A pet owner’s worst nightmare comes true upon learning their dog has fleas. At that point, you’re left wondering how to get rid of fleas on dogs and it’s not terribly difficult, but it can be time-consuming and unpleasant for your dog.
How to Tell if Your Dog has Fleas
Everyone knows the tell-tale sign that their dog has fleas is when they’re itching and scratching enough to create bald patches of fur. If you know what to look for, you may be able to spot an infestation before it gets to that point. Make sure to check your dog regularly for bumps and scabs, watch for increased grooming, and check their fur for any bugs, not just fleas.
Signs and Symptoms
-Increased biting, scratching, and licking
-Red bumps or scabs
-Loss of fur
-Brown parasites in their fur
-The appearance of black pepper in your dog’s fur (this is what flea poop looks like)
How to Get Rid of Fleas on Your Dog
When you find yourself with a flea infestation, you’re going to delve into all the ways on how to get rid of fleas on dogs and find several treatment methods. While you don’t need to go to the vet, it can be helpful to get a proper diagnosis, especially if your dog is having a hard time and developing skin issues and irritations. Your vet can help you get medication to treat your dog and will recommend some treatments.
Bathing your dog will help lessen the amount of fleas and eggs on your dog as they get knocked loose with the water, which can help provide relief to your dog from the biting. To bath your dog, use warm water. Depending on your dog, you may not want to use soap, and you shouldn’t start with a medicated flea treatment or shampoo. Due to the fleas, your dog’s skin may be very sensitive and irritated, and they may have a few open wounds, so you don’t want to further hurt your dog and their skin with any soap or harsh chemicals.
Make sure you use a flea comb and brush your dog thoroughly and daily until it seems like the flea infestation is lessening, repeating once a week from there. While brushing your dog with the fine-toothed flea comb, dip it in soapy water whenever you encounter a flea or egg. Doing so traps the flea and prevents it from jumping away.
Let Your Dog Groom Themselves
As long as your dog isn’t grooming themself excessively to the point where they’re losing fur or injuring themself, it’s good to let your dog groom themself.
If you know your dog doesn’t have any sensitivities or allergies to flea medications and treatments, it’s okay to use them. There are a myriad of products like shampoos, collars, oral medications, and even fur sprays. Watch for any reactions after using them and stop immediately if a reaction occurs.
How to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Home
Unfortunately, fleas don’t just live on your dog. Anywhere your dog goes or lays down has a great chance for fleas and eggs to fall from your dog and onto the area. This is especially an issue for beds, couches, clothing, and carpets. Because of this, you have to treat your whole house for the infestation as well.
Make sure to use a strong vacuum on all fabrics like carpet and sofas to suck up eggs and fleas that aren’t secured in places or that have died from other treatment methods.
Fleas, like lice, are sensitive to heat. Steam clean all areas, especially areas with fabrics, to help kill off fleas and their eggs.
Wash All Fabrics
Make sure to wash all clothing and bedding, especially your pet’s, in hot water and dry it on the hottest setting available. This will kill and remove fleas and eggs.
When using chemical treatments, make sure all pets and people are out of the house and opt for an aerosol spray made to kill adults, infants, and eggs.
How to get rid of fleas on dogs is a long and somewhat difficult process that requires you to treat your pet and your home, so be ready for the long haul.