Fleas on Dogs need to be treated properly whether it is a small problem or a large infestation. Not only are fleas a pain to deal with, but they can cause serious illness if not treated right away. A dog can also be born with an allergy to fleas, so it is important to look out for excessive itching and other symptoms of pain.
If dog fleas weren’t a problem enough, in rare cases humans can be affected as well. There are a number of ways to prevent and treat dog fleas quickly and effectively to avoid any serious problems. As always, it’s important to take your dog in to see the veterinarian if he/she is showing any odd symptoms, as it could be a number of things other than fleas, such as ticks on dogs.
- 1 Dog Has Fleas Now What?
- 2 How to Tell if Your Dog Has Fleas
- 3 What’s the Best Fleas Treatment
- 4 Can Fleas Live in Human Hair
A dog flea infestation is not uncommon. It can be a huge pain to deal with if the infestation gets out of control. There are a number of ways you can prevent and catch a flea problem right away.
We are your #1 resource for fleas on dogs symptoms, treatments and even home remedies. At Crittersitca, our mission is to provide you with in depth knowledge regarding dog flea problems. We will provide you the best tips on preventing a flea infestation, how to treat fleas on dogs, and how to approach a flea problem the natural way.
Essential oils can help repel fleas.
Dog Has Fleas Now What?
Fleas are small, wingless insects that feed off of a host’s blood to stay alive and reproduce. The most common type of flea is the cat flea, but unfortunately for dog lovers, there are fleas that bite dogs as well. A bite from a flea can cause extreme itching for your dog, especially if he has a flea allergy. Flea bites may lead to hair loss, inflammation and secondary skin conditions, such as hot spots. Some dogs may get excessively itchy simply from one single bite.
Not only are fleas extremely irritating for dogs to deal with, their bites can lead to serious health issues. If enough fleas infect a dog, it may be possible for them to become anemic, especially puppies or dogs with a weakened immune system. Tapeworm infections are also a common result of an untreated flea infestation. Because of these serious health risks, it is important to understand how fleas work, what causes them and most importantly, how to effectively treat your dog for fleas.
About Dog Fleas
Dog fleas are known as Ctenocephalides canis. There are over 2,000 different species of fleas present in the world today. Although fleas are most common in Europe, Asia and Africa, they are still a problem in North America. Any dog can get fleas, not necessarily a dog living in poor conditions.
Fleas are capable of jumping from 14 to 16 inches, and can be spread at a very rapid rate. If you frequently visit dog parks or live in a warm, humid climate, it is important to check regularly to see if your dog has fleas.
Female fleas can begin to lay eggs after only 48 hours of feeding. Females can also lay up to 50 eggs in a single day! It is important to diagnose and treat your dog for fleas as soon as possible and rid your home and yard of fleas to avoid a serious problem. A flea infestation in the home will keep going until measures are taken to break the life cycle.
Fleas have a life span of between 6 to 12 months. Fleas have excellent jumping skills which makes it easy for them to hop onto your dog and begin feeding on their blood.
Dogs contract fleas from their environment. The problem can last year round in warm, humid climates. If you dog has fleas, the best course of action is to take him out of the flea infested environment, however this can sometimes be difficult.
Best Way to Prevent Fleas on Dog
The best way to get rid of dog fleas is prevention. Fleas thrive in warm and humid climates, and are most active in the summer and fall. You will likely have to check your dog frequently if you live somewhere with a warmer climate.
Another step to preventing fleas is to frequently vacuum your home regularly and keep fabrics such as blankets and pillows as clean as possible. It is also a good idea to wash your dog’s bed every week with hot, soapy water, or in the washing machine. Washing your dog’s bedding helps to kill any larvae and eggs that may be nesting in your dog’s bed.
Some other help tips in preventing fleas include:
- Keep your dog away from any other animals you may suspect carry fleas. Dog parks pose as a high risk for contracting fleas.
- Brush your dog with a flea comb. This helps to remove any fleas from the fur. After each stroke, be sure to dunk the comb into hot, soapy water or rubbing alcohol to drown the fleas.
- Bathe your dog once a week (or more, if he will allow it) with a veterinarian approved flea shampoo.
The most common areas to check for fleas are above the tail, under the belly and around the neck.
How to Tell if Your Dog Has Fleas
Fleas cause itching and discomfort in your dog. The itching can range from mild to severe, and can be difficult to treat. Fleas are not only annoying for your dog, but they also pose serious health risks.
Dog flea problems can lead to skin disease and infection, and even anemia in very serious cases. Dog fleas can also transfer other diseases such as Lyme disease and Ehrlichia. It is important to know what to look for when it comes to treatment of fleas in dogs.
Dogs are not born with fleas, but they can be born with an allergy to fleas. Adult fleas are only about 5% of the population living on your dog. Females feed on the blood of your dog and lay up to 500 eggs each. There are over 2,000 species of fleas and can transmit various diseases, including tapeworms.
Constant itching and/or biting are the most obvious symptoms. Most common areas are the head, above the tail and around the neck. The infected areas will usually be red and inflamed, sometimes flakey from constant scratching.
Dog Flea Allergy Symptoms
Some dogs are actually allergic to flea saliva. This is called flea allergy dermatitis. The reaction can be very similar to a mosquito bite on a human. The areas infected on a dog with a flea allergy will usually be more noticeable, and often times will result in bald spots from excessive scratching and chewing on the fur.
Hot spots are open sores or wounds inflicted by a dog’s biting or scratching of the skin. Hot spots can be very unpleasant for the dog as well as for the owner. If hot spots become infected, they require medication and ointments to treat. The skin may develop a foul odor from hot spots.
