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Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) remains the most common allergic skin disease of dogs and cats, although its frequency varies according to geographical location. Despite the availability of safe, effective products, treating FAD remains a challenge. This challenge should be more readily overcome once both practitioner and owner(s) are entirely convinced of the diagnosis. The main diffi culties and pitfalls facing the practitioner are described. Treatment requires appropriate knowledge of the fl ea life cycle and fl ea-related biology, and understanding of the mode of action of the relevant fl ea control products. An integrated approach to treatment should be adopted, involving all the players in the fl ea life cycle - the FAD patient, all in-contact pets, and the environment. Each case must be customised, with effective fl ea control products used in combination with cleaning measures such as steaming, vacuuming and regular grooming.