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Flea-Resistant Pets?
M Duffy Jones, DVM posted:
There are NO dog or cat breeds that are completely resistant to fleas.

Some pet owners like to believe otherwise, because they have one dog in their household who "gets fleas", and another dog who "doesn't get fleas". But in reality, the dog that they accuse of having fleas may be itchier because he may have an allergy to fleas. The other dog (the supposedly "resistant" dog) most likely has the same number of fleas, but without the allergy. So that dog is showing no signs.

I also hear people make this claim because of the kinds of hair their dogs have. A light colored or short-haired dog presents an easier surface on which to find fleas. Whereas, a large, full-coated dog, such as a Chow, presents an extremely difficult palette for finding them. Fleas are really good at hiding out on thick-coated pets. So remember, just because you cannot find them, doesn't always mean fleas are not there.

It's OK to want to believe that your pet is resistant to fleas. But it becomes a problem when you have one pet who you think is resistant, and another who clearly reacts to fleas. In order to properly treat a pet that clearly has fleas, you and your vet will have to work to kill all the fleas in the environment, including those that probably live on your other, so-called resistant pet. When I tell owners that we need to treat all their pets for fleas, it can sometimes be a hard sell. I have to convince them that it is important to treat all the pets in their household, because it only takes one or two fleas to set off a reaction in a flea-allergic pet. Unless owners believe me -- that no pets are resistant to fleas and that getting rid of them requires treating the entire household -- it is extremely difficult to control the fleas and their pet's allergies to them.

The truth is all pets can get fleas, but some will just react more than others. So even if you think your pet is resistant to fleas, be sure to use regular flea protection for them.


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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