Fleas are a huge inconvenience, not only for your dog, but you as well. These small, blood-sucking parasites irritate your dog, infest your home and lead to trouble all together. You often won’t even realize that fleas have moved into your home until there’s already a small army of them living there rent free. If you want to know how to get rid of fleas on dogs, this article is for you!
What are fleas?
Dog fleas are the most common parasites your dog could possibly get. They are much more common than ticks, and thankfully, also less dangerous. They are very small, about 1-2 mm, and they usually live from one to two weeks. Female fleas lay up to 40 eggs each day, that hatch into larvae that often live in your carpets or your dogs bed, without you even knowing. After some time they develop into pupae.
They live in this stage quietly for months, until they emerge as adult fleas and jump on a passing host, in this case – your dog. That’s when the cycle starts all over again. For every flea on your dog, they could be 99 growing in your home, no matter how clean you keep it.
How do dogs get fleas, and how do I spot them?
In case you’re unsure as to how your dog even got fleas in the first place, these are the most common ways:
-From your yard
Fleas jump on and off animals from the grass. Even if your dog is the only domestic animal that ever uses your yard, fleas can come from squirrels, rabbits, and other animals.
-From the dog park
Areas with a high concentration of dogs often has a lot of fleas creeping around. They jump from other dogs on the ground and then jump on your dog when they are walking through that area. Fleas can also jump directly from one dog to another.
-From the groomer
Even though these kinds of facilities do their best to prevent fleas, infestation can still happen.
-From your visitors
Like we already said, fleas can jump directly from one dog to another. But not only that, they can also jump on the dog’s owner’s. You and your dog can also get fleas from various visitors that have been at your house: Friends, family, neighbors or workers.
How to spot fleas on your dog
The most obvious sign is persistent scratching that can sometimes even result in bald patches on their coat. If your dog has a flea allergy, redness and sore areas of the skin will also be visible. Your dog will be in huge discomfort until you get rid of the fleas.
How to get rid of fleas on dogs
You first need to understand that getting rid of fleas on your dog only won’t be enough. You will also have do get rid of them in your house. We already discussed the life cycle of fleas and their tendencies to live in carpets and dog beds, so even if you completely clean your dog from fleas, the ones that are living in your house will still find their way back to your canine’s coat. Because of that, it’s not only important how to get rid of fleas on dogs dogs, but how to get rid of fleas in your home as well.
Getting rid of fleas on your dog
Prevention is better than cure. This rule goes for fleas as well. In the best possible scenario your dog will never get fleas and you will never learn how much of a headache they are.
There are several options for prevention out there. The most common ones are over-the-counter flea collars, but liquid applicants and pills are also quite common. Always make sure to talk to your vet about the best option for your dog and you.
If your dog unfortunately already has fleas, you’ll have to take some more aggressive action. The most common ones are flea shampoo or a fast-acting chemical treatment such as a flea pill. The flea pill kills the fleas within only a few hours, but you’ll have to discuss it with your vet first. Prescription pills are also a very effective way for getting rid of fleas on your dog. Never give any flea medicine to your dog without talking to your vet first, as that could lead to poisoning.
Getting rid of fleas in your home
Getting rid of fleas in your home requires a lot of patience. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to get rid of them over night. It often takes three to four months to get rid of fleas completely. Here are some steps that will help you speed up the process.
- Wash all bedding in hot water
- Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum! All of your carpets, floors, your dog’s bed. After you’re done, throw away the vacuum bag.
- Apply some sort of environmental flea control
- Apply a non-toxic flea treatment for your yard
- Continue to use flea treatment on your dog and any other pets you might have
Fleas don’t have to be a complete nightmare! First of all know that a lot of dog owners have to deal with them. If your dog is social and loves to explore around in the nature, fleas are basically unavoidable if you don’t use the right preventative.
The most important thing is to take those extra steps so your dog doesn’t get fleas. But if your dog already has them, just follow all of the steps we have discussed in this article and your dog and your home will for sure be flea free in just a couple of months.