Fleas, ticks or mites can present a real health hazard to both dogs and their owners. Therefore, preventing them is always a top priority.
Luckily for us staffy owners, their short fur does make them less susceptible to flea problems and things like ticks are much easier to spot. But this doesn't mean flea treatment isn't required.
Of course, prevention is best but sometimes flea problems do arise so this article will share some tips and products for both prevention and treatment of fleas for staffies.
Whether your dog is currently suffering with fleas or you just to give them the best chance of avoiding an issue, this article will have some handy tips for you.
Symptoms of a Flea Problem
When it comes to dealing with fleas, you need to be aware of your pup as well as your close ones.
Fleas tend to carry tons of diseases. Included among these are the plague as well as typhus.
Puppies, for example can become anemic from blood loss. Other infections can also be caused by fleas.
Aside from the obvious itching, a dog with fleas may show other signs that you need to look out for. The following are common when a dog has a flea problem:
- Fur loss
If your staffy develops any of these symptoms, you should first have a chat with your vet. Another wise idea would be for you to thoroughly clean your house in the meantime to prevent further issues.
Checking Your Dog for Fleas
If you notice persistent scratching or other symptoms from the list above, you should check to see if you can spot any signs of fleas on your dog. Unfortunately, fleas can be difficult to see but knowing where to look helps.
They tend to "hide" in moist areas as well as on the lower back of your dog. Good places to check are near the ears, around the groin and don’t forget to check the armpits as well. Try using a fine-toothed flea comb on your dog's coat to see if anything shows up as explained here:
How to Prevent Fleas
There are a number of different flea prevention medications available on the market. These medications range from oral tablets to "spot-on" liquid that are placed directly on the dog's skin.
The medication you choose may depend on what other drugs your dog is taking as well as any allergies so it is always best to consult your vet before starting a flea prevention protocol.
The regularity of flea treatments will vary depending on your chosen solution so be sure to read the packaging. Some owners only apply flea treatments in the warmer months, which makes sense since fleas are more active at that time of year. However, prefer to be safe and like to continue prevention treatments more regularly.
How do Flea Prevention Treatments Work?
When it comes to being pro-active and preventing fleas, there are multiple options as we've already discussed. Some of the most common types are spot-on treatments, oral medications, flea collars and flea shampoos. Here's a quick overview of how each type can stop fleas:
Spot–on treatments are a liquid medication that is applied directly to your dog’s skin. Once you’ve applied the liquid the ingredients are absorbed into the oil of your pet’s skin so it can spread around the body and to kill the fleas. The insecticide used in these treatments is quite powerful and can kill fleas quickly.
Oral medications work differently to the spot-on methods. Many of them contain both an insecticide that kills the fleas, as well as a hormone growth regulator which targets eggs. It is worth doing some thorough research into exactly what each individual medication does as some will only kill larvae while others will kill all fleas and some will stop the fleas from laying eggs.
Flea collars, like the methods above, can also work in different ways depending on the type of collar you purchase. Commonly, a flea collar will be coated in some kind of insecticide that will be gradually dispersed over your dogs body. In this sense, they work a bit like the spot-on treatments. The downside to the collar is that it must be worn all the time for maximum effectiveness.
Flea shampoo also works by using chemicals that are designed to kill fleas on your dog's fur. Many people think of shampoo more of a cure rather than prevention but some of them will also work to prevent fleas with regular use. The drawback of shampoos are that you need to apply them more regularly than other treatments. This means you need to be very careful about the ingredients as they can vary a lot between brands. Some owners prefer shampoo for treating fleas as you can buy some that contain only natural ingredients.
Which Type of Flea Treatment to Use for Staffies?
Of course, my recommendation is just an opinion and may not be suited to your dog so you should always seek advice from your vet before using any kind of new medication for your dog.
My personal preference is to go for a spot-on treatment. I find them to be both very convenient and effective. A high-quality spot-on treatment can kill adult fleas and will do so as both a preventative measure and during an infestation.
Another benefit is that the direct to skin application doesn't require the medication to be processed internally by your dogs liver, which is the case with oral solutions.
Best Dog Flea Treatment Products
Here is a list of excellent flea treatment options for the different methods discussed above (apart from flea collars as I much prefer the other methods over using a collar).
Once you've decided which method of treatment is best for your dog, any of the products below should lead to great results. I still highly advise you to check with your vet that the ingredients and chemicals used are safe with your dog, especially if they are know to have allergies.
Best Spot-On Flea Treatment
Frontline is an extremely popular formula for dogs and other pets. As you can see from the picture above, it is simple to apply and goes to work very quickly on your dog by killing fleas within 24 hours and ticks within 48 hours. The formula will repel and kill adult fleas, ticks and lice so it is great for both prevention and cure.
Best Oral Flea Medication
Bob Martin is a well-known pet care brand in the UK and for good reason. The formulas are trustworthy and effective. These flea tablets get to work extremely quickly and start to kill fleas within just 15 minutes. They also claim to kill 100% of fleas within 1 day!
These tablets are designed to eliminate fleas during an infestation, which they do very well but are not a preventative measure. Think of them as more of an emergency solution.
Best Flea Shampoo for Dogs
This hypoallergenic dog shampoo from ProGroom is one of, if not the best dog shampoos available. The ingredients are all natural and very friendly to your dog's skin and coat. The shampoo removes fleas, ticks and lice but isn't just suited for that purpose; it is a perfect all-round dog shampoo.