What do I need to do to prevent my dog from getting fleas?
In some states, like California, fleas can be present all year long. They are more prolific in the dry, warm months. Flea salivia can cause cats and dogs to have an allergic response resulting in severe itching and scratching. The effect of even one bite to a sensitive animal can last for weeks, so continual monthly flea control is paramount in allergic animals.
Fortunately there are several excellent products that can safely control flea infestation. Frontline, Advantage, Advantix, Revolution, and Sentinel are a few that I can recommend. Revolution and Sentinel also provide protection against heartworm disease, which unfortunately is becoming more prominent in California. Frontline, Advantix, and Revolution are also effective against ticks.
Products that are pyrtherin-based are generally not as effective. Also, some of these products are highly toxic to cats and should not be applied to them, so please read labels very carefully.