Does my dog have fleas? How do I get rid of them? Are fleas in dogs dangerous?
These are questions that are being Googled daily by pet owners everywhere. Everybody’s sick of fleas in dogs, and nobody understands them.
Fleas are a problem throughout the year, but they are more aggressive when the weather gets warmer. The time to act in regards to prevention is in the spring before, it gets too warm. Keeping your pet and their environment squeaky clean is really one of the best form of prevention.
When the moment does come that you see your dog itching and you notice a few bites on his skin, he probably already have fleas.
Diagnosing flea bites
The most common sign that your dog has fleas is itching. If your dog is agitated and is constantly scratching themselves, it could be flea bites. They look like small red bumps and are usually in a straight line of 3 or 4. Flea bites can be treated with over-the-counter anti-itch creams and anti-allergy medications.
Finding fleas in dogs
The biggest indicator your furry friend has fleas is “flea dirt”. Flea dirt looks like black specks on your dog’s bed or fur. Purchase a flea comb from the pet store and run it over your pet. Make sure you go deep and the tip of the comb reaches the skin. If there is black dirt on the comb or a flea itself, your pet has a problem.
Another way to find out if your pet has fleas is to place a white paper towel under your pet and shake its fur. If black specks fall on the towel, it could also be flea dirt.
Getting rid of fleas in dogs
If your pet indeed has fleas, don’t panic. There are a ton of options to get rid of them. Chemical treatments are the most effective and fastest ways to treat a flea infestation. Ask your veterinarian for a medication that will kill both fleas, their eggs and larvae.
You can also treat your pet with non-chemical shampoos that kill the fleas. After you’ve finished shampooing, comb your pet’s fur to find and remove all the dead fleas. It can be a long and difficult task especially, if your pet is active. You may need to elicit help from somebody to help distract and soothe your pet while you comb through their hair.
Killing fleas doesn’t end with your pet. You also need to clean your home of any eggs and or larvae hiding out of sight. Frequently wash your own bedding while also vacuuming carpets and sofas. Continue to vacuum for a couple of weeks even after your pet has been treated. Pupae can live in an uninvested environment for several months before hatching.