Whether you have a puppy, a senior, a new furry member of the family, or a dog that’s been part of the family for many years, they all have something in common. They all are at risk of getting fleas which feed of blood, and once they’ve moved in, they reproduce, and before you know it, you have a flea infestation. These nasty little critters are the most common skin parasite found on cats and dogs and are generally top on your enemy list.
How Can You Tell When Your Dog Has Fleas?
It’s not possible to avoid a flea infestation since they are stealthy and can jump on your dog during puppy playdates, while they’re doing their business in the backyard to going on a neighborhood walk. They can even get them through human contact.
Visible Signs Of A Flea Infestation Include:
- Increased licking, scratching and biting
- Loss of fur
- Pale gums
- Pepper-like flea dirt on your dog’s coat
- Brown parasites crawling or jumping in your dog’s coat
- Behavioral changes, i.e., nervousness or restlessness
- Scabs or red bumps on your dog’s skin
Battling with a flea infestation on your furry companion can be stressful and require a lot of work. It’s imperative to treat the existing fleas first. Fleas are annoying and keep coming back. Simple steps on your part can help with getting rid of fleas and prevent reinfestation.
How Can You Treat Your Dog?
- Treat your dog with a fast-acting oral treatment – dead fleas are easier to comb or wash away.
- Dip a flea comb in a mixture of water and dish soap to kill the rest of the fleas on the comb.
- Use a special-formulated flea shampoo for bathing your dog.
- Use a flea spray to treat your dog.
- Make use of flea preventative products all year-round (a critical step in preventing flea infestation).
- Inspect and comb your pup continuously every week to check for a flea infestation.
- Invest in a good dog collar and leash that will help you and your pet to move around freely yet under control. You can check out this dog collars buyer’s guide for more info.
- Preventative Treatment
With ongoing flea prevention, you can break the life cycle of the flea and discourage them from coming back. You can opt for flea collars, oral products, or topical products that last anything from thirty days to eight months. You can read more about dog flea collars on Fuzzy Rescue.
- Treating All Your Pets
If you have more pets at your home, then you need to treat the other animals too. If one animal has fleas, the probability of the others having it, is high. All indoor and outdoor pets must be treated to avoid spreading and reducing the risk of reinfestation.
- Treating the Environment
Apart from your animals, the yard and your home must also be addressed. Fleas lay eggs on your pets that fall off in areas where they are active such as your backyard, the sofa, and the other regions of the home where they regularly move around. The adult fleas only make out a small portion of the flea infestation.