What are Fleas?

Fleas are the most common parasite found on dogs and cats, and most pets are likely to come into contact with them at some point in their life.

Fleas have very strong legs which enable them to jump between individuals, allowing infections to be spread easily from one animal to many others.

Once the adult fleas have jumped onto a new host, they will start to feed and reproduce. Each female can lay dozens of eggs every day, which fall off the skin onto the floor. These eggs soon hatch into larvae which can easily hide between fibres in carpets/soft furnishings or in cracks between laminate or lino sheets. The larvae feed on dust and flea droppings which fall from the coats of infected animals.

After some time, these larvae develop into adult fleas which will then jump back onto your pet (or, if no suitable dog or cat is available, any warm blooded animal – including humans!). Centrally heated homes provide the perfect environment for flea development, and with the right conditions, this life cycle can take as little as 2-3 weeks.


What can fleas do to my pet?

The most common consequence for your pet of a flea infestation is an allergic reaction to the flea saliva, introduced while they are feeding. This results in an intense itch which can cause animals to lick or scratch themselves, leading to further damage of the skin. These allergic reactions settle over time following removal of the fleas, but in the short term it may be necessary to prescribe medications to stop the itching.

Fleas can also carry tapeworms and, if swallowed during grooming, can spread the tapeworm to your pet’s intestine. In very large numbers, fleas can consume enough blood to lead to anaemia, which can be particularly dangerous for puppies and kittens.


How do I get rid of fleas?

Due to the complicated life cycle of the flea, including time spent in the environment, it can be difficult to get rid of them. There are a wide range of treatments available to kill fleas, however not all drugs are equally effective and it is not uncommon to find ongoing flea infections despite use of pet shop or supermarket products. However, with regular use of our recommended anti-parasite treatment for your pets and suitable treatment for your home, it is possible to clear the infestation and return your pet to health.


Should you like more information on the right method of flea control for your pet, please contact your local branch and a member of the Parkside team will be happy to help.

Keep your pet pest-free

As a member of the Premier Pet Club, you recieve the most effective prescription Flea, tick and mite treatment to keep your pet pest-free throughout the year

Members also receive a wide range of other benefits such as UNLIMITED consultations, health checks, routine vaccinations, and receive great savings on many key services.