Does My Dog Have Fleas, and How to Treat It

Dog owners all over the world constantly struggle to keep their dog’s free of fleas, and at times are hard pressed to find a solution to rid their dogs of fleas.

Fleas are not only an annoyance to dogs and owners alike, but they’re also a health hazard, and some people are allergic to flea bites.

Dog flea problems or infestations are common all year round but are more likely to increase in spring and summer.

Hence, it’s smart for a dog owner to take preventative measures.

Prevention flea treatments for dogs should happen at least five to six weeks before the warmer months along with constant flea control maintenance throughout the year.

How to Identify If Your Dog Has a Flea Problem

A dog that constantly scratches itself does not mean your dog has a flea problem; there are other signs to look out for.

One of the symptoms to that indicates your dog has fleas is when your dog scratches excessively, however, look out for any change in temperament as well.

If you notice any irritable behavior patterns that are unusual to your dog; that may mean your dog has a flea problem.

To check whether it is indeed flea symptoms, look for black specs on your dog’s skin.

These black spots are the fecal matter from adult fleas.

You can check for these black spots by using a flea comb on your dog.

Flea combs are readily available at all pet stores, and metal ones are the best to use. We recommend the Safari Flea Comb from Amazon.

While combing your dog, check for any black spots on the comb.

If you have a flea or two on the comb, insert the comb in some soapy water before the flea jumps on you or back on your dog.

The moment you notice your dog has fleas, it’s crucial for you to react fast so that the flea problem doesn’t spread.

The second method for checking is to place a clean white towel beneath your dog and rub its coat.

Leave it there for a bit, then lift the white towel and examine it.

If you find black spots or fleas on the towel, then that means your dog has a flea problem.

After you discover fleas on your dog, you’ll need to treat your whole house as in all likelihood larvae, pupae and eggs have already infested the areas more commonly used by your dog.

It’s also vital to maintain the flea control treatment of your house throughout the year as flea eggs can lie dormant for up to six months.

Flea Infestation Treatment

A comprehensive flea treatment for your dog takes place in four stages.

The first stage is to rid your dog and house of adult fleas using an appropriate flea prevention remedy.

The second stage is to prevent any new adult fleas from jumping on your dog or settling in areas of the house used by your dog.

Thirdly, to prevent any further infestation, you need to use a growth inhibitor to stop the hatching of flea eggs and to stop the larvae developing into adult fleas.

Lastly, you need to clear your home of flea eggs, larvae and pupae.  This last process can take up to six months.

Buying a flea treatment product that contains ingredients to kill adult fleas and prevent eggs from hatching and developing will solve problems one to three.

Ask your vet or pet store owner for the appropriate dosage and product for your dog.

Further, if you have more than one pet in the house, it’s best practice to use a flea treatment on all of them.

As in all likelihood, if one dog has a flea problem, the other pets most likely have a flea problem as well.

Preventative Measures

To ensure that your dog remains flea free throughout the year, it’s wise to apply the following preventative measures.

1. Vacuum all areas used by your dog regularly.  Take special care of carpets, furniture and your car (should you dog ride in your car).

2. Frequently wash all your dog’s bedding and any other area it may sleep with hot soapy water.  Take special care of your pet’s beds and blankets.

3. Ensure your yard is neat and tidy. Keep your grass short and don’t leave garden rubble lying around.

4. Occasionally hang mats, blankets and non-washable items in direct sunlight.

5. Give your dog regular baths.

Flea control and prevention may sound like a lot of work and hassle, but it’s worth the effort.

When your dog has a flea problem it’s not only annoying for your dog, but they also cause serious health issues.

Flea infestations can cause an outbreak of tapeworm in your dogs and eventually your family if left untreated.

A constant flea infestation could result in your dog becoming anemic because of too many flea bites.

Also, dogs and humans can get skin allergies because of too many flea bites.

Have any tips for treating fleas on dogs? Share your tips below in the comments.

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