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My Pet World: Fighting fleas might mean you have to treat your home and yard

Cathy M. Rosenthal, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Cathy,

The flea problem in South Florida is bad. I have tried external drops, flea collars and chewables, and they do not work. My dog has been miserable. Intuitively, to put something inside of an animal to repel or kill something on the outside of the animal does not seem right. Someone from the companies that produce these products need to come to the area and find out why the fleas have become immune to their products. — Dane, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Dear Dane,

I am not sure why your dog seems immune to flea preventatives, except to say that you may need to treat your home and yard as well as your dog.

You can buy diatomaceous earth and spread it on your yard. It’s safe for you and your dog, but it causes fleas to dehydrate and die. Next, I would use a fogger in the house to get rid of any fleas and flea eggs. And I would bathe your dog in a dip that kills fleas.

After you do all this, use a spot-on topical (the drops) on your dog. I think when you hit your flea problem from all sides, you will begin to see an improvement. Flea-infested pets can develop anemia, so please keep trying to find a way to rid your dog of these pests.


Dear Cathy,

I've never written to a columnist before but felt compelled to write in response to your comment to Elise from West Hartford, Connecticut. She wrote complaining that people were picking up their dog poop and leaving the bags on the sidewalk or side of the road. You agreed with her saying that it was “lazy and irresponsible.” Wow, that is not true. We take our two dogs for lengthy walks every day. When one of them does a poo, we clean it up and leave the bag on the side of the road so that we can pick it up on our way back home. We always go back and get it. Please give pet owners a break and give them the benefit of the doubt that the person who left the bag is neither lazy nor irresponsible. I've never read your column before and likely will not again. — Bunnie, Enfield, Connecticut

Dear Bunnie,

I hope you read this column at least one more time so you can see my response to your letter. I don’t mind when people disagree with me and am always willing to consider differing viewpoints.


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