How To Get Rid of Fleas on Dogs and Cats

Fleas are one of the most common problems
that I see in the vet clinic. Let’s talk about how to get rid of them.>>VO: And now, the vet who doesn’t recommend
flea shampoo because fleas don’t have hair>>VO: Dr. Andy Roark! [Music] So let’s say that your pet does have fleas.
What are you gonna do?>>Meg: Get in the fetal position!>>Stephen: Burn them with fire! No, and NO. Here are the top 5 things you
should actually do. Know that you’re probably in this mess for
a couple of months. Unless you caught this flea invasion right
away, you probably don’t just have fleas on your pet. They’re
probably in your house. And to make matters worse, they’ve probably
laid eggs. So even if you kill the adults now, you’re going to have babies to deal with later
on. And those orphans are going to want revenge
for the death of their parents. Just like Batman. I tell pet owners, if you’re not going to
keep your pet on a flea preventative year-round, you need to
be on it for at least three months now. That way you’ll be out of the woods. If you
don’t, you’re going to kill off the fleas and then you’ll get more
fleas which you’ll kill off and then you’ll get more and it’s this terrible cycle that will just repeat. Unless you’ve got really young puppies or
kittens, the best way for you to get rid of fleas is going to be a good
flea medicine. Shocker, right? But wait! Before you grab that super dirt-cheap box of promised salvation from the grocery store shelf, know that not
all pet medications are created equal. Just like Meg’s ill-fated trip to Mexico,
sometimes you get what you pay for.>>Meg: Did I tell you guys they dropped the
charges? Listen, some of the stuff that’s available
to treat and prevent flea infestations is, in my humble opinion, completely worthless.
Some of this stuff can actually be harmful to pets. If you’re not sure what kind of flea medication
to get, call your vet and ask for advice. Even if you’re not sure you’re going to buy
it from them, you can still ask their advice. Hey, you can always ask me for advice. That’s a great idea for a show! They can ask
questions and I’ll answer them.>>Stephen: No one is gonna watch that. If you’ve got young puppies or kittens or
if you’re in a pinch you can use dish detergent. My favorite is
Dawn, who sponsored today’s episode.>>Stephen: They never called us back. Other mild dish detergents work well also. For dogs, get your buddy in a tub of warm
water. Get him wet, and get him lathered up. Make sure to keep the soap and the suds out
of his face and eyes. Rinse him thoroughly and follow with a good
brushing to get rid of as many fleas as possible. For cats, dillute the dish detergent with
water in a mixing bowl. Dip the flea comb, which you can get from
the pet store, into this mixture and brush your cat. Keep dunking the flea comb in the mixture
again and again to keep it wet and to remove fleas. Don’t
stop until you can’t find anymore fleas. When we’re all finished, use plain water to
get the soap off. Fleas are like teenagers. If they’re throwing
a party and you show up and shut that party down, they’ll immediately
try to find another party. The same thing is true with fleas. If you
treat one pet, they’re immediately going to have a party on another pet. If you
want to get rid of fleas, or teenagers, you’ve got to shut down all
the parties. And, if you don’t shut down all the parties,
you will have more babies to deal with. They are filthy and disgusting
creatures. And the fleas are gross, too. Remember, fleas and flea babies may be in
your house but not currently on your pet. Think of your house as a city for fleas, and
your pet is the most popular restaurant in town. Shutting down that restaurant
is not going to evict the whole city. When you start treating, go ahead and clean
the whole house. Vacuum the floors. Wash the blankets and the
bedding. Just generally turn everything over so you
can get a fresh start. Also, you can probably buy the good flea medicine
with the change you’ll find in the couch. And that’s our show! Thank you so much for
watching. Please help me to help pets by sharing this
video far and wide. And also, tell me the things you’d like to
see on the Cone of Shame in the comments section below. Until next
time, let’s be the people that our pets deserve. [music]

20 thoughts on “How To Get Rid of Fleas on Dogs and Cats

  1. I look forward to Thursday mornings now because I can start the day off with a smile, a giggle and a good dose of helpful information. However, I have learned not to be drinking coffee or other liquids while watching because cleaning liquids off a computer keyboard can be as difficult as getting rid of fleas…or teenagers… Thanks again for good info- I did NOT know that diluted dish detergent would help get rid of fleas on cats …. my girls are indoors only and so do not get exposed often but it can happen and one of them had a really bad reaction to the topical meds the vet prescribed on the one occasion they did wind up with teenagers….I mean fleas….LOL Thanks again!

