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Published: Nov 21, 2011

Fleas can be a pain for both pets and pet parents. Not only can fleas cause itchy red bumps on pets; they can also carry potentially dangerous diseases. Fleas can be difficult to get rid of in a home, which is why it's important that pet owners take preventative steps to ward off these pests.

According to, the best way to ward off fleas is to start dogs and cats on monthly topical parasite prevention products. Topical medications are absorbed directly into a pet’s skin and helps keeps fleas off, which allows pets to run around freely outside without owner's worrying they may bring the pests inside.

Clearly you know your pet has fleas is you see adult fleas—which look like tiny bugs. However, other signs that a pet may have fleas include noticeable red bumps on a dog or cat due to irritation from the bites or a dark brown dirt-like substances (called flea dirt) which is evidence that fleas have been feeding on your pet. VCA Animal Hospitals reports that a single adult female flea can lay up to 40 eggs per day, so even a small infestation with just a few fleas can turn into a large problem very quickly.

According to VCA, successful flea control involves removing the pests from the pet but also getting rid of fleas in the house and yard to avoid re-infestation problems. Owners should bring their affected pet into a veterinarian health clinic to address the problem and to figure out a plan of action for the pet, the house and the surrounding environment.