You depend on your emotional support animal to be there for you at all times. You take care of your ESA as best you can, you give them the all the love they need, and you do so because they’re not just an ESA – they’re your best friend. When it comes to taking proper care of your emotional support dog, sometimes you can be perfect in your efforts and they can still end up with a problem like fleas.
If your emotional support dog does come down with a flea infestation, it’s important to take the proper steps to treat it as quickly as possible. You might also worry about other things if your ESA gets fleas, such as your housing or other animals you may have. Although it’s a stressful situation, it doesn’t have to be with the right know-how to take care of the pesky problem once and for all. Here’s what to do if your ESA dog gets fleas.
What are fleas?
The creepy crawlies that set up shop on your pet’s fur can be cringeworthy to think about. Fleas are parasites, and when they attach to your animal, they do so with great tact. Their heads have sharp spikes so that they can grab hold well and stay put for as long as possible. They feed on the blood of the animal, and it can be uncomfortable and even painful for your pet if they are suffering from an infestation.
The small pests are barely visible to the eye at only 1/8 of an inch, but despite their tiny size, they can cause giant problems. If a dog has fleas, the symptoms may range in severity depending on the size of the infestation. The first sign of fleas in your ESA is scratching and itching. If you notice this in excess, taking a comb through your pet’s hair to check for the small brown insects is the best bet in confirming fleas.
How does my dog get fleas?
It’s hard to determine just how your emotional support animal contracted fleas, because it’s so easy to come into contact with them – especially if your furry friend has some play pals of their own. Just a couple of fleas can lead to a dire infestation because of their ability to reproduce exponentially.
The most likely time for your ESA to contract fleas is in the summer, because they love hot and humid weather. Another way that your pet can get fleas is if they catch a ride home with you after you’ve been in contact with another animal that has them. A flea can jump nearly a foot in the air, so it doesn’t take long for an infestation to get started.
How do I get rid of fleas on my dog?
A flea’s life cycle isn’t cut and dry, and varies significantly. It can take just a couple of weeks to a few months for eggs to reach full adult status. Because of this, getting rid of fleas can be a long and arduous process. To rid your home and pet of fleas, it will take a few different steps.
The deep clean
To ensure that both your pet and home are rid of the pests, you’ll have to do a swift and deep clean of everything. This means vacuuming all carpeted areas, mattresses, and flooring with a powerful vacuum and washing all bedding in hot water. This includes any areas where your dog might sleep, along with their bedding as well.
Clean your ESA
Following the deep clean of the house, it’s important to make sure that any and all fleas in your dog’s fur are removed. Using a shampoo specifically designed to rid your pet of fleas is the best bet. You can ask your vet or pet store which brand is best. Afterwards, you’ll want to comb out all the eggs and other remnants using a specially designed flea comb.
Doing your best to make sure an infestation doesn’t occur again is the next step in the flea removal process. Your vet will have a plethora of information regarding flea prevention products. (Note: flea collars are now outdated and can often contain harmful chemicals, so avoid them.)
Are ESAs protected under FHA?
The Fair Housing Act is designed to ensure that tenants are given the proper rights when finding and living in housing. Emotional support animals are part of a protection under the FHA, which states that landlords have to provide reasonable accommodations for people with emotional support animals.
Because of this, tenants with emotional support animals have a right to house their animal, even in housing where there is a “no pets” rule. However, the owner of an ESA must have a confirmed disability and provide proof of that if requested (usually in the form of an ESA letter).
Can I be evicted if my ESA gets fleas?
If your emotional support animal catches fleas, it might be alarming for more than one reason. Worrying about whether or not you’ll be evicted could be a huge stress while dealing with an infestation.
The good news is that it is illegal to evict someone based on this alone. However, many places will require security deposits in the case that damage occurs to a dwelling, and will also have lease requirements that the tenant pay for damages that aren’t part of the natural dilapidation process. This can include fleas.
Although it’s unlikely that you’ll have to move because of fleas, it’s likely that you’ll have to foot the bill to take care of the problem.
Fleas can be a real pest. They wreak havoc on your ESA by making life extremely uncomfortable, and if they get out of control, it can lead to a full infestation of your home. The good news is that there are ways to both prevent and get rid of fleas on your pet.
Remember that you have rights when it comes to tenancy and your pet, so the only thing you’ll have to worry about if an infestation does occur is getting rid of the fleas and getting back to normal.