  2. Loved your video as usual!…would have really been useful to recommend treating the house too if the fleas are numerous, otherwise you do end up with more fleas and feel like your pet flea control isn't working, when actually the product just might be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of fleas hanging out in the home! Thanks for the entertainment once again, love love love your energy factor 12! ?

  3. Love. Love. Love. And I hate fleas! Again I laughed and learned lots of things! I think this is called edutainment! I too did not know about the dish detergent. Great to know! You rock Dr Andy! And I love the Ask Dr Andy idea!

  4. A criticism, if you don't mind… the image of the kitten drinking from a bowl while you're talking about using dish detergent may give the wrong idea to some people that the cat is supposed to drink the detergent.  Why not just bathe the cat as you recommend for a dog. I'd not want soap residue left in their fur.  Otherwise, fantastic info. Use a flea medication recommended by your vet, treat all pets and the home, bedding, pet sleeping areas, vacuum, vacuum, vacuum!

  5. Dawn dish soap?I tell my clients NOT to use that. It's too harsh on their skin and will not work for the fleas on the floor, on top of hurting the pet's eyes. Good video though

  6. This was a great one, Dr. Roark…and timely as well! Even though it has been below freezing here in North Carolina, we still have clients coming in complaining of fleas because they don't understand the flea life cycle, nor the importance of keeping all pets on flea prevention ("But my cat never goes outside!" Your dog does, right? You do, right? Think of the flea as Rutger Hauer in 'The Hitcher'…just not as stabby.) I wish we could play this video on a continuous loop in our lobby!

  7. Dr. Roark, I love the idea of a Q&A hosted by you!  And unlike Donna below, most people will be VERY clear that you did not FEED the cat the detergent!  LMAO At least my friends with pets are not THAT thick!

  8. A video about pet obesity would be awesome (maybe including a video about properly feeding your pet as part of that or a tangent of)!! I've noticed It's a huge problem in clinical practice.

  9. Can someone help? I saved a puppy on the street from being roadkill and decided to bring her home, I took her a shower outside and when I was washing her I realized she has fleas! I started doing several things like putting vinegar on her and and etc. i washed her with dish detergent but didn't have a brush either. Then we got her an ointment for her back and a collar that kills the fleas when activated. She has less fleas on her than from before but I'm still worried, I'm thinking of getting her meds but I don't know for sure. What do I do?

  10. I would add that if you have carpeted floors, that you spread 20 Muleteam Borax, found in the laundry detergent aisle). over them, including under pieces of furniture if you can…if not, just get as close as possible to its perimeter…and sweep it down into the nap. This will not hurt you, kids, or pets. If fleas jump off pet to lay eggs, and they will,the borax acts as a dehydrant. If you sweep it in really good, yes it will 'survive' repeated vacuuming.

    I've had dogs get fleas, and in Summer you're WAY better off coughing up the dough for anti-flea/tick/heartworm treatment than not, but the fleas have never survived in one house I treated with Borax. It also tends to take care of some other bugs as well.

  11. How do you feel about frontline plus? I have a vet friend who suggested it along with the another spot on treatment but it seems like the best option so far for my pets.

  12. Wait.. Someone gave that a thumbs down??? Jeeeese.. I have also used food grade Diatomaceous Earth on carpets, floors and furniture.. Totally organic, safe for pets that lick it (food grade) and kills adults and young larvae before they can lay eggs.. Great stuff.

  13. Hello Sir: We treated the cats with flea medicine but I still see some fleas lingering inside the cats ( the home was treated as well). I also see that horrible "flea dirt". My questions are:
    1) is it normal to still see fleas in the cats after the medicine was put on? and
    2) How to get rid of flea dirt ( bathing did not remove all that dirt) Thank you.

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