Flea treatments for cats and dogs work wonders for improving human and pet lives. Instead of having a pet covered in biting pests that can leave them anemic or sick with tapeworms, your pet lives a flea-free life and so do you. Switching away from your current flea treatment may not seem like the most logical path to take if it's working well, but you could discover one day that it doesn't. Read on to learn why it's important to switch flea treatments on a regular basis.
How Flea Treatments Work
While flea treatments are applied in different ways depending on the type you're using -- for example, flea collars or a topical on the back of the neck -- they all essentially work the same way. Flea treatments kill living fleas and prevent eggs from hatching so the initial infestation is defeated and the remaining eggs are no longer viable.
For the most part, these treatments work beautifully, but some pet parents discover months or years later that they seem to be having a flea problem again. This is because fleas can develop a resistance to the treatments.
Flea formulas often kill the vast majority of fleas, but sometimes one will survive. This can be due to not applying the right amount of medicine, or some of it getting absorbed by the pet's hair, or because the flea has a unique gene that allows it to withstand the treatment.
If one flea survives and can procreate, it will result in an immediate re-infestation due to how quickly fleas breed. However, if that flea has genes that are protecting it from the treatment, it will then pass those genes down to its offspring. In a few generations, the first flea's descendents can survive treatments every time.
The easiest way to prevent this problem is to cycle through flea treatments. By changing between different brands and types of chemicals, you can ensure that any fleas that survive one type of treatment are knocked out by the next. This prevents them from continuing to breed and growing a strong resistance to your favorite flea treatment.
If you're not sure what other flea treatments are right for your pet, you can talk to a veterinarian, such as those at Pet Medical Center Of Vero Beach, to find out what works best for your pet's species and breed. Begin cycling through flea treatments soon to keep them from being ineffective down the road.