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New Puppy? How to Keep Fleas Out of the Picture

By Chris Williams on December 22, 2016.

We’re getting my son a puppy for Christmas. The pet store suggests that we pick it up after Christmas since that’s less stressful for the puppy (and maybe for us too!). I’m worried about ending up with fleas in the house. What should we do to prepare and prevent that possibility? Thanks.  L. W., Lunenburg, MA

While I can’t tell you how to prepare for the puppy’s comfort or how to protect your furniture from puppy rowdiness, I might be able to advise about fleas. Our Colonial website also has many blogs that discuss flea prevention and management in homes; some are listed below.

Bring Home a “Flea-Free” Puppy

The first obvious thing is to make sure that the puppy is certified flea-free when you bring it home. Whether or not that is the case might depend on the caliber of the pet store. Ask what they do to prevent fleas in the kennel area and whether or not the puppy has been treated.

I’m not a veterinarian but I’m guessing that it would be a good idea to have a vet check out the puppy even before you bring him home. The vet will check for fleas and will be able to treat the puppy if necessary. Rely on the veterinarian to advise you on products that you can use on the puppy if fleas become a problem. Most of the on-animal “spot-on” flea products should not be used on puppies younger than 8 weeks but other control options may be available.

Whether or not you have a flea problem in your future depends on several variables: whether you have other pets that might transmit fleas to the puppy, whether the puppy plays with other pets in the neighborhood, whether the puppy spends much time in your yard (wild animals carry fleas, too), and how diligent you are about inspecting and treating the puppy for fleas, cleaning bedding, and vacuuming puppy areas in your home. See Where Do Fleas Come From Anyway? 

Fleas? Treat Your Home as Well as the Puppy

Fleas are not just an animal problem. Adult fleas live only on the animal but immature fleas live and develop off of the animal in pet bedding, carpeting, anyplace that the puppy rests or spends much time. Try to set the puppy up with its own doggie bed that can easily be washed or cleaned to keep fleas from developing there (see How to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Pet’s Bedding).

Treating the puppy for fleas without also professionally treating flea areas in your home simply doesn’t work. Hopefully your new puppy will be happy and flea-free. On-animal treatments should keep any new fleas from surviving and reproducing. If a flea problem does develop, give us a call. We know just what to do to get rid of fleas in and around your home.

By the way, fleas are not just warm weather pests. A flea infestation can continue year-round in your home. More useful flea information:

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