In this useful guide we help you to understand and how to get rid of dog fleas the proper way, so you do not harm your dog.
While dog fleas are a pretty common issue, it doesn’t make them any less aggravating.
Many dog owners face this uncomfortable and annoying problem all year round, especially in the spring, as their pets run around freshly mowed grass and newly reopened parks.
And while it would be nearly impossible for you to try to keep your dog from investigating the world around it and introducing itself to other furry friends, there are specific measures that you can take that will help limit how easy it is for your pet to become infested with these frustrating pests.
With the knowledge and know-how, you can take the necessary precautions and understand precisely what to do to keep your pet as happy and healthy as possible.
Getting Rid Of Dog Fleas – The Risks
While dog fleas are indeed an extreme annoyance, it’s also essential for dog owners to understand the tremendous health risks they can pose, mainly if the issue isn’t addressed quickly.
You must realize that your dog is a home and a constant food source for these fleas.
They won’t just leave your pet willingly; leaving them there will encourage them to reproduce.
Not only will this result in many uncomfortable and itchy problems for your pet, but it will also result in much more complicated and potentially dangerous health issues as time goes on.
While most pets end up with small, irritating bumps due to flea bites, dogs that suffer from an allergy to the flea’s saliva can suffer from extreme allergic reactions and dermatitis.
This can cause them to constantly feel the need to scratch and bite at their skin, eventually resulting in swelling and even welts.
This will cause your pet to be continuously miserable and irritable, and it can lead to infections and cause your pet to suffer from serious medical problems.
In addition to the intense scratching and biting, you might notice other signs of dermatitis in your pet, such as hair loss, apparent skin damage, and eventually open and oozing sores.
Additionally, it’s essential to realize that removing the pests in this situation won’t stop the suffering.
While taking care of the dog fleas must be the first and principal priority, ensuring that you receive secondary care to treat the pain caused by the allergy will be just as important.
Make sure that you visit a veterinarian who can guide you to the best possible treatment for your dog as quickly as possible so that their aggravations can finally end.
When the itching and aggravation caused by fleas get to be too much for your dog, it can eventually result in the development of hot spots.
These spots are usually defined as an infected part of the dog’s skin, often seen in a circular shape, and they are the direct result of the irritation caused by a flea bite.
While these sores often start small and are difficult to detect, they’ll quickly grow into tremendous problems that can cause your poor pet to suffer unbearably.
They’ll naturally want to bite and lick the area to relieve the aggravation temporarily, but this will only result in a worsening infection.
Making sure you do everything you can to help your pet deal with this annoyance will be critical.
Another serious health issue that can be devastating for your pet is tapeworms.
Because dog fleas can carry tapeworm larvae, if your pet swallows one of these pests at any moment, it will likely end up suffering from worms.
These parasites will make a home out of your dog’s intestinal tract, allowing them to steal essentials from your pet and keep them from living their best life.
Additionally, these vital nutrients will be essential to fight against the potential infections that fleas can cause.
Things can quickly become much more complicated if your dog isn’t in the best shape.
Make sure that even after you have your dog treated for fleas, you keep an eye out for what will look like tiny grains of sand on the fur around your dog’s back area.
These could be small segments of the tapeworm and is a good indication that you need to have them checked.
Another key indicator will be seeing your pet scoot themselves around the floor on their rear, as the tapeworm will most likely irritate them.
Anemia is one of the severest serious issues that can come from a flea issue. Fleas are parasites that live off the blood from your dog.
This can be a serious problem if left too long without care, and while a tremendous number of fleas will be needed for it to become a life-threatening situation, it’s still much more common than many pet owners realize.
More miniature puppies that wander outside will be at the highest risk, as they won’t have the increased blood volume of grown dogs and don’t yet understand how to groom themselves to reduce the risk appropriately.
Some tell-tale signs to look out for that can help you recognize this serious issue include pale gums, a more passive attitude, or even a lower body temperature.
Make sure you keep a close eye on your dogs even a few weeks after you’ve removed the pests, as symptoms like anemia can sometimes take a little longer to show up.
What To Do First
As a first approach, use this 3 step process…
1 – Clip And Trim Infected Area’s Hair
First, a great relief to your dog will be to clip and trim the hair around the infected area.
Not only will this allow more air to reach the inflamed area, which will feel better right away, but it will also stop the hairs from irritating the area any more than it already is.
2 – Clean The Infected Area
Next, find a gentle dog shampoo, most likely sold by a local veterinarian, and clean the area so the infection won’t continue spreading.
3 – Stop Dog From Biting And Licking Infected Area
Finally, preventing your dog from licking and biting at the area will be incredibly important.
The temporary relief they might feel will only cause more damage in the long run, so you must keep your pet from bringing its tongue down on the sore.
You may need to invest in a cone collar to prevent this if your dog is stubborn.
Methods To Get Rid of Dog Fleas
Now that we’ve covered the initial first steps, let’s go to and get rid of those dog fleas once for all.
Understanding the harm that fleas can cause makes many dog owners eager to get their pets the care they need as quickly as possible.
Your veterinarian will be able to prescribe a wide range of different potential treatments for your pet.
While you want to take their advice and listen to what they believe is the best course of action, the more you understand these potential treatments available to your dog, the better off you’ll be.
Here are a couple of options you might find available for your pet’s relief.
One of the first and most common treatments that many homeowners turn to will be spot-on treatments.
