PET owners are being urged to check their animals and homes for fleas as summer approaches and temperatures rise.

Pets at Home in Poole has released an infographic highlighting how to protect your home and pets from fleas, including tips on what temperature to wash your pet’s bedding and which key areas to clean in your home.

Research conducted by the retailer last year revealed more than one million households, or nine per cent of pet owners, admit to washing their furry family member’s bedding four times a year or less, increasing the risk to pets potentially catching fleas.

Fleas can live within pet bedding as well as soft furnishings used, posing a risk to the entire household’s health if blankets and bedding are not regularly washed.

Fleas rapidly multiply when left untreated, with a single adult female being able to lay around 40 eggs every day. As well as living on a pet, the fleas can live in household furnishings while continuing to breed and may bite humans in the most serious of cases.

Colin Nicholson, store manager at Pets at Home Poole, said: “Fleas can be a very nasty – and quick to expand – problem for pets, particularly if left untreated. Long term flea infestation is very irritating to the pet due to repeated bites and could cause the animal to scratch themselves, resulting in hair loss or even a secondary skin infection which can be traumatic.

“It’s vital to check not only your pet but also your home for a flea infestation. While the risk to a pet varies from animal to animal, it is possible for a pet to become infested after missing just one preventative treatment.

“We often associate fleas with the summer months, but in actual fact, the increasingly mild British winter, coupled with the humid atmospheres created by modern central heating, means that fleas can be a year round problem. That’s why seeking regular treatment, even during cold seasons, is a sensible precaution for all pet owners.”

Pets at Home offers a flea treatment subscription service to prevent cats or dogs from catching fleas. The service costs from £4 a month, and the subscription can be set up online by visiting