Does My Dog Have Fleas?
Flea dirt may be visible on your dog’s fur or skin. Other areas to check for fleas or flea dirt are on his bed or other common resting areas. Flea dirt looks like little black specks. This is a combination of dried blood from bites and flea debris. Often times you will be able to see fleas moving about on the skin. Carefully comb back your dog’s fur and you may be able to see fleas.
What’s the Best Fleas Treatment
Fleas not only cause pain and irritation for your dog, but the saliva can actually create problems on its own. Fleas need to be treated right away not only for the irritation to your dog, but also to prevent any allergic reactions and further infestations on other animals around the home. Additionally, most of the treatments available to get rid of fleas on dogs also help to treat other parasites such as ticks or mosquitos.
There are many over-the-counter prescribed medications, ointments and other treatments available to help treat and repel dog fleas. Always talk with your veterinarian about flea treatments before committing to a certain type. Your veterinarian will have the best information available to quickly and effectively treat your dog’s specific case of fleas. Most treatments are based on the severity of the infestation, your dog’s lifestyle and environment and potential for further infestations.
Listed below are the top rated treatments available to be purchased by a veterinarian’s recommendation. These treatments include oral medications that prevent larvae from hatching, ointments to help ease itching and inflammation, and flea collars, which help to repel fleas. There are a lot of different treatment options available, so it is best to discuss with your veterinarian before beginning treatment. Need to know how to get rid of fleas on dogs? Just look below!
What is The Best Fleas Medications for Dogs
There are a number of different ointments and oral medications you can purchase to treat your dog’s fleas. A few include:
- Program Flea Control for Dogs – This is an oral medication that helps prevent larvae and eggs from becoming adult fleas. It is recommended for dogs over 6 weeks of age. Program is to be given to your dog once a month for 6 months.
Capstar – Capstar helps to kill fleas on your dog with a single dose. It starts working within 30 minutes of ingestion. A single dose lasts 24 hours, and is safe to give once daily if re-infestation occurs. Capstar is not a preventative. It is to be given to dogs over 4 weeks old.
- Bio Spot Defense Spot On Flea and Tick Control – Bio Spot helps to defend your dog against all flea life stages, ticks and mosquitos. Bio Spot is a topical ointment that is applied directly on your dog’s skin each month. It contains lanolin for coat conditioning as well as active flea killing ingredients. Bio Spot starts working within 15 minutes of application. It is recommended for dogs over 6 months of age.
- Frontline for Dogs – This is an over-the-counter flea control product that kills 100% of fleas within 12 hours. Frontline also protects against Lyme disease, and works all month long. Frontline stays on even with bathing, swimming or exposure to sunlight. It is to be used on puppies 8 weeks and older.
Flea and Tick Collars Treatment for Dogs
Flea and tick collars can be effective, if applied properly, in helping get rid of fleas on dogs. Remember to keep a two finger snugness between the collar and your dog’s neck. Always cut off any excess portion of the collar. Chemical dog flea collars should be used in small amounts.
- Preventic PLUS Collar – Helps to kill and detach fleas and ticks for three months. It contains an IGR that sterilizes and kills flea eggs for three months.
- Preventef-D Flea and Tick Collar for Dogs – Kills fleas and ticks for 6 months. This collar is adjustable and will fit most dogs. Preventef-D Collar has been formulated with insecticide-releasing technology. Only one collar at a time is recommended.
- Preventic Collar – This collar is made for dogs over 60 pounds. Each collar is effective for 3 months and is a good complement to any flea medication. Preventic is made specifically for tick detaching.
Although it?s not common, dog fleas can sometimes affect humans.
Can Fleas Live in Human Hair
Although it is not very common, dog fleas (known as Ctenocephalides Canis) can sometimes affect humans. If you are wondering, can dog fleas live on humans hair? The short answer is no. Fleas will not use humans as a breeding vessel like they do with dogs. They will however, bite and feed on human blood like little vampires. Fleas prefer to live in quiet, dark areas such as carpets and blankets, and then come out to feed when they feel necessary.
Fleas can take over a household. They will hide in fabrics, bedding, pillows, carpets and of course, a dog. Although fleas do prefer a dog as their host, they will sometimes use a human as the next best feeding ground. Surprisingly, even households with no pets can occasionally be a environment for fleas on humans. However, most times they are the type of fleas who seek out humans to begin with.
Can I get Fleas From a Dog?
Fleas from dogs will generally bite around the ankles or lower legs. These will itch like a mosquito bite, especially if you have an allergy. Dog fleas are not as risky as those types which purposely seek out human flesh (these are called Pulex irritans, and will usually be found on the head, much like lice.)
What to Do if You have Flea Bites
If you are bitten by a dog flea, the area will be red and there may be a little bump. The more you itch, the worse it will get. You may scan the area on your skin for little mites, but keep in mind, they only bite to feed then return to their breeding ground.
What To Do to Prevent Fleas on Your Dogs
The most important thing to note about fleas on humans is that they reproduce at a very high rate. The best way to treat a flea infestation involving humans is to first treat the infected animal in your home. Be sure to follow the proper treatment options and home remedies to clear fleas from your dog.
Personal hygiene is also very important. Fleas do not like to live on clean hosts. It is just as important to clean and bathe your dog as it is yourself when dealing with a dog flea infestation.
Fleas must be treated whether they are from a dog or the type that affect humans, as they often carry diseases and can pose serious health risks.