One of the easiest and arguably most effective forms of treatment is applying a small amount of oily fluid directly onto your dog’s skin.
Usually, within about 12 hours of the initial application, 100% of the fleas and their larvae will be killed off.
Many pet owners turn to this type of treatment because of its ease of use and fast and practical nature.
With only one dose, you can relieve your pet of the terrible infestation they’ve been dealing with, take care of the pests at all stages of life, and have a much happier animal before you know it.
Another way that many pet owners choose to treat dog fleas is through oral medications.
This is a perfect solution for pet owners who don’t have the time to deal with the sticky and gooey messes that spot-on medicines can cause.
Additionally, while you might not see the immediate results that you do with spot-on treatments, the reliability of oral medications is significantly higher.
Because these tablets can be given to your pet over an extended period, you can rest assured that your dog will be protected against fleas for at least 12 weeks, while spot-on treatments only kill the fleas currently living on your pet.
However, it’s essential to consider that while this treatment is certainly effective, it won’t kill off any of the flea eggs.
These eggs could easily fall off the pet and onto your furniture, so you’ll want to invest in a thorough cleaning of your household to ensure the problem was taken care of once and for all.
Flea Collars (See Prices on Amazon)
Although much money is spent on flea collars we do not recommend, we prefer nature’s way.
Finally, one of the most recognizable treatment options will be the old standard flea collar.
These collars work by first emitting a gas that instantly repels the pests and seeping a medication into or onto your dog’s skin, killing the problems as they bite or approach the skin accordingly.
While these collars are undoubtedly effective, you must look for brands that offer both solutions to ensure you get the most care as quickly as possible.
Another profound benefit to these collars is their longevity.
Many of these treatment options can last for as long as eight months, giving you the coverage you need to feel confident your dog is flea-free.
They don’t even need to be around your dog’s neck to work. If you’re worried about having fleas in your home, place the dog collar in a vacuum bag.
As you pick up the fleas while you clean, the collar will be sure to finish the job within the bag, which can help to keep your home flea-free for months.
Once you’ve taken all the necessary steps to get your dog treated for fleas, it’s essential to handle a wide variety of preventative measures to ensure that you’re not dealing with the same problem later on down the road.
Dog fleas are resilient, and infestations can take weeks or even months to get under control, depending on their severity, which can leave you fighting what will seem like an endless battle against an enemy you can barely see.
However, by taking these critical steps in prevention, you can help ensure that you’ll never have to deal with this sort of challenging situation again.
Take Care of the Yard
While you might not want to think about it, the reality is that your backyard can be a breeding ground for harmful pests.
The first step that you need to take to defend your home against a pest invasion is to treat your yard and maintain it properly.
Keeping your grass mowed and your flower beds weeded and cared for will make a tremendous difference.
When you have trimmed shrubs and a well-cared-for lawn, fleas will have significantly fewer places to hide and build a home.
Additionally, when your yard is well cared for and protected, you’ll be able to deter unwanted feral animals much more quickly.
Feral cats, raccoons, and opossums are some of the worst when bringing in fleas, so ensure you take every precaution necessary to keep them away from your home.
Invest in quality garbage cans, and make sure that you don’t leave any food outside for them to come looking for.
The cleaner your yard is, the safer your pets will be overall.
Get Used to Combing
While owners who have dogs with longer coats might be used to the constant brushing and combing out of fur, short hair dog owners don’t usually worry about this kind of maintenance after every trip outside.
However, the reality is that taking the time to comb out your pet’s coat with a flea comb every time you go out can make a difference and prevent a severe flea infestation.
Fleas can hind in the most unbelievable of spaces, so make sure you get in there and take a good look around your pet’s skin before you call it quits—the more thorough a brushing job, the better the results.
Also, if you have a pet that has a longer coat, it might be best for you to consider shaving them down in the spring and summer months.
While you might love the look of the long and fluffy fur, the reality is that this is a playground for pests like dog fleas, and the less room they have to hide, the better.
Shaving them down for a few months of the year can be a great way to keep them happy, comfortable, and healthy.
Become a Cleaning Pro
While dealing with a flea infestation certainly doesn’t mean that you have a dirty home, going above and beyond to ensure that you keep your home as clean as possible can make a big difference.
Fleas love to take up a temporary residence in places like rugs, carpeting, or even the back of closets.
By staying neat and organized, you can help ensure that your home stays flea-free year after year.
By vacuuming at least once a week, even in the back of the smallest spaces you’d usually forget about, such as underneath furniture or behind the pet crate, you’ll be ensuring that fleas find your home incredibly difficult to live in.
Additionally, make sure that you change vacuum bags frequently.
If you pick up flea eggs and they hatch inside the bag, it can make a safe and comfortable space for them to grow until they can finally latch onto your pet.
Spot the signs
Your dog is more than just an animal you look after.
They are an essential part of your family, so you must get them the care they need to be healthy and comfortable.
Pest infestations can be a tricky thing to witness, but understanding what you’re dealing with and how to get it taken care of effectively can be a tremendous help, and knowing what it is your pet is going through and what you can do to relieve their aggravations can make a world of difference.
Recognize the signs, listen to your veterinarian, and understand the treatments available to you to get your pet what they need the moment they need it.
With these tips and tricks in mind, you and your most beloved pets can live a flea-free and comfortable life starting today.