into details about its safety, it’s important to first take a look at how a flea collar works.
This understanding will prove useful in discussing its safety on dogs. As stated earlier, flea collars are worn around the neck of dogs and other pets.
When worn, these collars will release a pesticide. This pesticide could be in the form of gas or liquid.
Other types of collars are designed to release a flea-exterminating substance that easily dissolves and spreads across your dog’s fatty layer skin tissues.
What results is a poisoning of fleas found anywhere across the dog’s body.
Of these two types mentioned, the latter seems to be the most effective. This is because its flea-exterminating effect extends well beyond the neck region where the collar is worn.
An insecticide-releasing flea collar on the other hand is restricted to the neck area.
In other words, only fleas around the neck region are killed which isn’t good enough. So, with pesticides involved, is it safe to have a flea collar worn around your dog’s neck?
Are flea collars bad for dogs? Read on as we jump into the next section to provide answers.
Safety Of Dog Flea Collars
Let’s move right into the central focus of this article which is about the safety of flea collars on dogs.
According to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) tagged “Poison on Pets II,” It was discovered that most over-the-counter flea medications used on pets caused significant health problems.
This is even when the instructions accompanying such products were followed to the letter.
This is a disturbing development because such products are trusted by pet owners with no questions asked. What results is a situation where complications develop after use.
So, what exactly are the active ingredients contained in these harmful flea collars?
Organophosphates are key constituents in insecticides used. This is a popular compound used for insect control over a period spanning several decades. However, it was later identified to have toxic properties.
With flea collars remaining on your dog’s neck, what results is the deposit of pesticide residue that remains for several weeks on the dog’s fur. Among these are propoxur and tetrachlorvinphos.
Not only are your dogs exposed to substantial health risks, but also anyone (including you) that plays with them.
According to research by the NRDC, exposures to these chemicals on pets and humans were toxic enough to result in health problems.
Consider Other Flea Treatment Options For Your Pet
With flea collars shown to have adverse effects on pets including dogs as well as humans, it becomes necessary to weigh the options before you. Weighing available options involves considering safer flea treatment methods on dogs.
Although flea collars may give you the results you seek by exterminating fleas, the safety of your dog matters most.
You don’t want to lose your dog for the simple reason of seeking to give it relief from fleas. So, weighing the pros and cons of flea collar use becomes crucial.
Safer Treatment Alternatives to Flea Collar Use
Examples of safer and more effective flea treatment options include the use of orally administered medications.
Others include washing pet bedding, using a vacuum, using a steam cleaner, applying flea shampoo for pets, and talking to your vet.
Let’s take a further look at each of these flea treatment alternatives.
Orally Administered Medications
There are orally administered medications for dogs that are proven to be safer and more effective flea exterminators.
Some popular oral medications for flea problems include CAPSTAR (also called nitenpyram), lufenuron, and spinosad among others.
However, before any orally administered flea medication is given, it’s important to follow the use instructions as regards dosage among other instructions.
Washing Pet Bedding
When treating your dogs for fleas, the process needs to be wholesome.
In other words, every flea-infested item and area should be treated. Hot water should be used for washing your pet’s bedding every few days.
Asides from washing with hot water also dry off the bedding using the highest setting.
Not only does doing this kill fleas, but it also destroys their eggs. If washing your pet bedding seems like too much work, consider taking such to a dry cleaner.
However, you’ll need to be wary about the chemicals used for washing. Ensure that it’s safe for your pet.
Using a Vacuum
A powerful vacuum will prove useful for flea treatment.
Here, you’ll need to vacuum floors, mattresses, upholsteries, and even over cracks. Before commencing this action, it’s best to have a disposable vacuum bag for this purpose.
After the procedure, dispose of the bag properly.
Using a Steam Cleaner
Steam cleaning your home is a great way to kill fleas and their eggs. You’ll need to target areas where your dog rests or lies down. Other areas include pet beds, upholstery, and carpets.
This should contribute to giving you and your dog the relief sought.
Applying Flea Shampoo for Pets
You’ll need to do some pet bathing using a flea shampoo.
Only those safe for use on dogs should be applied. If you’re wondering what product works best, consider speaking with a vet.
You might also want to go for one containing pyrethrin as one of the active ingredients.
Talking to your Vet
Before using any topical and oral flea medication on dogs, it’s necessary to talk to a vet.
As animal health experts, they’re able to give you the much-needed help and guidance you need. action helps prevent any risks.
If you’ve read to this point, it will be clear that flea collars aren’t safe treatments to be used on dogs. However, we’ve gone a step further to provide you with safer and more effective alternatives for eliminating these pests.