Recognising and treating fleas on dogs

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Besides our love for dogs, their soft and warm coat is one of the reasons why we cuddle them so much. But, it is also one of the reasons why fleas find it hard to resist them.

treating flees on dogs

When it is about fleas, dogs are more prone to coming into contact with them. However, with a bit of knowledge and understanding, you may find easy ways for treating fleas on dogs.

But before we jump onto the ways to control and treat these blood-sucking parasites, let’s have a look at what are these and a few other related things.

What are Dog Fleas?

These are the most common parasites found on dogs and can affect the health of your four-legged ball of fur after coming into contact with them. They are of around 1-2 mm and live for approximately 7-14 days. They divide their time between laying eggs and sucking the blood of your dog.

Female fleas lay around 40 white, oval-shaped eggs every day, each of which is about half a millimeter long. These eggs are then hatched into larvae that burrow into upholstery, carpets, or your dog’s bedding, which eventually develops into pupae.

These Pupae then lie quietly, where they are hatched, for many months, and you won’t even feel their presence unless they sense vibration and warmth. These pupae then turn into adult fleas and jump on a host- most commonly on a dog, before this cycle starts all over again.

Also, in the case of fleas, it doesn’t even matter how clean you keep your house, and for every single flea living in your home, there could be a hundred more growing.

Dog fleas may transmit many diseases, and the most common is skin problems among them. Flea bites are very itchy for dogs and may lead to some severe allergies, including Flea Allergic Dermatitis (FAD), and many more.

How to Spot Dog Fleas?

Just because you do not see them, it does not mean that they are not there. The most common signs that your dog might be having fleas is when you see them scratching continuously or when you see bald patches on their coat over-grooming. Another sign of your dog having fleas is the red sore areas on their skin.

Regular grooming of your dog might not, in any way, help you get rid of the problem, but it will at least let you spot the symptoms before it’s too late. Thus, enabling you to seek the necessary treatment as soon as possible.

Dog Fleas- What Do They Look Like?

Image Source: pestworld

These are dark brown colored and 1-2 mm long. You might notice tiny black spots of flea dirt present in your dog’s fur or see them on the carpet. One of the best ways to test these insidious creatures is by putting the specks on a damp tissue paper. If the bits turn red, then it means that they are fleas.

How to Treat Dog Fleas?

Before you use any product available in the market, talk to your vet about the problem. Seek guidance on which products to use, to ensure the safety and health of your dog.

In case you are both dog and cat parent, make sure you speak with your vet to ensure any treatment can also be used on your cat. Now, while you are treating your dog to help him get rid of fleas, make sure you treat your house as well. To get rid of the adult fleas, you may use a combination of the topical products, along with the treatment to prevent the eggs of fleas from developing into adult ones.

Also, make sure that you wash all the carpets and soft furnishings of the house regularly, at high heat.

Prefer reading: Top 8 flea home remedies

Topical Dog Flea Treatments 

Collars

Flea collars are not that effective when it comes to treating fleas since they have a limited range. They only treat the area around the neck and often causes irritation or hair loss among dogs. However, you may get a new generation of flea collars, from your vet, which work by spreading the active ingredient throughout your dog’s body (rather than only on neck area) and are friendly to the skin and fur of dogs.

Powders

Powders are one of the messy and most common ways to treat your dog. The powder needs to remain on the coat of your dog to be effective. It may also cause illness if the dog swallows it.

Sprays

These are not so commonly used now (in comparison to the earlier days). This is because of the invention of effective ‘spot-on’ treatments.

Spot-ons

Spot-ons are one of the most-effective and simple ways of treating fleas on dogs. These are small liquid-filled containers which must be applied at the back of the neck of your dog. The treatment will kill fleas and even the development of flea eggs.

Before you use spot-ons to treat your dog, make sure you talk to your vet to find the right one for your dog. There are many brands available in the market which might confuse you about which one to buy and which is best for treating fleas on dogs.

Other Dog Fleas Treatment

Injections

Injections are available to prevent the development of flea eggs, but you will need a topical treatment alongside.

Liquids and Tablets

These work by getting absorbed into the body of the dog and eventually killing the fleas when they bite.

Household Treatments

Out of the treatments mentioned above, some may even prove effective and help you get rid of fleas in your home as well because they prevent the fleas from laying eggs or kill the eggs. However, you may find many sprays and other products available in the market. These may be used to kill fleas present on the soft furnishings and carpets. Additionally, you may find these home remedies useful for treating fleas in dogs and cats.

Tip to take: If your dog has fleas, do not panic as these are very common. Also, this does not mean that your dog (or your home) is not clean. If you are unsure or find it challenging to treat fleas on your dogs and in your house, seek help from your vet and take the suggested and required steps.

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