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We found a few fleas on my dog last night, and I'm trying to figure out how far I need to go in cleaning and treating him. Here are the details....
- He's an 8-year-old beagle on Sentinel Spectrum and lemongrass flea repellant. I hadn't given him the lemongrass for a couple months, though...my fault, I know. He has never had fleas before.
- I volunteered at a new shelter two days ago, and I took him to meet one of the dogs yesterday. We were thinking about adopting another beagle. It's possible he got the fleas there? Or I brought them home with me?
- I found 2 fleas on his hindquarters last night, so we immediately gave him a bath with flea tick shampoo. I washed the bedsheets, vacuumed all the floors and sprayed PetArmor flea spray on couches, carpets, beds, his crate, etc.
- After the bath I found 4 more fleas, one was dead but the others were still alive.
- I put lemongrass between his shoulders after he dried from the bath.
- This morning, I combed him with a flea comb and found 4 more fleas, alive. Ugh. Only 5-6 specks of flea dirt.

I guess my question is...how do I know how long he's had fleas? If it's only been 1-2 days, how far do I need to go with cleaning and treatment?

Any help is appreciated, I've never dealt with this before! And I'm not sure how to tell how bad it is. Thanks!
 

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It would be worth it to put him on at least one month flea preventative that you get from the vet. It will guarantee that any fleas that get on him die and will hopefully break the cycle sparing you from a battle with fleas. Once the month is up then it will be up to you if you want to go back to what you were doing, or continue with the preventative from the vet.
 

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My dogs never had a prob with fleas & I only use essential oils. Some of these chemical flea treatments are dangerous & if you google it you'll find lots of dogs having reactions to them. Some fatal, especially the ones dogs eat. I think you'll be fine doing what you usually do. You can tell if the fleas have been on there for a while or if you have an infestation by examining the dogs skin. Rub the fur the opposite way especially above the tail, my dog likes this. You'll see bites, heaps little red dots & a pinker area around them if there is. The other thing is my dogs coat is so healthy & shiny from natural products.
 

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I used advantage 2 when we had fleas. It only took one dose and 1 day. I'm not fond of chemicals but it was completely worth it.
 

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We have had pretty good luck with Frontline+. Samantha has had bad reactions to any of the oral meds we have tried.
 

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Your first job was to prevent the Flea infestation but, even if you have waited until you now have a major flea infestation, don’t panic!

Effective flea control programs employ a multifaceted approach that treats the environment as well as the animal. In other words, there are lots of ways to kill fleas naturally.

DRYNESS
Fleas hate very dry areas (so install a dehumidifier and a fan).

CARPET
Keep carpeted areas to a minimum. Most flea larvae coil themselves around carpet fibers and are not easily removed. Carpet is the perfect flea environment! If you do have carpeting, vacuum frequently.

BAKING SODA AND SALT
Sprinkle baking soda and/or salt all over your floor and furniture. Work it into the fabric with a stiff brush or broom. Leave it for several hours. Keep your pets out of the room(s) while treating for fleas.

BATHING
Bathe your pet in salt water or plain old soap and water. Fleas can't live in salt water, so periodic dips in the ocean (or a salt water rinse) can also help keep fleas under control.

Source: The Complete Guide to Flea Treatment For Dogs In 2020
 
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