Most dog owners know that there are certain bath products and shampoos that are great for getting rid of existing flea infestations. However, most people skip these products when they use anti-flea topical products directly on their pets since they tend to do such a good job of getting rid of current infestations and keeping them away. However, if you're not bathing your dog first, you may be missing part of the job. Here's why your dog should get a bath before their next flea treatment.
What Fleas Leave Behind
Fleas are disgusting pests, but they don't simply fall off your dog once they die. As gross as it may sound, if your dog had an active problem with fleas and you used an anti-flea topical treatment on him, chances are his fur and skin are covered in dead fleas now.
Some of these fleas will fall off when your dog rolls, rubs, scratches, and shakes. Even so, there's one more substance that may stick behind: flea dirt. This is simply a nicer way to refer to flea excrement. That's right; your dog's unwanted fleas may have left behind poop on your dog. Gross!
When They Aren't Bathed
There are a few things to think about if you don't bathe your dog before he gets treated for fleas.
First of all, anything that comes off of your dog while he's in your home stays in your home. Little particles of flea excrement and even dead fleas could be lingering in your carpet or upholstery.
Second, and perhaps most importantly, these particles can still make your dog sick. Tapeworms, for example, are often carried by fleas and licked up by dogs. Even if you kill off all remaining fleas, your dog may already have a tapeworm growing in his guts from coming into contact with a single infected flea.
What to Do
The simplest way to manage this problem is to simply arrange for your dog to have a professional bath and grooming the day of his next flea treatment. You want to do it before you put on the topical medication so that it doesn't come off during the bath, while putting the medicine on as soon as you can after your dog is fully dried. This will ensure that any remaining fleas and dirt are washed away and that the medicine can start protecting your dog from new fleas.
No anti-flea treatment is 100% effective, so it's a good idea to repeat this process every month to ensure that the remains of fleas aren't building up in your dog's coat. Talk to a dog grooming service and set up a recurring monthly appointment to care for your dog.