It is important to ensure that your cat or dog is kept free from both intestinal worms and fleas.
We recommend that all cats and dogs should be given a worming treatment four times a year. This is usually in the form of an orally administered tablet. We are happy to advise you on a suitable product and will calculate the correct dose for your pet.
The situation with fleas is more complex, as all the commercially available treatments are at least partially non-biodegradable and therefore have the potential to accumulate in the pets’ environment and in the owner.
Our recommendation is to monitor your pet routinely during the flea season (September to March) by using a fine flea comb 2-3 times a month, looking for adult fleas or flea droppings. If there are none, then no treatment is required.
If there are signs of fleas, we give different advice depending on whether or not there are children in the house. With their small growing bodies and thinner skin, children are more at risk of absorbing insecticides from the animal's skin and fur with possibly harmful long-term consequences. The best option in this case is to use an oral flea insecticide, and we will recommend a product and dose for your pet.
Where there are no children, then a drop-on treatment is convenient and very effective, and unlikely to cause harm.
In any event, the treatment needs to be continued for 3 months, during which time good household hygiene must be practiced with lots of vacuum cleaning, as there are always many more fleas in the environment than on the pet.
If you prefer to avoid all synthetic insecticides, then there are many natural substances that can deter fleas. Tonia Werchon has produced a useful brochure on this topic, which we reproduce here with her permission: