Dogs are man’s best friend. Fleas, on the other hand, are a dog’s enemy. These little parasites that feed on the blood actually suck out your pet’s nutrition through the skin. They can also cause a lot of skin problems for your pet. If you’re reading this article now, you’re probably looking for ways on how to get rid of fleas on a dog. The good news is that there are ways to solve this problem and also methods that you can do to prevent the occurrence of a flea infestation.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Fleas?
If you see your dog scratching its body a little more than usual, you should already start looking for fleas. Also, if you are with your dog and you notice some bug jumping on your pet’s fur, that is a very obvious sign that you already have to find ways on how to get rid of fleas on a dog.
Additionally, you should be aware that some dogs are allergic to fleas. Being allergic to fleas means that just one bite can cause them to itch all over. The problem here is that sometimes its to work out what is causing your dog’s discomfort until there are many more bites, and by this time your dog is already suffering quite severely.
Assuming that your dog is not allergic to fleas, then, when he or she is bitten they will be able to pinpoint the area of discomfort by scratching at it until they create a sore. This is not only unsightly, but it is painful for your dog and can lead to infections if they end up with an open wound.
How to Get Rid of Fleas on a Dog
Fleas really are a nuisance to dogs because it makes them itch and scratch themselves and when they do, they can actually spread the fleas all over your house. We certainly wouldn’t want that because fleas would then find a different host which can include you! So how DO you get rid of fleas from your dog? Well, let us count the simple but effective ways…
Use Flea Collars
Using a flea collar is a popular way to get rid of fleas on a dog. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist nor a brain surgeon to know how to use a flea collar. Just strap it on your pet’s neck and wait until all the fleas are gone. Flea collars have been around for quite some time and have been a very effective deterrent for fleas.
They also come in different varieties. Some are high-tech and use ultrasonic sounds while some use natural herbs to shoo away the fleas. Some flea collars would emit gas or some kind of drug. With a collar like this, a flea repelling drug is infused within the collar itself and is absorbed into the sebaceous glands and hair follicles of your pooch. These collars can work wonders for your dog for about 90 days, and some brands would also go as long as 8 months.
However, be aware that the use of a flea collar might not go well for your dog especially if they are sensitive to the drug or to other factors. Negative side effects that are known to have been caused by flea collars involve diarrhea, seizures, and vomiting, probably because of the drugs or toxins that went into the dog’s immune system which it didn’t react well. You can ask your Vet what brand of flea collar that he or she recommends.
Try Oral Anti-Flea Medication
Another popular method that will lead you to say goodbye and good riddance to those pesky fleas is to give your dog some anti-flea and tick pills. It’s almost 100% effective and would help avoid the fleas from coming back. Some can be bought with a proper prescription from a vet while some can just be bought over the counter.
A word of caution though, since they can be bought easily without any prescription, you will still need to ask your veterinarian for the proper dosage of these drugs. Accidental overdosage of these pills would cause harm to your innocent pooch or worse…
In the Case of an Accidental Overdose
How would you know if your dog had an accidental overdose? Well, first of all, observe and be aware if he/she shows some irregular movements or different behaviors that he/she wouldn’t normally do like walking in circles, lack of coordination, involuntary muscle movements, too much drooling, and confusion. This would tell you that something is not right and you should call or go to your nearest veterinary clinic for assistance. Improper intake of medication can also cause side effects like oily fur and hair loss so be sure to use these pills with proper precaution.
A Good Dog Deserves a Good Bath
Even if your dog doesn’t have fleas yet, you still need to bathe him at least once a month. This keeps him clean and his body cool, preventing the infestation of fleas. A dog that already has fleas should be bathed more often, and a good anti-flea shampoo should be used. Avoid using chemical shampoos as this can make your dog’s hair fall out. There are several natural anti-flea shampoos that you can choose from in the market. You should also use hot water for bathing your dog because it cleans the skin better and fleas cannot live if washed away with hot water.
There are special shampoos out there in the market that could kill fleas and parasites of your pet. Some would be a little expensive but effective and would save you a lot of money in the long run. And, of course, you would still need a go signal from your vet for proper instructions on how to and when.
Cleaning Your Home
All in all, fleas are a very nasty experience for your dog. But what do you think is happening to your home while your dog has a flea?
When a flea bites a dog, his skin will have an allergic reaction to the flea’s saliva and the dog will chew, scratch, and gnaw on it incessantly. This will result in the further irritation of the skin, and an infection may develop. These infections can become hot spots or allergic dermatitis. When this happens, your dog will lose hair on the affected area, and the skin will become severely infected. If your dog’s skin remains that way, his entire body might lose hair and his skin might turn gray.
No one would want this to happen to his dog. That is why proper hygiene should be observed when it comes to taking care of dogs. If you’re really concerned about how to get rid of fleas on a dog, the first thing that you should check is the cleanliness of your home.
When the home is clean, it is less likely for fleas to dwell on it. It is best to regularly use a vacuum cleaner in cleaning the home, especially if you have carpets and fabric upholstered furniture. These are the favorite areas of fleas because they are like an animal or human skin – warm and furry. Run a vacuum at least once a week on your carpets and on your furniture to make sure that fleas cannot create colonies in them.
Comb Your Dog’s Hair
Regular combing prevents the infestation of fleas because it can eliminate the fleas stuck on your dog’s hair. There are also flea combs which you can buy to keep your dog’s hair orderly and free from fleas. These combs go through the dog’s fine hair and sweep fleas and other dirt away, maintaining its beauty and softness. Of course, you still have to properly exterminate and dispose of any live fleas that you find.
Soothing Flea Bites
There are various natural solutions that you can apply on your dog’s body to sooth flea bites. Lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, apple cider vinegar, oatmeal, and lemon juice are some of the effective natural solutions which, when sprayed on your dog’s body, will soothe his or her flea bites. You can also try aloe vera ointment on the skin. This is very effective because of the anti-inflammatory properties.
If you like, you can also purchase hydrocortisone cream and anti-histamine cream to help reduce the irritation and inflammation from the flea bite. It’s always a good idea to add an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin to the bite. The most horrible part about flea bites is an infection that can provide more pain and torture to your canine friend. The Neosporin acts as a prophylaxis to reduce the chance of getting an infection.
How to Get Rid of Fleas on Humans
The average female flea will bite a dog twice a day and will lay between twenty and thirty eggs a day. These eggs will not stay on your dog, they will drop as he moves around. Although it is better for him to have fewer flea eggs, the flea eggs will scatter everywhere. Possibly on your bed, your living room, kitchen, and even in your yard.
To add to the situation, a flea will normally stay on a dog for a couple of weeks. So by the time adult female leaves your dog, she can have produced quite a number of eggs! Depending on the weather, these eggs will take around two weeks to become biting adults!
Unfortunately, flea eggs are sturdy little things. They will happily mature while in your carpet, cracks in your floorboards, cushions, and can survive just about anything except a chemical treatment. Oh, and of course, you may have some living on you.
If you are unlucky enough to get fleas on your own body, here are some steps to getting rid of those pesky fleas:
- Use flea shampoo to wash your hair. – You can use Dawn dish soap or baking soda as well.
- Launder your clothes and your sheets in a hot wash cycle.
- Clean your house!
- Wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants to prevent fleas from getting to your skin.
- Use flea spray on yourself. – Amrita Bug Be Gone is an excellent flea repellent on the market.
Crazy Facts About Fleas
The most widespread flea species found in the US is the Ctenocephalides Felis, and the common name for this is the cat flea (imagine your dog having cat fleas!) This flea species loves warm weather and humid conditions. If you live in the warm states like in Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, Oregon, or in Alabama, there are high chances your dog might get some fleas, and you might not know about it because they’re so tiny.
Also, did you know that fleas are very different from ticks because they are very agile and can jump high? How high, you say? Well, imagine the flea is as the same size of a human, the flea would jump to almost 970 feet up in the air, almost three 3/4 that of the height of the Empire State Building.
Some people think that you only need to consider a flea treatment for dogs if your dog already has fleas. Think again. If you want to avoid your home being flea infested, then you need to be prepared. Prevention is the best deterent.
When your animial does get infected with fleas make sure to eradicate the problem by not only treating your animal but also treating your living space to kill any fleas living there. If people get infected with fleas then you will need to address that as well. Since fleas can be a health issue for humans as well, make sure to check out these treatments.
Interested in Home Remedies for Fleas on Dogs?
You can check out this article for Home Remedies for Fleas. This article will give you great advice on some home remedies including dawn dish soap! It discusses the different ways to protect yourself with great home remedy items that will keep your house and animal chemical free!