Clonmel pet owners are being urged to educate themselves about the steps they can take to protect their dogs, cats and homes from a new and unwelcome infestation of fleas.
A local pet store is offering free advice to pet owners.
The risk of flea infestation exists every Spring but the problem is set to be bigger than other years this April and May as the pests thrive in rising temperatures after the snow and long winter weather.
One female flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day and the fact that each one can develop into fully grown fleas within two to four weeks, with the capability of reproducing daily, presents a real threat to both pet health and hygiene in the home.
“The key to prevention is knowing how to recognise the tell-tale signs that your pet has fleas and knowing what action to take to protect your pet, yourself and your home, especially as fleas can affect dogs, cats and humans,” said Emma Fanning, Education Officer at Maxi Zoo Ireland.
The Maxi Zoo pet store at Poppyfields Retail Park in Clonmel has organised two free Take Care Advisory Days for pet owners who want to learn more about the matter. The events, which will be hosted by the store’s pet experts, take place during store opening hours on Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21.
“Pet owners should get into the habit of examining and grooming their pet’s coat each day, especially after it has been outdoors. Running a flea comb through their fur will help to find any black specks. If the specks become red when moistened with a white cloth then you have an infestation on your hands,” said Emma.
The typical symptoms of a flea infestation that local dog and cat owners should also look out for include intensive licking, intensive scratching, restless behaviour and skin changes including hair loss and damage to their pet’s fur.
Anti-flea combs, collars, shampoos and sprays can help to get rid of fleas. Maxi Zoo’s pet experts are available during the two Take Care Advisory Days to help store visitors find the right product from their extensive range of hygiene and care product for pets, with exclusive offers each day.
“The key to treating your pet and your home is to take account of everywhere your pet has been. This includes its own bed, your bed and your sofa, if your pet is allowed to jump on it or share it with you,” said Emma.
“Fleas continue to live in carpets, cracks and crevices so it is important to take action to eradicate them in the home. Wipe all surfaces with a damp cloth, vacuum often and if necessary use a spray fogger like the two-pack Johnson’s 4fleas Household Spray (€14.99) which also helps to kill larvae and eggs living indoors,” she added.